York retires from Boston College, winningest coach in NCAA hockey history

Jerry York retired Wednesday after 50 years of coaching NCAA Division I hockey, the past 28 at Boston College.

The 76-year-old is the winningest coach in NCAA hockey history, a five-time NCAA champion and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and United States Hockey Hall of Fame. He said he is leaving to travel more with his wife, Bobbie, play golf for the first time during a weekend in the fall, and spend more time with his family.

“I’ve been thinking about the possibility of retiring for the past several weeks and it just seemed to me to be the right time to do so,” York said. “I am so blessed to have been involved with Boston College these past 28 years and to have had the opportunity to coach so many wonderful student-athletes.”

Boston College’s search for a coach will begin immediately.

York was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame on Dec. 9 as part of the 2020 Class with Dean Blais, Tony Granato and Jenny Potter, an enshrinement delayed due to the pandemic coronavirus. They were honored with the 2021 Class of Stan Fischler, Paul Holmgren and Peter McNab.

York was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019 in the Builders category.

He was 1,123-682-128 (ties) in 50 seasons coaching Clarkson University, Bowling Green State University and Boston College, winning one NCAA title at Bowling Green (1984) and four at BC (2001, 2008, 2010, 2012). He coached four winners of the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top player in men’s Division I ice hockey: George McPhee (Bowling Green, 1982), Brian Holzinger (Bowling Green, 1995), Mike Mottau (Boston College, 2000) and Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College, 2014).

Seventeen players under York were chosen in the first round of the NHL Draft and 12 won the Stanley Cup. Among his former players currently in the NHL are forwards Gaudreau (Calgary Flames), Brian Boyle (Pittsburgh Penguins), Chris Kreider (New York Rangers), Alex Tuch (Buffalo Sabers), Oliver Wahlstrom (New York Islanders), Cam Atkinson (Philadelphia Flyers), Kevin Hayes (Flyers) and Alex Newhook (Colorado Avalanche); defenseman Noah Hanifin (Flames); and goalies Spencer Knight (Florida Panthers) and Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks).

Hockey Hall of Fame defender Rob Blake, who played three seasons for York at Bowling Green (1987-90) and played 20 NHL seasons, is general manager of the Los Angeles Kings. McPhee, who played four seasons for York at Bowling Green (1978-82) played six NHL seasons, is president of hockey operations of the Vegas Golden Knights. Brian MacLellan, who played four seasons under York at Bowling Green (1978-82) and 10 NHL seasons, is general manager of the Washington Capitals.

York played four seasons at BC (1963-67). He scored 134 points (64 goals, 70 assists) in 81 games. As a senior, he was the captain and an All-American, scoring 67 points (26 goals, 41 assists) in 28 games to lead the Eagles for the second straight season. He was hired by Boston College prior to the 1994-95 season.

“I leave knowing that it’s the right time to go,” York said. “The book hasn’t closed, but it’s time for me to start a new chapter.”

York started as an assistant at Clarkson and rose to coach in 1972-73 at age 27. He became the winningest coach in NCAA history Dec. 29, 2012, passing Ron Mason of Michigan State, and set a record with 41 NCAA Tournament victories. York guided Boston College to nine Hockey East tournament titles and 12 regular-season championships, and is a five-time Hockey East Coach of the Year (2004, 2011, 2014, 2018, 2021).

Boston College finished 15-18-5 this season, 9-12-3 in Hockey East.

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