Sports, Winter, Hockey, Men's Hockey

Who Should Replace Jerry York?

On April 13, the winningest coach in NCAA men’s hockey history, Jerry York, announced his retirement after 28 seasons behind the bench at Boston College, his alma mater. In his tenure with the Eagles, York won four national championships and 11 Hockey East regular season titles. Despite ending the 2021–22 season with an uncharacteristic, sub-.500 record and finishing eighth in Hockey East, York said that now feels like the best time to start a new chapter. 

“I have been thinking about the possibility of retiring during the past several weeks and it just seemed to me to be the right time to do so,” he said.

With the news, BC finds itself with a vacancy at head coach for the first time in nearly three decades. Here are some potential candidates to replace York behind the bench.

Greg Brown

Brown is not only a former BC hockey player, playing defense from 1986 to 1990, but he also served as an assistant coach and associate coach under York. Brown played professionally in the NHL and in Europe before taking an assistant job with BC in 2004. He was on the bench for three of York’s four national championships with BC before departing for an assistant coaching position with the New York Rangers in 2018. In 2021, Brown took his first head coaching job with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL. 

Nate Leaman

Leaman has been the head coach at Providence since 2011 and led the Friars to their first and only national championship in program history in the 2014–15 season. Since then, Leaman’s Friars have remained a consistent force in Hockey East, earning a Hockey East regular season title in 2016 and making an appearance in the Frozen Four in 2019. In 2021, Leaman was the head coach for Team USA in the IIHF World Juniors and led the United States to a gold medal in an upset victory over Canada in the tournament final. 

Greg Carvel

Carvel took over behind the bench at UMass prior to the 2016–17 season. Despite a five-win first season, Carvel revived a fallen program after heading to Amherst. He led the Minutemen to the top of the Hockey East standings and finished one win short of a national title in the 2018–19 season. With the COVID-19 pandemic canceling postseason play in 2020, Carvel had to wait one more year for redemption. And in the 2020–21 season, his squad finished the job, winning the first national title in program history. 

Eric Lang
Lang, probably the least-known name on this list, is currently the head coach of American International College, a small, private college in Springfield, Mass. Since taking over at his alma mater in 2016, Lang has guided the Yellow Jackets to four straight Atlantic Hockey regular season titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances, including AIC’s first-ever appearance in the 2018–19 season.

April 29, 2022

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