March 26, 2013

BU tabs Quinn as successor to Parker's throne

By Andy Merritt

Former Boston University Terrier David Quinn (Cranston, R.I.) was named as coach Jack Parker’s successor on Tuesday, quickly ending the speculation about who would take over for the legendary coach.

Quinn, who co-captained the Terriers as a senior in 1987-88, is currently an assistant on the Colorado Avalanche staff under head coach Joe Sacco, also a former Terrier. He will continue as Sacco’s assistant until the Avalanche’s season is over.

"It's great to be home. I'm a BU guy through and through," Quinn said. "No question this is my dream job."

Quinn spent five years as Parker’s associate head coach, from 2004-09, helping oversee the Terriers’ 2009 national championship team. During Quinn’s half-decade as Parker’s top lieutenant, BU went 123-57-25, and the 2009 team alone produced 10 players who have seen action in the NHL, including Hobey Baker Award winner Matt Gilroy. Twenty-two Terriers were drafted by NHL teams during Quinn’s five years on Parker’s staff.

Prior to BU, Quinn was an assistant for three years at Nebraska-Omaha, and began his coaching career in 1995-96 as an assistant with Northeastern.

Quinn played 94 games over three years (1984-87) as a defenseman at BU, collecting a combined 48 points and getting drafted in the first round, 13th overall, by Minnesota in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. His professional career, however, was short-lived. As a senior at BU, Quinn was diagnosed with Christmas Disease, a blood disorder, and his pro career was abbreviated to 19 games with Binghamton (AHL) in 1991-92, and 60 games with the IHL’s Cleveland Lumberjacks in 1992-93.

He started his coaching career at Northeastern in 1995. The following year, he was hired to help build Nebraska-Omaha’s fledgling program, which started Division 1 play in 1997.

In addition to his experience in the college and pro ranks, Quinn coached the U.S. National Team Development Program’s Under-17 team to a 35-26-8 record over two years, earning him the 2003 USA Hockey Developmental Coach of the Year award. He was also an assistant with the U.S. National Team at the 2007 World Championships.

Quinn’s hiring at BU comes just 15 days after Parker announced his retirement, ending a 40-year career behind the Terrier bench. Others thought to be in the running for the job included Sacco, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL) head coach Jim Hynes – also a BU alum – and current associate head coach Mike Bavis.

Quinn inherits a team that came one goal short of winning the 2013 Hockey East championship, which would have been Parker’s eighth league title. Barring early departures to the pro ranks, the Terriers will return 16 of 22 players from this year’s roster, including leading scorers Danny O’Regan (Needham, Mass.), who will be a sophomore, Matt Nieto, Evan Rodrigues and Cason Hohmann, as well as freshman goaltenders Sean Maguire and Matt O’Connor.

Photo credit: Getty Images

Andy Merritt can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @a_merritt.