Albie O'Connell – HEAD COACH
After helping the Terriers achieve success on the ice as both a player and an assistant coach, Albie O'Connell (CAS'99) was named the 12th head coach in the storied history of the Boston University men's ice hockey program on June 5, 2018.
The captain of the 1998-99 squad, O'Connell returned to BU in 2014 to join David Quinn's staff and was promoted to associate head coach one year later. He replaced Quinn, who was named head coach of the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League in May 2018.
O'Connell is the only current Division I men's head coach who has captured a conference regular-season title, won a conference tournament championship and reached the NCAA title game as both a player and a coach. In his combined eight years on Commonwealth Ave., O'Connell has been a part of seven NCAA Tournament appearances, seven Hockey East titles (four regular season, three tournament), five Beanpot titles, three Frozen Fours and two national championship games.
O'Connell continues a long legacy of BU alumni who have led the program, as a Terrier has held the head-coaching role in 72 of the 73 seasons that have taken place since the end of World War II.
"We aspire to have the best program in college hockey," said director of athletics Drew Marrochello, "which means that we want nothing less than the best for our university, our alumni, our fans, and most importantly our student-athletes. In promoting Albie, we believe we have secured the best possible coach to lead our program at its elite level for many years to come.
"Albie is well-regarded, well-respected and well-prepared for this opportunity. As a former Terrier captain and Boston University graduate, he understands the magnitude of BU Hockey, and has a clear and aspirational vision for how we will continue to provide a first-class experience to our student-athletes."
During the past four years with O'Connell on staff, the Terriers qualified for the NCAAs each season, the program's longest streak since going to nine straight in the 1990s. After finishing as the national runner-up in 2015 along with Beanpot and Hockey East titles, BU reached the NCAA quarterfinals in both 2017 and 2018 and will enters the 2018-19 season as the defending Hockey East champion.
O'Connell has helped develop numerous Terriers into NHL-ready talent, including Olympian Jordan Greenway, All-Americans Jack Eichel, Matt Grzelcyk, Charlie McAvoy and Danny O'Regan, and 2017 NCAA rookie of the year Clayton Keller.
Prior to his return to BU, O'Connell spent a decade as a Division I assistant coach throughout the Northeast and established himself as one of the sport's premier recruiters. Following three-year stints at both Northeastern and Harvard, he spent one season each at Holy Cross and Merrimack after a two-year appointment at Niagara.
The Watertown, Massachusetts, native's coaching career began at Berkshire Prep School in 2002 before he joined the collegiate coaching ranks the following year at Colby College.
"Simply put, this is the opportunity of a lifetime," said O'Connell. "I'd like to thank Drew Marrochello, President Robert A. Brown and senior vice president Todd Klipp for entrusting me with a program that means the world to me.Read more »
PAUL PEARL – ASSOCIATE HEAD COACHPaul Pearl, a 28-year Division I coaching veteran, joined the Boston University men's ice hockey staff as the associate head coach on June 22.
Most recently the associate head coach at Harvard for four seasons, Pearl joined the Crimson after a 19-year stint as the head coach at his alma mater, Holy Cross.
Pearl replaces Albie O'Connell, who was promoted to head coach of the Terriers on June 5.
"We couldn't be more excited to have Paul join our staff," said O'Connell. "Paul is one of the best coaches and recruiters in all of college hockey. He has a great experience developing high level student-athletes both on and off the ice, and his passion, personality and experience will allow him to hit the ground running."
"I am excited and humbled to become part of the Boston University men's ice hockey program," said Pearl. "Having the opportunity to working with Albie, Len and the rest of the staff here is truly exciting and I can't wait to get started. BU's tradition of excellence is something I have always admired."
During Pearl's four years at Harvard, the Crimson made three straight NCAA tournaments (2015, 2016, 2017) and reached the ECAC championship game all three of those seasons, winning twice (2015 & 2017). Harvard also shared the 2017 Cleary Cup as ECAC regular-season champions. Crimson players accumulated six All-America honors – five first-team – while Pearl was on staff, including Jimmy Vesey, who won the 2016 Hobey Baker Award.
The 2016-17 campaign was one of the best in Harvard's storied history as the Crimson claimed their first Beanpot title since 1993 in addition to their ECAC crowns and advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four for the first time in 23 years. Harvard posted 28 victories that season, the most since winning the national championship in 1989.Read more »
LEN QUESNELLE – ASSISTANT COACH
Len Quesnelle, a 25-year NCAA coaching veteran and most recently an amateur scout for the Detroit Red Wings, is now an assistant coach for the Boston University men’s ice hockey team.
Quesnelle, who was a standout defenseman at Princeton and later served as head coach of the Tigers, has spent the past four years with the Red Wings after a nine-season stint as an assistant coach at Massachusetts.
Following graduation, he joined Princeton’s coaching staff as an assistant and remained in that role for 12 years before becoming the program’s 14th head coach in 2000. His final nine seasons as an assistant were under head coach Don Cahoon, a standout on BU’s first two national championship teams in 1971 and 1972.
At the helm, Quesnelle became the first coach in Princeton history to lead the Tigers to consecutive seasons of .500-or-better records in ECAC play.
Quesnelle moved to Hockey East in 2004 when he reunited with Cahoon as an assistant coach at UMass. In Amherst, Quesnelle was key in the recruitment and development of five of the program’s top 10 all-time scorers and led the Minutemen to their first NCAA Tournament appearance, as the 2006-07 team came within one game of reaching the Frozen Four.
With the Red Wings, Quesnelle’s primary scouting area was high school, junior and NCAA hockey throughout New England.
He has served as director of the Western Massachusetts Hockey School and Preseason Position Camp, as well as the Princeton University Hockey Camp, and is a frequent speaker and instructor at camps throughout North America.Read more »