One more win.
That's all it will take for Boston College head coach Jerry York, who has already led the Eagles to four NCAA Division I men's national titles, to become the winningest coach in the history of college hockey.
York is currently tied at 924 wins with former Michigan State legend Ron Mason, who retired 10 years ago,a nd can reach 925 on Friday with a win at Providence.
It would have been sweeter had the Eagles swept rival Boston University last weekend, allowing York to break the mark this past Saturday at home in BC's Conte Forum. Following a 4-2 road loss at BU last Friday, at least he got to tie the record on Saturday with the Eagles' 5-2 home win over the Terriers.
York, a 1967 BC graduate, All-American, and three-year hockey letterman, is in his 41st college coaching campaign, including previous stints with Clarkson and Bowling Green, and won a national championship at BGSU in 1984. Ten years later, the Watertown, Mass., native was back home at the Heights, and after three nondescript seasons, he's been rolling along ever since.
According to USCHO.com, York is 924-559-94 so far for his career, including a 457-224-60 mark in 19 seasons at his alma mater. Since taking the reins at BC in 1994, he's led the Eagles to 15 NCAA Tournament berths, 13 Frozen Four appearances, eight national title games, and four NCAA crowns including last spring in Tampa.
He needs just one more win to stake his claim as the best of all time—and then, like Mason before him, he'll just keep adding to his legendary total with each additional victory.
I was fortunate enough to work two seasons with Mason at MSU in the mid-'90s. Even the vending machines at Munn Arena paid him homage as college hockey's all-time winningest coach. It's a little sad that his career mark will soon be eclipsed. But I'm glad it's being done by a fellow BC alumnus, and especially a class act like Jerry York.
There are so many bad stories coming out of college athletics these days, about coaches who treat their players poorly, couldn't care less about graduation rates, let players run wild off the field and want to win at any cost, above anything else.
York is the antithesis of all that, a genuinely nice guy who puts a premium on both academic and athletic accomplishment. He tells his players that he wants them to leave campus after four years with two things: a diploma in one hand and a national championship ring in the other.
With three NCAA titles in the last five years, all with York behind the bench, BC's success on the national hockey stage has been an annual rite of spring. The best way his current players, acting for all those who have skated at BC before them, can honor their head coach is to help him top the career victory scroll before leaving New England for the holidays.
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