Men’s Hockey: Joe Pereira named associate head coach

Former UConn associate head coach Joe Pereira walks out to Fenway Park before a practice during Frozen Fenway on Jan. 13, 2017. Photo: Ian Bethune / UConn Hockey Blog.

By Patrick Donnelly

Joe Pereira has been named associate head coach of the Boston University men’s hockey team, the university announced on Thursday.

The news was first reported by Mike McMahon of College Hockey News and Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald on May 6, and Daniel Connolly of the UConn Blog also reported the imminent hire Wednesday.

Pereira, 35, has spent the last nine seasons on Mike Cavanaugh’s staff at the University of Connecticut, serving the first five as an assistant (2013-2018) before being promoted to associate head coach for the previous four (2018-2022). He played at BU from 2007 to 2011, captaining the team his senior year and winning a national championship, a Beanpot and a Hockey East title in 2009.

“I’m thrilled to come back to BU,” Pereira said in a statement. “I’d like to thank Coach  [Jay] Pandolfo and Director of Athletics Drew Marrochello for this opportunity. I plan to bring my knowledge and love of the great sport of hockey to this role and help Coach Pandolfo and the student-athletes develop a hockey program the entire BU community will be proud of and support.”

With Pereira’s help, UConn reached the Hockey East championship for the first time in program history this past season. He was instrumental in the Huskies’ recruiting, with players such as Jonny Evans, Ryan Tverberg – the program’s first two All-Americans in 2021 and 2022, respectively – Jachym Kondelik, Vladislav Firstov and more coming through the ranks at UConn. Of the 29 players to have gotten professional deals while Pereira has been at UConn, nine from this season’s group earned professional contracts.

“I’m excited that Joe is joining our staff,” BU head coach Jay Pandolfo said in Thursday’s release. “He is an outstanding recruiter who has established himself as one of the top young coaches in college hockey. As a former captain and national champion here, Joe knows what it takes to win at BU and understands what it means to be a Terrier. He will be a terrific addition to our program and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

As a player on Comm. Ave., Pereira has 27 goals and 34 assists, totaling 61 points in 134 career games. During his junior year, he had a career high five goals and 16 assists for 21 points in 31 contests. As a senior, he matched the point total, while setting career bests in goals (15) and games played (39).

He went on to play two seasons of professional hockey after his career as a Terrier, skating with the Worcester Sharks and Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League in 2010-11 after his senior year before appearing with the South Carolina Stingrays and Idaho Steelheads of the East Coast Hockey League in 2011-12, as well as Tyngsrids AIF in Sweden.

The West Haven, Conn., native began his coaching career as the head coach of Sacred Heart’s club program in 2012-13, leading the Pioneers to a Northeast Collegiate Hockey League Championship.