BOSTON (CBS) – The bench for the Boston University Men’s hockey team will look very different next season.
For the first time in 40 years, Jack Parker won’t be calling out plays and yelling at officials.
On Monday, his 68th birthday, Parker retired after 894 career wins and three national titles with the Terriers.
“I’ve been a coach here for 44 years and a player, so for 48 out of the last 49 years, I’ve been reporting to duty for BU hockey. That’s enough,” Parker said Monday. “It’s a tough job. It takes a lot out of you.”
Parker will lead BU this post-season as they open the Hockey East Tournament as a number-three seed on Friday against Merrimack. He knew this would be his final season, but didn’t make the announcement earlier because he didn’t want a farewell tour. He also didn’t want to wait until after the season was over, and have his players find out he was done following their final game.
“I always talked about BU being a family. I have two daughters and about 226 sons,” he said. “I wanted them to know what I already knew… I wanted to have the team know we’re going to go through this together.”
For all the accolades and awards he received during his time as BU’s head coach, Parker wants to be remembered for just one thing.
“A sincere guy that cared about his players; that’s good enough for me,” Parker told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche shortly making the announcement.
Parker always put his players first, and he’s glad that all his players — from five-time NHL All-Star Tony Amonte to 1980’s Miracle On Ice team captain Mike Eruzione to current NHLers Jay Pandolfo and Ryan Whitney — are proud to call themselves BU Terriers for life.
“I think it’s one family, because all these players had the same coach for all these years,” explained Parker. “It’s nice to see them all; someone who played in the 80’s is hanging out with someone who played in the 2000’s – they know each other and had the same type of experience. That type of family is nice. I have a great relationship with all my former players, even the ones I had trouble with, when it’s all said and done, we have a pretty nice relationship.”
Dan Roche’s 1-On-1 With Jack Parker:
A perennial powerhouse since he took over in 1973, Parker led the Terriers to titles in 1978, 1995 and 2009. His 894 wins are good for third most in NCAA history and the most by any coach at a single school.
Most importantly for those on Commonwealth Ave, Parker led the Terriers to 21 Beanpot titles.
Parker, a Somerville native, played center for the Terriers from 1965-1968, winning three Beanpot Championships as a player. After his stint as a Terrier, Parker coached Medford High School for one year before returning to BU as an assistant.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz Reports:
It didn’t take long for Parker to make his mark on BU. After taking over for Leon Abbot in 1973, Parker won his first of three NCAA Coach of the Year award following the 1975 season when the Terriers were ECAC Champs and won their first Beanpot.
Parker also won Coach of the Year 1978, when BU won their first National Title under Parker, and after their 2009 championship season.
While he won’t be manning the bench next season, Parker will remain with BU in a fundraising capacity.