We’ve spent the past few days talking about some of the biggest wins and best seasons that the Boston College Men’s Hockey team had under Jerry York’s 28 years behind the bench. These were the most memorable ones, the games and seasons that ended with a trophy being lifted. Now, we’re shifting gears a bit to talk about some of our favorite Jerry York moments that might fly a bit more under that radar from his tenure.
For me, the choice was obvious: the time Jerry York took a 19-hour train ride.
Some context first. Jerry York had some medical problems in 2013 that required eye surgery and required him to miss some games. The issue didn’t quite go away, and York required surgery a few more times over the years, including late in 2016. York missed six games, and was told that he should not fly for a little while after the surgery.
On December 10, 2016, Boston College was scheduled to play at Notre Dame, while the Irish were still members of Hockey East. This wasn’t set to be a weekend series, just one Saturday night game between the two rivals. The team along with the associate and assistant coaches hopped on their plane to head out to South Bend, but York decided that he had missed enough games for now.
And so, Jerry York got a ride to and Amtrak station in Albany and hopped on a train. The train ride from Albany to South Bend is about 900 miles long and takes 18-19 hours. And Jerry York made it twice in one weekend so he could be behind the bench for a single game. And I’ll be honest, until going back and looking it up for this column, I couldn’t remember the result of this game (it ended up being a 3-2 loss), because that’s not remotely what makes this such a great memory for me.
When I think back on the Jerry York tenure at Boston College, this is the kind of thing that jumps to mind even before any of his many on ice successes. From everything that he ever said and did, it really seemed like York thought he had the greatest job in the world. And for that reason, up there with all the national championships, all the Beanpot victories, and all the incredible wins throughout his 28 years, one of the moments I’ll look back on most fondly was the time that Jerry York spent almost 40 hours on a train to coach one game because he just loved being the Boston College hockey coach that much.