BU hockey coach retires after 40 years, 3 NCAA titles

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March 11, 2013, 6:17 pm
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(NECN, Josh Broadir, Boston) - No one can question the 894 career wins, the dedication to his players, but a recent scandal makes cementing Jack Parker's legacy a bit more complicated. 

"It has been a great run. I had a great time doing it. I always talk about BU being a family. I've got two daughters and 226 sons and the team that I have here right now are my youngest sons. And I'm not going to have any more children," said Jack Parker.

It's been 48 years, dating back to the time the Boston University legend was himself a BU Terriers center, before he hung up the skates, put on a tie, and orchestrated his team to three national championships over 40 years, most recently 2009.

The numbers are gaudy - 894 career wins, 21 Beanpot trophies and seven Hockey East crowns - plus mentoring legions of future NHLers, many of whom were on hand as he said goodbye.

"He's intense and he's a great game planner as well, you know he made great in game adjustments, but you know even when he yelled at you as a player you knew he cared about you and it was coming from the right place," said Mike Grier who played 15 years in the NHL. 

Parker has had a softer side too, as he has always stood by Travis Roy, the BU Freshman paralyzed from the neck down back in 1995, 11 seconds into his first game.

"I have a great relationship with all my players, I'm closest to Travis of all my players, and he played the least amount of moments for me," Parker said.

But for all the good, it is impossible to ignore the bad.

What has clouded the past couple of seasons on the Agganis Arena ice, have been off ice allegations against some of Parker's players, sexual violence against women, including a guilty plea to assault charges by Corey Trivino.

In September, the university issued a finding that a culture of entitlement existed around the BU hockey team.

Parker has put changes in place.

"Will this tarnish my legacy here, will this be a bad thing for the university in the long run? The only way I can put it for you is that people have their opinions of what went on and everyone is welcome to their opinion," Parker said. 

Miracle on Ice 1980 Gold medalist, former BU player Mike Eruzione had his own opinion, supporting his former coach.

"To me, shame on those people, you coach 40 years you have two isolated incidents. I think it's more a case of our society, rather than the culture of hockey players," Eruzione said.

So too did current BU students, including Daily Free Newspaper student reporter Kevin Dillon, who has followed the scandal from the first and senior Jeanne Manning, of Braintree.

"I think it's unfortunate but I don't think it taints his legacy," Manning said.

Coach Parker said this was his decision to retire and he chose now so earlier in the season, it wouldn't have been like a farewell tour of all the Hockey East arenas.

Monday was his 68th birthday.

He signed a contract to remain with the university for the next few years, to help out with fund-raising.

His retirement from coaching is effective at the end of the season, next up is the Friday night Hockey East quarterfinals against Merrimack.

Tags: CSN, Boston University, BU Hockey, jack parker, Abby Chin
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