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MEN'S HOCKEY: Living Like An Eagle

York Still Hasn’t Changed, Even With The Ultimate Record In Sight

Sports Editor

Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

Penna pointed to York’s strength in building a staff and recruiting players who “fit into his vision of what a student-athlete should be, particularly at a Jesuit university.

“He’s created a culture of excellence at Conte and holds everyone involved with BC hockey to that high standard,” Penna said. “He challenges every player, coach, trainer, administrator, student manager, and chaplain to give a little more each day to the program than they did the day before. And people respond enthusiastically because Jerry never asks of others what he’s not willing to do himself.”

While York’s potential record-breaking 925th win is in reach tomorrow night, it’s not about the number of wins for York. It’s about the trophies—those are the wins that he remembers most.

“Anything that wins a trophy,” York said. “That’s what we’re all about—not number of wins, but just significant wins. And those are trophy-wins. Those are the ones that stand out—could be Beanpots, Hockey East Championships, national championships.”

The national championship trophy is the pinnacle, something that York hopes all of his players can have a chance to get their hands on by the end of their time at BC.

But even beyond the trophies, York knows there is more to life than hockey, and he makes sure that even if his players don’t leave Chestnut Hill with a national championship, they at the very least, leave as respectable young men who handle themselves with class.

“He talks about the importance of his players leaving BC with a diploma in one hand and a championship ring on the other,” Bill York said. “But if you listen to his players and the players he’s had over the years and what they say, it seems that the essence of their time at BC, with all their accomplishments, was their development as young men of character and respect. That, to me, is the highest tribute to Jerry—that has become the culture of the program.”

For now, with BC just 13 games into the young season, the trophies will have to wait. The Eagles won’t play for the Beanpot until February, the Hockey East Championship won’t be decided until March, and they’ll keep working toward the National Championship in April.

In the short-term, York won’t be basking in the excitement of potentially breaking the wins record. The quantity is not important to him—it’s the quality of the wins.

“There’s probably a future time [to reflect on it],” York said, “but right now, we’re focused on this particular team, trying to win a championship.”

Until then, York will keep trying to use each day to give a little more to the program than he did the day before. For a man that has given so many wins to BC in 18-plus seasons, giving one more win to break the record won’t be much of a problem.

But don’t expect York to be satisfied. He’s hoping there will be a time later on in the season when he can think about a more important win—one where after the game, surrounded by his players—his team—they can together raise yet another trophy.

The trophy wins have helped to prove the effectiveness of York’s coaching philosophy, but they haven’t changed his mindset. He’s still humble, still driven, still positive, still enthusiastic, and still caring.

Four-hundred and fifty-seven wins since the ice cream sundae at Brigham’s with his brother Bill, York is still the same coach.

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