'Parade of Champions' honors BC Eagles, Coach Jerry York
University community hails hockey team’s fourth national title, and honors the coach who made it happen
ByThousands of cheering Boston College students and fans filled the O’Neill Library plaza on Monday afternoon to celebrate the Eagles’ 2010 NCAA men’s ice hockey championship – BC’s second national crown in the past three years and third NCAA ice title in the past decade.
Boston College won the coveted championship trophy with a decisive 5-0 victory over Wisconsin in the “Frozen Four” championship game on April 10 at Ford Field in Detroit.
In addition to unfurling the new national championship banner on the façade of the library building, Boston College Athletics Director Gene DeFilippo surprised the enthusiastic gathering by lowering a second banner – this one signifying the retirement of the “No. 17” Boston College hockey sweater, the uniform number worn by BC Coach Jerry York as an All-America hockey player at Boston College from 1964 through 1967. The rarely accorded sweater retirement is a salute to York’s outstanding career as a player and coach at his alma mater.
“Jerry York, without a doubt, is the best coach on this planet,” said DeFilippo as he acknowledged York’s 38 years as a head hockey coach – the last 16 of them at the Heights. “We want to recognize Jerry for what he has done here at Boston College and the manner in which he has done it,” he said.
“Jerry doesn’t cut corners – and he doesn’t take shortcuts,” DeFilippo. “When Jerry accepted the job here in 1994, the program had gone through a very difficult stretch. Jerry steadily began to restore this proud program to among the nation’s elite.
“He did it the old-fashioned way,” noted DeFilippo, “he went into homes and told recruits that they would play toplevel hockey and get a world-class education. In the years since then, Jerry York and the Boston College hockey team have dominated their sport. Our program is the envy of every college team in America..
“On top of this, Boston College is equally proud of the way Coach York has guided our program,” DeFilippo said, “with a great respect for the long, storied history of Boston College hockey. Jerry has led the Eagles with class and dignity.”.
The victory in the national championship game was the 850th career win for York – more than any other active coach in the sport. His 33 NCAA tournament wins are also the most of any current coach. York has won three national championships at Boston College (2001, 2008, 2010) and his Bowling Green team won the NCAA title in 1984..
Monday’s rally featured a “Parade of Champions” as team members, coaches and support staff rode in a fleet of sightseeing trolleys and followed the Screaming Eagles’ Marching Band, a bagpipe column and BC cheerleaders on a route from Lower Campus up Commonwealth Avenue and onto Linden Lane to the plaza ceremony..
Former hockey student-athletes from past BC championship teams carried the school’s three previous NCAA trophies into the event – with the largest cheer reserved for Giles Threadgold ’51, a center on BC’s 1949 championship squad – who delivered the school’s first national ice hockey trophy up onto the stage at the event..
Boston College President William P. Leahy, SJ offered the University’s congratulations to the team, and Newton Mayor Setti Warren, a 1993 Boston College graduate, told the audience that he had proclaimed “Boston College National Championship Day” in BC’s home city. A number of local and state officials also attended the rally..
The new championship flag and York’s retired number banner will be permanently hung in the rafters of Conte Forum prior to the Eagles’ first home contest in the fall.
To see photos of the event visit our Flickr feed at http://www.flickr.com/bostoncollegechronicle or see a video of the event on our YouTube page, http://www.youtube.com/bcchronicle