BU Men's Hockey Coach Retires
Jack Parker Resigns After Forty-year-long Career with Boston Terriers
Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 22:03
“For 48 out of the last 49 years I’ve been reporting to duty for BU hockey, and that’s enough,” said Jack Parker, coach of the Boston University men’s hockey team at a press conference on Monday. In a move that had been anticipated by the media, Parker announced that this season, his 40th, would be his final season as a BU hockey coach.
Parker has won three national championships with the Terriers and was named the Spencer Penrose Division I Coach of the Year, the highest award a collegiate hockey coach can win, three times. His 894 wins rank third all-time, and his total is the most by any coach at one school. Parker led his team to 24 NCAA tournament appearances and won the coveted Beanpot 21 times. Parker played hockey for the Terriers from 1965 to 1968, and only left the program for a year before he came back as an assistant coach in 1969 and later became the head coach in 1973.
Parker explained his decision to announce his retirement at this point in the season, nearing the Hockey East Conference Tournament, as an attempt to avoid season-long attention from fans. “Why now?” he said. “I will tell you that I didn’t want to do it earlier on because I didn’t want to go on a farewell tour of all the other rinks in the league. That’s not me, and I didn’t want that to happen. At the same time, I didn’t want to wait until the end of the year and have my team find out at the end that that’s the last time I’ll be coaching them.”
Parker also explained that he almost did not make it to a 40th season. “I probably would’ve retired last year had we not had a couple of incidents that got all over the front pages and decided that I couldn’t do it then,” he said.
Parker was referring to the arrests of two of his players for sexual assault during the 2011-12 academic year. Though Parker immediately kicked these players off the team, the assault accusations prompted a BU investigation that resulted in Parker’s demotion from his former position as Executive Athletic Director.
Despite this recent blemish on Parker’s record, the legendary coach’s colleagues speak extremely highly of him.
“He’s done an incredible job at Boston University, and I think they (Boston University) are going to miss him an awful lot starting at the final whistle this year,” said Jerry York, the Boston College hockey coach.
York, one of only two collegiate hockey coaches with more wins than Parker, shared a unique competitive relationship with the BU coach. “Jack and I have enjoyed a relationship that has stood the test of time,” York said. “It goes back to our high school days and dates back 50 years. We’ve competed against one another and we’ve coached against one another for a long, long time. There have been so many unbelievable games that have provided countless memories for the both of us. I appreciate his competitive drive and his hockey knowledge."
After a 40-year coaching career full of memories, Parker was able to sum up his experience concisely. “I’ve had a wonderful ride here,” he said. “It’s been a great, great time for me.”