Boston College named Greg Brown its new men’s hockey coach on Friday. Brown, a former player and assistant coach at BC and most recently the head coach of the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints, will replace his former boss, Jerry York.
After York announced his retirement last month, BC set out on a coaching search, but it always seemed to go back to Brown. A Southborough, Mass., native, Brown was an assistant of York (Watertown, Mass.) from 2004 through 2018. He then joined the New York Rangers staff under David Quinn (Cranston, R.I.) for three seasons. When Quinn and his staff were dismissed a year ago, Brown was hired to his first head coaching job with Dubuque.
“I cannot be more excited to come back to Boston College,” Brown said. “I am truly honored to be named coach, and to succeed my coaching mentor and friend Jerry York.”
Brown led Dubuque to a 40-16-3-3 record and .694 winning percentage in the regular season. After securing a first-round bye as the Eastern Conference’s second seed, the Fighting Saints were eliminated in the playoffs by the Muskegon Lumberjacks, dropping both games of the best-of-three series last weekend.
“Greg Brown had all of the qualities we were looking for in the next coach of BC men’s hockey,” BC interim athletic director JM Caparro said.
Brown played three seasons at BC from 1987-90, spending the 1987-88 campaign on the U.S. National and Olympic Teams that competed in the Calgary Winter Games. A second-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres out of St. Mark’s School, he finished up his college career with 40 points in 42 games in 1989-90.
After signing with the Sabres, he played much of his first three years with the Rochester Americans, Buffalo’s longtime AHL affiliate. He went on to play a total of 94 NHL games with the Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets before going to Sweden in 1995. Brown spent the next eight seasons in Europe before retiring in 2003.
Hired by York at BC a year later, Brown went on to help the Eagles win national titles in 2008, 2010 and 2012. When Mike Cavanaugh (North Andover, Mass.) was hired to lead the UConn Huskies in 2013, Brown was elevated to fill the former’s position as associate head coach until his departure to the NHL five years later.
Although Cavanaugh was initially thought to be a candidate for the BC position after York left, he quickly ended that speculation by announcing his intent to stay in Connecticut.
Brown’s hiring came just a day after Jay Pandolfo was named head coach of Boston University. For the first time in five decades both BU and BC had head coaching vacancies to fill at the same time. Both schools opted to bring in former players who understand how much the programs and their rivalry matter.
Like his counterpart on Commonwealth Ave., Brown inherits a storied college hockey tradition in the city of Boston, with high expectations no matter who is behind the bench. He may have just one year as a head coach under his belt, but he had myriad experiences to absorb the lessons and learn from York, college hockey’s winningest coach.