Ice Hockey, NCAA, Sports

Jay Pandolfo named Boston University men’s hockey coach

Jay Pandolfo, new bu men's hockey head coach
Jay Pandolfo at Warrior Ice Arena Dec. 29, 2019. Pandolfo was hired as head coach of the BU men’s hockey team, after previously serving as the assistant coach, Boston University announced. COURTESY OF KEN JANCEF VIA FLICKR

Jay Pandolfo has been hired as head coach of the Boston University men’s hockey team, the University announced Thursday.

Pandolfo spent the last year with BU’s program, serving on the staff of former head coach Albie O’Connell as associate head coach.

The head coaching position opened up after the University parted ways with O’Connell on March 30.

“This is truly a great day for the Boston University men’s hockey program,” said BU director of athletics Drew Marrochello. “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.”

Pandolfo, who played for BU from 1992-1996 before enjoying a career in the NHL, is now the 13th head coach in the program’s storied history.

“In the hockey world, few are as well-liked and respected as Jay,” Marrochello said. “Simply put, we hope Jay and his staff find more young men just like him to proudly wear the arched Boston. We were thrilled to have him return to the program a year ago, and he made such an impression that this promotion clearly became the right move for our department.”

In one of the most high-pressure and high-profile jobs in college hockey, Pandolfo is faced with a tall task — re-establishing BU as a consistent contender for the national championship after a series of underwhelming seasons. 

O’Connell led BU to an overall record of 58-49-16, but he failed to bring the team any further than the first round of the NCAA tournament despite securing the program’s first Beanpot title since 2015 in his final season. 

Prior to joining BU’s staff, Pandolfo spent five seasons as an assistant coach for the Boston Bruins.

Pandolfo joins a long list of BU head coaches who played for the Terriers during their college years, but boasts one of the more impressive playing resumés of anyone to hold the position. He served as a key cog in BU’s 1995 national championship and two Beanpot titles, and was named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award his senior season after notching 67 points. 

Rumors and speculation swirled around the position opening at BU, but Pandolfo’s name was consistently mentioned as a potential suitor — in large part because he left his position as an assistant coach in the NHL for a job as an assistant coach at the college level.

“I want to thank Drew Marrochello and President Robert A. Brown for this incredible opportunity,” Pandolfo said. “It was a thrill to return here last year, and to now lead a program that holds such a special place in my heart is a dream come true. Choosing to play at BU was one of the best decisions I ever made, and I hope that the players I coach feel the same way when they complete their careers here. I’m excited to get to work and keep BU among the elite college hockey programs in the country.”

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