Men’s Hockey: Jay Pandolfo named head coach

Then-associate head coach Jay Pandolfo (upper left) looks at the scoreboard as the Terriers celebrate Dylan Peterson’s (13) first period goal in a 6-3 win against Boston College at Agganis Arena on Feb. 26, 2022. Photo: Patrick Donnelly / WTBU Sports.

By Patrick Donnelly

Jay Pandolfo was named head coach of the Boston University Men’s Hockey team Thursday, the university’s athletic department announced. The news was first reported by Andrew Mahoney of the Boston Globe.

“I want to thank Drew Marrochello and President Robert A. Brown for this incredible opportunity,” Pandolfo said in a statement. “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.”

Pandolfo, 47, is the 13th head coach in program history. He served as associate head coach alongside head coach Albie O’Connell with the Terriers during the 2021-22 season. BU went 19-13-3 last season, and captured the program’s 31st Beanpot title before falling to UConn in the Hockey East quarterfinals.

“This is truly a great day for the Boston University men’s hockey program,” Marrochello said in the statement. “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 takes over for O’Connell, who was announced to not be returning as head coach on March 30. Under O’Connell, the Terriers skated to a 58-49-16 record. 

“We have very high expectations for our men’s ice hockey program and we are determined to have our team compete at the highest level of college hockey,” Marrochello said at the time. “After the conclusion of our regular year-end assessment, we believe that a new direction is needed for our program to achieve our goals.”

As a player on Comm. Ave., Pandolfo had 79-90–167 totals in 133 games. As a senior and captain in 1995-96, Pandolfo had 38 goals and 29 assists for 67 points in 39 games, finishing as a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. He won a national championship in 1995, helped the team to another national championship appearance in 1994, four Frozen Fours, two Beanpots and two Hockey East titles.

“In the hockey world, few are as well-liked and respected as Jay,” Marrochello continued in Thursday’s the statement. “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.”

Prior to returning to BU as a coach, the Burlington, Mass., native was an assistant coach in the NHL with the Boston Bruins for five seasons from 2016-17 to 2020-21, helping guide the team to the playoffs each year he was with the team, including a run to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, and four appearances in at least the second round.

After wrapping up a 15-year professional career, Panfolfo joined the Bruins in 2014-15 as a player development coach before becoming the team’s director of player development in 2015-16.

In 899 career NHL contests, the second round selection (32nd overall) of the New Jersey Devils in 1993 had 226 points (100 goals, 126 assists) between the Devils (819 games), the New York Islanders (62 games) and the Bruins (18 games). He won two Stanley Cups with New Jersey in 2000 and 2003.