BU hockey coach Parker leaving quite the legacy

Jack Parker has been an institution at BU for decades.
Jack Parker has been an institution at BU for decades.

More than perhaps any other active coach in men’s college hockey, when you think of one institution, in this case Boston University, a singular name immediately comes to mind: Jack Parker.

Parker has been the Terriers head coach for 40 incredible seasons and transformed a niche sport at a regional school into one of the top collegiate programs in the country year-in and year-out. Monday, Parker will announce his retirement on his 68th birthday. We all knew this day was coming soon but it will be weird next season and in the near future to see someone else behind BU’s bench barking orders.

Parker grew up in Somerville and went to Catholic Memorial before he played hockey at BU. He’s known for many things – his ugly sport coats, thick glasses and gruff personality – but Parker is anything but a fraud. Being a local guy, he understands the cynical media and has never tried to be anyone but himself. This may rub some people (namely fans of other teams and coaches) the wrong way. He’s not the best guy to deal with after a tough loss or during a bad stretch, but with a resume like his, you have to trust the process.

The Terriers have won three national titles under Parker (1978, 1995 and 2009), four ECAC titles (before BU was in Hockey East) then seven Hockey East crowns. His overall record is 894-471-115 heading into the Hockey East playoffs this week as BU (18-15-2 overall, 15-10-2 in Hockey East) hosts Merrimack (15-15-6 overall, 13-11-3 in Hockey East) on Friday (7:30 p.m.) at Agganis Arena in a best-of-three quarterfinal series. Parker has the most wins at one school in NCAA history, he’s second in wins all-time and has the fifth best win-percentage.

When you talk about Parker, you have to mention Boston College head coach Jerry York as well. They are friends but they have been intense rivals for just as long. York set the NCAA career wins record earlier this season, so in a sense he’ll always be ahead of Parker. Similar to Parker, York put his school on the map. They are arguably the two best college hockey coaches in history so we’ve been extremely lucky to have them stick around these parts for this long at their alma maters. The Beanpot still has so much meaning because of those guys and they have ensured that college hockey is very popular in New England.

The list of Olympic players and guys that have moved on to the NHL that played for Parker at BU is impressive: John Cullen, Keith Tkachuk, David Sacco, Chris Drury, Mike Eruzione, Rick Meagher and Shawn McEachern. Parker has always been able to recruit some of the best players in college hockey but it takes a certain skill to motivate and get the most out of all them together on a team. It would be only fitting to see the Terriers make a run in the Hockey East playoffs and qualify for the NCAA Tournament in a few weeks. It’s the least they can do for their legendary head coach that is leaving Commonwealth Avenue any day now.

Follow Metro Boston college hockey writer Richard Slate on Twitter:
@RichSlate



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…