Five NCAA connections earn induction into U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

Jack Parker (BU - Head Coach) - The Boston University Terriers defeated the visiting Northeastern University Huskies 5-0 on senior night Saturday, March 9, 2013, at Agganis Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. (Melissa Wade)
Jack Parker coached nearly 1,500 games over 40 seasons at Boston University (photo: Melissa Wade).

Kevin Collins, Jack Parker, Ben Smith, Ron Wilson and Scott Young will be enshrined into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame as the class of 2017.

“Each of the inductees has contributed in extraordinary fashion to the growth and development of hockey in our country,” said USA Hockey president Jim Smith in a statement. “The members of the class of 2017 have positively impacted the game, from the grassroots to the highest levels, through playing, coaching and officiating. We very much look forward to formally enshrining each of them into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame later this year.”

Parker coached 1,484 games at the NCAA Division I level with Boston University over 40 seasons and won 897 of them, amassing a .643 winning percentage, three national championships, 11 conference titles and 21 Beanpot crowns. He retired after the 2012-13 season as one of only three coaches to be named a three-time recipient of the Spencer Penrose Award as NCAA Division I Coach of the Year (1975, 1978, 2009). Upon his departure from the coaching ranks, Parker had the third most victories in NCAA history, the fourth best winning percentage among NCAA Division I coaches with more than 1,000 games behind the bench, and the most wins at one school (897).

Smith served as head coach of the U.S. Olympic Women’s team in 1998, 2002 and 2006, leading Team USA to the first-ever gold medal in women’s hockey at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games.

The son of a U.S. Senator, Smith was a standout player at Harvard in the late 1960s. After graduation, he served as an assistant coach at UMass while also coaching high school hockey in Gloucester. He eventually became an assistant coach at Yale, where he served for five seasons before joining Parker’s coaching staff at BU.

Smith was also a head coach at Dartmouth and Northeastern.

Wilson, who is the all-time winningest American head coach in NHL history, amassed 648 regular-season coaching victories and currently ranks No. 10 among all NHL coaches in career victories, having served as head coach with Vancouver, Anaheim, Washington, San Jose and Toronto over 15 full seasons.

As a player, Wilson made his mark professionally with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Minnesota North Stars, but he’s perhaps best known in his native Rhode Island as a two-time All-America selection with Providence. As a sophomore, he was named ECAC Player of the Year after leading the nation in points (87).

Young spent 17 seasons in the NHL, winning two Stanley Cup championships (1991-Pittsburgh, 1996-Colorado) while amassing 342 goals and 415 assists in 1,181 regular-season games. The former Terrier ranks No. 15 among all American players in NHL games played, No. 12 in goals and No. 20 in points.

After the conclusion of his playing career, which included NHL stops with Hartford, Pittsburgh, Quebec, Colorado, Anaheim, St. Louis and Dallas, Young returned to his native Massachusetts, where he served as a youth and high school hockey coach and as director of hockey operations at Boston University. He is now an assistant coach with the Terriers.

Collins is just the second individual to be enshrined as an on-ice official. He worked 28 years in the NHL (1977-2005), including 12 appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals, and also played at American International, where he was a three-time letter-winner.

The date and location of the 2017 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which will include the formal induction of the class of 2017 and the presentation of the Lester Patrick Trophy, will be revealed later this summer.

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