Boston University didn't waste much time in choosing a successor to legendary hockey coach Jack Parker. And the Terriers kept it in the family.
On Tuesday morning, just three days after Parker's career ended with a loss in the Hockey East championship game, the school will introduce David Quinn, a former Terrier player and assistant coach and current Colorado Avalanche assistant, as the first new head coach of the BU hockey team in 40 years, according to multiple sources.
The 46-year-old Quinn was selected from a short list of candidates that reportedly included former Terrier Mike Sullivan and current associate head coach Mike Bavis.
Quinn, a native of Cranston, R.I., was a first-round draft pick of the Minnesota North Stars (No. 13 overall), and played for Parker from three seasons, from 1984-85 to 1986-87. After his junior year, he tried out for the 1988 Olympic team, but was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, temporarily forcing his retirement from the game.
Four years later, with his disease under control, Quinn tried out for the 1992 Olympic team. Although he failed to make the national squad, Quinn caught the eye of New York Ranger scouts, and played 19 games for New York's American Hockey League affiliate, the Binghamton Rangers, in 1991-92. The next season, he played 60 games with the Cleveland Lumberjacks of the International Hockey League, notching 21 points on eight goals and 13 assists. He retired permanently after that season and went to work as an assistant coach for the Northeastern Huskies.
After Northeastern, Quinn joined the staff of Mike Kemp's fledgling Nebraska-Omaha program, earning a reputation as a solid recruiter before leaving to take a development coaching post with USA Hockey, eventually becoming the head coach of the U.S. National Under-17 team. In 2004, Quinn joined Parker's staff at BU, along with current associate head coach Bavis, playing a key role in bringing in the players that won Parker's third and final national championship in 2009.
After that championship season, Quinn left BU to take the head coaching job with Lake Erie in the American Hockey League, where he went 115-94-27 in three seasons, before being promoted last year to his current post as an assistant coach for the Avalanche under fellow BU alum Joe Sacco.
After Parker's retirement announcement on March 11, BU athletic director Mike Lynch said, "We're looking for the best possible guy for the job."
"We're going to look for a guy who has a great deal of experience, not only handling the public pressures of this job, which is a lot different from the job [Parker] took in the 1970s," Lynch said. "There's a lot more expectations, there's a lot more hype around BU hockey now than there ever has been. Jack's handled it well for 40 years, but the next guy coming in is replacing a legend. That's going to be a very challenging opportunity for someone, but we think it's a great opportunity for someone too."
For former Terrier David Quinn, that opportunity starts on Tuesday.