Ex-Bruins Assistant Jay Pandolfo Excited About Manning BU’s Bench

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September 13

BOSTON — Jay Pandolfo has been spent countless hours in ice rinks around the City of Boston, but now the Boston University men’s hockey coach will serve at the helm of his own program the first time.

Pandolfo, who was named the program’s 13th head coach in May, previously spent five seasons as an assistant coach with the Boston Bruins before working for his alma mater Terriers as an associate head coach during the 2021-22 campaign. Upon his hiring this spring, Pandolfo became the first Division I men’s hockey coach to win an NCAA championship and two Stanley Cups.

“It’s great to be back. Coming back last year, it was fun to be a part of again. I hadn’t been a part of college hockey for a long time,” Pandolfo said during Hockey East media day at TD Garden on Tuesday. “This year, it’s really exciting. We have 17 upperclassmen, which isn’t typical for a BU team, so it’s helping me a lot and making my job a lot easier. We have a mature group, a big leadership group this year and it’s helping me in my first year so it’s really exciting.”

Pandolfo returned to the college ranks last season after working within the Bruins organization dating back to 2014. The Black and Gold advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in four of the five seasons with Pandolfo on the bench. He initially joined the Bruins’ management team as a player development coach (2014-15) before serving as the team’s director of player development the following season. Pandolfo also played one season for the Bruins during his 15-year NHL career, as well.

Now he’ll look to help the Terriers get back to Hockey East prominence after BU finished fourth in the conference during the 2021-22 regular season with an early exit in the tournament quarterfinals. Boston University now enters the campaign as the second-ranked team in the Hockey East preseason coaches’ poll behind only Northeastern.

“I think the biggest thing for us, we’re not trying to look too far ahead,” Pandolfo said. “I think as a group we feel like we have a really good team and we can go on a pretty good run, but the biggest thing for us is to set the culture at BU in how we want to play and how we want to look every night when we’re competing. And that’s the biggest thing we’ve tried to establish as a group. We’ve talked more about the process and the results. We feel like if we do things the right way, the results will take care of themselves.”

One opponent Pandolfo and the Terriers already have circled on their calendar, though, are the intercity Boston College Eagles. The four-year BU hockey alumni is looking forward to getting back into the rivalry.

“Yeah, I mean, it’s obviously always been a huge rivalry so it’s exciting,” Pandolfo said. “I was fortunate when I was at BU when BC was down a little bit. So I was on the right side of it and more often than not, but I expect it’s going to be very competitive over the next few years. So I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a lot of fun for the players and the fans and I’m excited to be part of it.”

Pandolfo, a 1996 AHCA First Team All-American, served as a captain for the 1995-96 Terriers and was a first-ballot inductee into the BU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.

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