Pearl Changes Mind, Stays at Holy Cross

Holy Cross head coach Paul Pearl, who last week announced that he would leave his alma mater to become director of admissions at a local prep school, today says that he’s had a change of heart.

The eight-year veteran head coach of the Crusaders has decided to stay on as head coach at Holy Cross and today signed a multi-year deal with the school, the terms of which have not been disclosed.

Five days ago, Pearl made public that he would leave the Cross to take the head admissions position at Milton Academy, a well-known prep school in eastern Massachusetts. As part of his position at Milton, he would become the school’s head hockey coach.

But after lengthy discussions between Pearl and the Holy Cross administrators, a deal was struck that will keep Pearl in Worcester for “several” more seasons, according to Holy Cross officials.

“I guess it’s ‘mea culpas’ all around,” said Pearl. “I was excited to go to Milton, but I wasn’t ready to leave here. The school came back and said they’d like me to stay.”

When asked what concessions the school made, Pearl could not disclose and even noted that his new agreement with the school wasn’t the only or even the deciding factor in his change of mind.

“This was never about Holy Cross or anything being wrong here. It had to do with exploring something else,” said Pearl, who stands as the third-winningest coach in school history. “In the end, though, I came to the conclusion this is the right place for me and my family.”

In eight seasons with Holy Cross, Pearl has guided his clubs to a 116-114-19 record. Pearl oversaw the team’s transition to the MAAC league and captured the inaugural league championship in 1999. Last season, the Crusaders finished third in the MAAC and advanced to the league final four for the first time since the ’99 title season.

“I am very happy that Paul will be with us for quite a bit longer,” said Holy Cross athletic director Richard Regan. “He is a great coach, a great recruiter, and perhaps most importantly, he understands what Holy Cross is all about.”

Pearl is a 1989 alumnus of Holy Cross.

As for Milton, a place where Pearl teaches summer hockey school, he said that he has talked with the school and they understand his situation.

“I love the people over there,” Pearl said. “They’re good people. But in the end I belong at Holy Cross.”