Jim Calhoun decided to step away from the sidelines for good on Thursday afternoon, leaving behind one of the greatest college coaching resume in New England sports history.
Calhoun started his head coaching career in Boston, leading Northeastern to four America East titles in five years from 1982-1986. From there Calhoun moved onto the court in Storrs, Conn. where he led UConn to 18 NCAA tournament appearances, 13 Sweet 16s, four Final Four appearances and three national titles — most recently in 2011. A successful career no doubt, but was he the greatest coach to sit on the bench for a local college team?
Tom Coughlin had a few successful seasons on the Heights at Boston College. Coughlin led the Eagles back to nation prominence after taking over in 1990, going 41-39 over his four year career on the sidelines. He also led the Eagles to a 9-3 record in his final season, highlighted by a win over No. 1 ranked Notre Dame which ruined their undefeated season.
The other recognizable coach from BC, and much more notably in the Boston area, would be that of hockey coach Jerry York. Since taking over the Eagles program in 1993, BC has steadily risen past the rest of the college hockey world with a string of 13 NCAA tournament appearances, 10 Frozen Fours and four national titles. York is seen as the preeminent coach in all of college hockey, given his track record. But if there were a rival for that honor, only one man could arguable unseat him.
Jack Parker has coached at Boston University since 1973, leading BU's hockey program into a place of national dominance for much of that stretch. He's had a very successful run over the years, winning 21 Beanpot titles and three national championships while fighting off York and the Eagles at every turn. One of the classiest coaches in all of sports, Parker has left a significant dent on the college coaching scene in New England.
With Calhoun's days finally numbered and some great company to keep, who do you think is New England's best college coach?