By Sasha Abrams
Boston University News Service
After 36 years as a part of the Boston University Athletics Department, Brian Durocher is retiring as the first and only head coach in the program’s 18-year history.
“It was an unbelievable opportunity. I told people that it wasn’t just a home run, it was a grand slam,” Durocher said after his final game on Feb. 22 when the Terriers lost to Merrimack in the opening round of the Hockey East Playoffs.
Durocher started his time at BU as the starting goalie and co-captain of the 1978 National Championship team, was the associate/assistant coach for BU’s men’s team for 12 seasons and was the head coach of the BU women’s ice hockey team for 18 seasons.
The face of the program for 18 years, Durocher’s position will be challenging to replace. Durocher claimed over 330 victories as the head coach, taking the team to six NCAA appearances.
“Coach D has always seen the good in people,” senior forward Julia Nearis said, BU’s leading scorer during the 2022-23 season. “He took a chance on me 4 years ago and has given me nothing but opportunities here at BU. It has been a privilege and an honor to learn and be coached by someone as special as him.”
Durocher began his coaching career as the assistant coach at the American International College in Springfield, Mass, from 1979-80. He then returned to BU as a full-time assistant for Jack Parker’s staff from 1980-85. Durocher went on to join the coaching staff at Colgate University until 1992 when he moved on to be the assistant coach at Brown University. In 1996, he returned to BU as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the men’s hockey team until the birth of the women’s program in 2005.
“My task in my world was always to keep them loose, keep them relaxed,” Coach Durocher said. “Over the years, I told a few jokes. I’m sure some kids could give you some funny stories in the locker room or things I said, but it was all in the same purpose: to keep them relaxed and keep them playing hard. Knowing that, we could fight through some ups and downs, some adversity, and I believe they did over the years.”
After his long coaching experience at BU, Durocher will continue to help Terrier Athletics in his new role as a special assistant to the director of athletics, Drew Marrchello.
“I will forever be grateful for Coach D and the relationship we’ve shared these past four years,” Nearis said. They truly don’t make them like BD anymore, and I wish nothing but the best for him and his family in this next chapter.”