College Hockey:
Parker announces retirement from Boston University: ‘It’s been a great run’

After 40 seasons, Boston University coach Jack Parker said he is leaving the program on his own terms.

This season will be his last, Parker announced at a news conference Monday, one day after the news broke.

“It’s been a great run,” Parker said Monday, his 68th birthday. “I’ve had a great time doing it.”

Parker is in his 40th season as head coach at his alma mater. He has an 894-471-115 career record and won national championships in 1978, 1995 and 2009.

He said he considered retiring last season but because the program went through turmoil in the release of a scathing task force report, it wasn’t the time.

Now, it’s different and he said he’s making the call.

“It’s time,” Parker said. “I’ve been coaching the team for 40 years. I’ve been a coach here for 44 years. I was a player here before that. So for 48 out of the last 49 years, I’ve been reporting to duty for BU hockey, and that’s enough.”

Parker will stay with the university as an advisor to president Robert A. Brown in a fundraising capacity.

He ranks third on the all-time coaching wins list, but he has been through his share of turmoil.

Last September, a school task force found a “celebrity culture” existed among BU men’s hockey players, and its report called for the elimination of the executive athletic director position that Parker held.

That task force was assembled after two Terriers players were charged with sexual assault. Corey Trivino pleaded guilty, while charges against Max Nicastro were dropped. Both players were dismissed from the program.

In February, Parker suspended defenseman Alexx Privitera for the rest of the season, citing “on-ice discipline problems.”

Behind the bench, Parker is one of the most accomplished coaches in college hockey history. He trails only Jerry York and Ron Mason on the all-time wins list.

“Jack and I have enjoyed a relationship that has stood the test of time,” York said in a statement. “It goes back to our high school days and dates back 50 years. We’ve competed against one another and we’ve coached against one another for a long, long time. There have been so many unbelievable games that have provided countless memories for the both of us. I appreciate his competitive drive and his hockey knowledge. One of the greatest attributes about our relationship is that, although we’ve been in a competitive situation for such a long duration, we still maintain a unique personal relationship. From recruiting to coaching against one another in big games, we’ve maintained respect for one another. I’m grateful for that. I’d like to wish Jack and his family the best in retirement.”

Along with his three national championships, he has won 11 conference titles — four in the ECAC, seven in Hockey East — and led the Terriers to 21 Beanpot crowns.

A three-time winner of the Spencer Penrose Award as the top coach in Division I men’s hockey, Parker was in 2010 given the NHL’s Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.

Parker played center for the Terriers from 1966 to 1968, then went right into coaching after graduation. After a year at Medford (Mass.) High School, he joined Boston University as an assistant coach and then the B-team coach.

He took over the top position on Dec. 21, 1973.

The Terriers tied for third place in Hockey East this season and will host Merrimack in the first round of the league playoffs. They are a bubble team in the race for at-large spots to the NCAA tournament.

Parker said he expects to be involved in the process of finding his successor, but that he won’t make the call.

“This is a marquee job,” Boston University athletic director Mike Lynch said. “I’d like to say it’s the best job in college hockey.”

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  • Rtn2GoldCountry

    I have been a fan of Coach Parker ever since I read Travis Roy’s book. This guy really loves his University and his players. He will finish just shy of 900 wins unless BU makes a post season run. Despite some recent controversy, it is nice to see him make the decision to retire. I am glad I got to see his team play one more time last year in the west regional, although I may get to see him coach one more time if BU goes to the west region again.

  • Joseph Crowley

    Thank you again, Jack Parker!

    We are glad you did stick around this year to start the process of reestablishing the off-ice image of the team.

  • http://twitter.com/mnhockeycamps MN Hockey Camps

    More than worthy of a statue for his commitment to Boston University, college game and student/athletes.

  • http://twitter.com/rdfitta robert fitta

    It has been a pleasure to both ride Coach Parker during the days of the great Maine-BU rivalry in the 80′s and 90′s and then support him in the Championship run in 2009 while my daughter was at school at BU. Also always appreciated how he reached out to Coach Walsh, his bitter rival, when he was battling cancer.

    • Joseph Crowley

      My lasting image of Jack Parker and Shawn Walsh was an NCAA regional final at the DCU, after BU’s championship final against Maine at the Dunk. I do not remember the year, but the rowdy fans could not drown out the mutual F bomb tirades from both benches. I am pretty sure that Shawn Walsh had been diagnosed with cancer and the two lions roaring at each other was magic.

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