Boston University Head Coach Jack Parker and Boston College Head Coach Jerry York joined Boston Bruins president Cam Neely and American Hockey League president David Andrews to receive the Lester Patrick Trophy in recognition of their dedication to and passion for hockey.
Although their schools are bitter rivals on the ice, longtime friends Parker and York have helped make Boston a college hockey powerhouse.
Parker, a Somerville native, has coached and been a mentor at his alma mater, Boston U. for 37 years with a winning percentage of .648 and has produced some of the NHL’s finest players, such as New York Rangers and Hobey Baker winners Chris Drury and Matt Gilroy.
York, a Watertown native, went to Boston College High School and continued on to the Heights, where he was a three-year letterman for the ice hockey varsity. After coaching at Clarkson and Bowling Green (where he won his first NCAA title),York eventually made his way back to Chestnut Hill where he has won three national championships with the Eagles, two in the justlast three years.
Although both coaches have won three NCAA titles with their respective programs, their motivation for coaching does not stem simply from winning national championships.
Parker and York clearly take pride in their schools' on-ice success, but care more about their players and the sport of hockey itself.
“There can’t be enough said about either of them, and this is a great way to honor them because of their contribution to hockey in the United States,” said Harry Sinden, senior advisor to the owner of the Boston Bruins.
“If you think of them, both of them, I mean they have just promoted college hockey and hockey in general across this country as well as anybody.”
The Massachusetts natives grew up in the culture of New England hockey and have achieved more than they could have imagined and have made a positive impact on the game, not only in New England, but across the country.
Players from all over want to play on either end of Commonwealth Avenue, because they know that they will be nutured by York and Parker.
As for their personal success, both Parker and York prefer give the spotlight to their players.
“It’s great the kids now can pursue what they love, and make a living out of it, make a good living,” York said.
“I think I am here because of the players who played for me. I mean they did so much for our school and for our sport, contributing at BU and then contributing in the NHL or the Olympic teams, and all the junior programs they played in,” Parker said.