December 29, 2012

BC's York now stands alone atop all-time wins list

By Jesse Connolly

BC captain Pat Mullane presented Jerry York with the game puck following his record-breaking victory on Saturday night. (Dave Arnold Photography)

For fans anxious to see Jerry York (Watertown, Mass.) become the winningest coach in the history of college hockey, December has felt like a decidedly long month.

With York one shy of tying Ron Mason’s record of 924 victories, Boston College’s schedule seemed set up perfectly going into a home-and-home set with their archrivals, the BU Terriers. But Boston University threw a wrench in their plans with a victory Nov. 30 at Agganis Arena, tossing the possibility of York making history on home ice the next night out the window.

The Eagles thumped the Terriers by a score of 5-2, pushing York into a tie with Mason, but they squandered their lone opportunity before the holiday break to make history, blowing a late lead in a 3-3 tie down in Providence.

Twenty-two days later, however, the wait to see York sit alone atop the all-time wins list doesn’t seem that long when you consider the milestone is over 40 years in the making.

BC took care of business against Alabama-Huntsville in the Mariucci Classic out in Minnesota on Saturday night. Their 5-2 victory was York’s 925th, officially pushing him past Mason, who he succeeded at Bowling Green 33 years ago.

"He deserves all the accolades," BU coach Jack Parker said earlier this month. "He's a very good coach who's run great programs at three different places, and has done an unbelievable job making this program the best it's ever been.”

York’s head coaching career began in 1972 at Clarkson, where he won 125 games. At Bowling Green he nearly tripled that total, going 342-248-31 before coming home to his alma mater, BC, in 1994. The Eagles have gone 458-224-61 during York’s illustrious tenure, which includes four national championship, three of which have come in the past five seasons.

“Congratulations to coach York on becoming the winningest coach!” freshman defenseman Michael Matheson tweeted. “Honored to be a part of #BCHockey.”

Many of York’s former players, including defenseman Bobby Allen, also took to Twitter to salute the coach for his accomplishment.

“Proud to say I played for the best,” Allen wrote. “Jerry York. Class personified.”

The Eagles (12-2-1) will aim to give York his 926th career victory on Sunday when they take on the No. 4 team in the nation, Minnesota.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.