A head coaching change, the loss of star teammates to the NHL, and playoff heartbreak are all challenges that Marshall Warren has dealt with in his four years playing for Boston College men’s hockey. But nothing seems to faze the defenseman out of Laurel Hollow, N.Y.
In a transition year for the Eagles in which former assistant coach Greg Brown took over at the helm of the program after legendary former head coach Jerry York retired on April 13, 2022, Warren remained a constant leader as BC’s captain.
“When you have a guy of Marshall’s quality leading the team, there’s so many things that you don’t have to worry about,” Brown said. “You know the kids will be acting the right way, preparing the right way. He’s such a great role model for them. So definitely what you hope for when you come into a new situation is a captain like Marshall.”
Brown said that while Warren was already chosen as BC’s 2022–23 captain before he arrived on the Heights, he can see why Warren was an obvious choice for the position due to his elite leadership skills. Warren said he does not take the accomplishment lightly.
“I think it means everything,” Warren said. “I love representing this place and I think I’ve done a pretty good job of it. It’s something that will go on through not just me, but through everyone like legacy wise, being the first Black captain. I think something that’s important and something that, you know, a little kid can look at me and say, well, I can do that someday.”
Although BC has fielded a varsity hockey team since 1917, Warren is the program’s first-ever Black captain. Despite being the first Black player to wear the “C,” Warren said he does not foresee himself being the last and thinks BC is a place where anyone can succeed.
“Anyone can wear the BC jersey,” Warren said. “It doesn’t matter what you look like, what color you are. I think it’s important, like Boston is such a inclusive place, and you know, I’m just really happy that I ended up here and I’m fortunate enough to be here for four years. And you know, I’m going to graduate with the BC degree and being on the BC hockey team. So that’s special.”
According to Brown, Warren is an integral part of his scheme, and his skating ability makes him irreplaceable at the blue line and on the breakout.
“He allows us to play the way we want to play,” Brown said. “We want to play fast. We want to play a transition game.”
With two games remaining in the 2022–23 regular season, the 6-foot defenseman has registered 54 points and a plus-minus of 30 over his four-year career at BC. Although he is a game-changing player on the ice, Warren does so much more for BC than just control the blue line, according to his teammates.
According to Mitch Andres, Warren is a great friend and a model leader.
Andres, Warren’s roommate and BC’s assistant captain, spoke of his high praise for Warren as a teammate and friend. Andres said “good battles on the golf course” are a formative part of their relationship off the ice.
“I think he’s just a leader both on and off the ice,” Andres said. “So just his presence out there is great for the team. He’s a kind of lead-by-example guy, but can also get vocal in the locker room. So him just playing with a ton of confidence is great for the team.”
Brown echoed Andres’ sentiments and doubled down on the leadership qualities Warren exhibits.
“He’s 100 percent committed to the team,” Brown said. “He will do whatever it takes to help the team succeed, so that’s a huge factor for a captain. Of course everyone wants to do well personally, as Marshall does, but he puts that aside for the good of the team which is a quality that doesn’t get appreciated enough.”
Warren is also heavily involved with Team IMPACT, a charitable organization that matches children facing serious illness and disability with college sports teams.
Over the last few years, BC has been paired with Josh Bello, who, according to Warren, has made a significant impact on his time at BC and the outlook he has on life.
“Obviously, Josh is basically part of our team,” Warren said. “He’s a great kid, and we were just with him before in practice. So it’s funny because, you know, freshman year you don’t really know him a little bit, a little quiet, and then sophomore, and a little more, and now it’s senior year. I consider him a friend at this point.”
Warren said he cherishes Josh’s free-natured spirit and unique personality.
“You know, he’s grown so much and he’s kind of got out of his shell,” Warren said. “He’s such an important guy in our locker room, you know, he’s got his own stall. He’s got everything. So I think, you know, when it comes to practice on Wednesdays, he always puts a smile on our face. And it’s so important, you know, giving back [is] something I’ve always done in my life … my parents instilled in me, so it’s important.”
Warren credits his parents for his success and for giving him the opportunity to accomplish all that he has done.
Warren said his mom, Lisa, has been a huge part of his career both in logistically and emotionally.
“My mom’s kind of my rock, she’s been there with me the whole way,” Warren said. “When I was 14, I had to drive to Connecticut and New Jersey to play hockey, so she was the one taking me over the George Washington Bridge. So without her, I mean, I wouldn’t be in this position.”
In addition to his mom, Warren said his dad is one of his biggest mentors and someone who he credits his leadership abilities to.
“My father, he’s been a trailblazer in the business world,” Warren said. “He sends me articles every day. He just gives me a little motivation every day with the phone calls we have. He’s such a special person in my life and in the world really. We have such a special bond and it’s good to have a bond with your dad.”
Warren also listed his sister as a big part of his development as a hockey player.
“My sister, you know … she’s my older sister, but honestly, she’s one of my best friends,” Warren said. “She kind of got me into hockey actually, because she was a figure skater before, and then without her, I wouldn’t be skating, I’m not gonna be playing hockey, I’d probably be doing something else without her, [so] I gotta give her a lot of credit. And she’s a wonderful person.”
Being in close quarters with his parents and sister throughout his entire life, all three members of Warren’s family have made an enormous impact on him. But he said his teammates at BC, past and present, have also given him the tools and resources to flourish in a leadership role.
“There have been so many great players and leaders at BC,” Warren said. “So it’s been kind of easy transitioning, you know, everyone texted me when I got named captain and stuff like that.”
Warren listed Spencer Knight, Matt Boldy, Alex Newhook, Mike Hardman, Jack Moffat, Andres, and his old roommate, best friend, and former U.S. National Team Development Program teammate Drew Helleson, as just a few players who hold a particularly special place in his heart.
While he’ll always be remembered as an elite defenseman, Warren hopes his legacy will reflect how he treated people on and off the ice.
“Obviously, Boston College is such a special place,” Warren said. “So just being able to represent the school at the highest level is awesome, and hopefully I represented it in a good way.”