March 11, 2013
Legendary Boston University coach Jack Parker will retire at the end of this season
BOSTON - One of the most successful coaches in the history of collegiate athletics will call it a career after 40 seasons at the helm of the Boston University men's ice hockey program. Jack Parker, who has led the Terriers to three NCAA championships (1978, 1995, 2009), 11 conference titles and 21 Beanpot crowns, announced today at Agganis Arena that he will retire at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season.
"Boston University hockey and Jack Parker are synonymous," said Director of Athletics and Senior Vice President Mike Lynch. "I am tremendously honored to have had the opportunity to work side-by-side with him for the past nine years. I have great admiration for everything he has accomplished and we'll do our very best to continue his incredible legacy going forward."
"Jack has had an outstanding career at Boston University," said Dr. Robert A. Brown, Boston University's president, at Monday's press conference. "He has been a mentor and coach to so many great young men over the years, which is a very important part of his legacy. I very pleased to announced that Jack will be staying on with us as part of the BU family as a special advisor to me to help with our fundraising campaign that we announced publicly in September. Jack's connection with our alumni and friends will be invaluable as we try to make athletics a major part of this University campaign."
"I'm saddened to be walking away from the BU hockey program, but glad at the same time, because it's been a great run and 40 years is enough. I'm really looking forward to taking my grandchildren to BU hockey games next year," said Parker. "The university has treated me so well over my career and I'm truly honored to be associated with such a wonderful place and all the outstanding young men I had the pleasure of coaching."
A three-time recipient of the Spencer Penrose Award (NCAA Div. I Hockey Coach of the Year), Parker ranks third all-time amongst Division I hockey coaches in career victories with 894. His win total marks the most of any college hockey coach at the same institution and he also holds the record for NCAA tournament appearances as a coach with 24.
Parker has been associated with the BU hockey program ever since 1963, when he arrived on campus as a freshman. The Somerville native and Catholic Memorial High School standout was a sparkplug at center for the 1966-68 Terrier varsity teams that combined for a 72-22-4 record and he served as team captain his senior year.
He began his coaching career right out of college at Medford High School. After one year, he returned to his alma mater to serve as an assistant under his former mentor, Jack Kelley. He worked in that capacity for three years before being elevated to the program's B-team post in the fall of 1972.
On Dec. 21, 1973, Parker was named the 10th coach in Terrier hockey history, replacing Leon Abbott six games into the season. Six days later, in his first game as a head coach, he recorded his first win in a 3-1 decision over Dartmouth. In his inaugural season, he led the Terriers to their first of four consecutive Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) crowns. Since the formation of Hockey East in 1984, Parker has led BU to seven conference tournament titles and eight regular-season crowns. His 421 wins in league play are a Hockey East record.
A large part of Parker's legacy in the Boston area is his incredible success in the Beanpot, having led the Terriers to the tournament title in over half (21) of his 40 campaigns behind the bench. He also won the Beanpot championship all three years as a player at BU.
His first Penrose Award came in 1975, when he guided his first team to a 26-5-1 mark, the best major college record in the nation. He also earned the award after guiding the 1977-78 team to a 30-2 record and the NCAA title. Most recently, Parker earned the honor for the third time after leading the Terriers to the NCAA championship and a 35-6-4 record during the 2008-09 season. He is a seven-time New England Coach of the Year and has been tabbed the Hockey East Coach of the Year on five occasions.
Sixty-six of Parker's former players at BU have gone to play in the National Hockey League (NHL). That list includes standouts such as Tony Amonte, John Cullen, Chris Drury, Mike Grier, Shawn McEachern, Rick Meagher, Jay Pandolfo, Keith Tkachuk and Scott Young.
Since 1976, 23 of Parker's players have played in the Olympics. One of Parker's proudest moments came in 1980 when former Terriers Mike Eruzione, Dave Silk, Jack O'Callahan and Jim Craig were key members of the 'Miracle on Ice' team that won the gold medal in Lake Placid, N.Y.
In recent years, Parker has been inducted into The Sports Museum's Tradition (2009) and named a recipient of the NHL's Lester Patrick Award (2010).
Parker was inducted in the Boston University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994 after receiving the school's Distinguished Alum Award two years prior. He also was presented an Honorary Doctors of Letters degree by BU in 1997.
A former president of the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) and former member of the NCAA Ice Hockey Committee, Parker also served as head coach for the U.S. National Junior Team at the 1996 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, which was held in Massachusetts.
Parker and the Terriers will begin their quest for an eighth Hockey East tournament title this weekend when they host Merrimack
in a best-of-three quarterfinal series beginning on Friday (March 15). He enters his final postseason with a career record
of 894-471-115 (.643).