Boston College coach Jerry York, the Hockey Hall of Famer who won five NCAA championships and the most games in college hockey history, said Wednesday that he is retiring.
York, 76, told his coaches and players that it seemed to be the right time after 28 years in Chestnut Hill and 50 in coaching overall. He said he is ready to spend more time traveling with his wife, Bobbie, and watching his grandchildren's hockey, lacrosse, and soccer games.
"I leave knowing that it is the right time to go,'' York said in a statement. "The book hasn't closed, but it is time for me to start a new chapter.''
After arriving in Chestnut Hill in 1994 from Bowling Green, where he led the Falcons to the 1984 NCAA title, York guided BC to national championships in 2001, '08, '10 and '12. His 1,123 overall victories and 41 in the NCAA tournament are the most ever.
York was a five-time Hockey East coach of the year, most recently in 2021, and won the national award in 1977. He coached four Hobey Baker Award winners, 17 NHL first-round draft picks and 12 Stanley Cup champions.
"It is difficult to put into words all that Jerry York means to Boston College,'' athletic director Pat Kraft said. "His record as the winningest coach in NCAA men's ice hockey and BC hockey speak for themselves, but it is his humility, decency, unwavering commitment to his players, fellow coaches, and all of us in the BC family, and the quiet ways in which he contributes to this community that make him so beloved."
"He is a legend and one of the classiest individuals to ever coach in college sports," Kraft added.
Following the news of his retirement Wednesday, the Boston Bruins were among those to congratulate York on his illustrious career.
"Congratulations, Coach York, on an incredible career and for being such a tremendous ambassador for the Boston hockey community," the Bruins wrote on Twitter. "Good luck in your retirement!"
A native of nearby Watertown, York went to Boston College High School and then played for coach John "Snooks'' Kelley at BC, where in 1965 he led the Eagles to the Beanpot title and the national championship game. In 1967, he was a first-team All-American and won the Walter Brown Award as the top American-born player in New England. In all, he scored 84 goals with 70 assists while leading the Eagles to a 60-29 record.
York went into coaching and began at Clarkson at the age of 27, leading the Golden Knights from 1972-79 before moving to Bowling Green. He won his first national championship in 1984, then came to Boston College in 1994 and soon became one of three coaches in NCAA history to win championships at two different schools.
In 2012, York surpassed Michigan State's Ron Mason as the winningest coach in college hockey. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 2019.