What a difference a year makes.
Last year at this time, Burlington, Mass., native Jay Pandolfo was preparing for the NHL playoffs as assistant coach of the Boston Bruins. This year, he will spend the summer preparing for his first head coaching job at his alma mater, as the storied Boston University Terriers hockey program announced his hiring on Thursday.
The former NHL forward who won a national title at BU under coach Jack Parker (Somerville, Mass.) in 1995 and went on to raise the Stanley Cup twice with the New Jersey Devils in 2000 and 2003, takes the reins at Commonwealth Ave. after Albie O’Connell (Watertown, Mass.) was fired March 30. Pandolfo, who was hired to replace Paul Pearl (Winthrop, Mass.) last summer as O’Connell’s associate head coach, becomes the latest former Terrier to try and restore the program to its once lofty heights, as BU made it official in an announcement Thursday.
“This is truly a great day for the Boston University men’s hockey program,” BU’s director of athletics Drew Marrochello said. “Jay was an elite player during his four years at BU and then proved to be a consummate professional during a decorated NHL career. He understands the tradition of BU hockey and how important it is to our university, our alumni and our fans. Our student-athletes learned a lot from Jay during his first season here and we look forward to having him prepare them for future success while guiding us to championships. He certainly knows what it takes to win and we’re excited to keep him home at BU, leading our program for years to come.”