On April 13, the Boston College men’s hockey team underwent a monumental change when Jerry York retired after 28-years as the head coach of the Eagles. The announcement came about a month after BC’s season had ended in the quarterfinals of the Hockey East Tournament and marked the first time in nearly three decades that there would need to be a coaching search for a new man to stand behind the bench.
The time spent immediately after York’s retirement was, appropriately, spent celebrating the legendary career of the greatest college hockey coach of all time. York retired with almost 200 more wins to his name than anyone else in the sport’s history as well as five national championships, four of which he won while at BC. He is the only coach ever to break 1,000 wins and he will likely remain on his own in that category for quite some time.
Ultimately though, York’s retirement did leave a massive absence behind the BC bench, and one that would be difficult to fill, and the question remained as to who the hiring committee would eventually choose.
On May 6th, that question was answered when Boston College hired Greg Brown to be York’s successor. Brown himself is a graduate of the BC hockey program who also player almost 100 games in the NHL before starting his career behind the bench back with the Eagles as an assistant coach. Brown was also an assistant to David Quinn with the New York Rangers for a few years and began his head coaching career in the USHL in 2021 before taking the big job with his alma mater.
While the hiring of Greg Brown wasn’t that much of a surprise, it was easy to see just by his introductory press conference how excited he was to have this opportunity. Replacing a legend like Jerry York is never going to be an easy task, but Brown’s enthusiasm will hopefully be able to provide a lift to a team that is coming off a down year in the 2021-2022 season.
York’s retirement was always going to sting a bit for anyone who has followed this program, but the celebration of his career that immediately followed it was truly great to see. Jerry York has been responsible for so many of my favorite moments as a BC fan and it was amazing to be able to relive some of them while saying goodbye to a legend. And while it might not make all that much of a difference in the long run, seeing his replacement be someone like Greg Brown who is also clearly passionate about Boston College meant a lot to me in the moment, making the entire retirement and hiring process the best off ice moment of 2021-2022