Legendary Boston University hockey coach Jack Parker will be enshrined in the US Hockey Hall of Fame alongside his mentor and one of his most prized pupils.
After Parker got the call from the Hall, he called Ben Smith, another member of the 2017 class, which was announced Monday by USA Hockey.
Parker had played at BU when Smith played at Harvard. Years later, they converged on the BU staff, Parker as head coach and Smith as an assistant as one of college hockey’s powerhouse programs formed.
“Never would have happened if it weren’t for you,” Parker said to Smith.
Parker has a close relationship with another inductee, Scott Young, who played at BU in the 1980s before playing in the NHL for 17 years.
Throughout his 40 years as head coach, Parker developed Young and dozens of others into world-class players, 24 of whom became Olympians.
Rounding out the Class of 2017 are longtime official Kevin Collins, a Springfield native who worked more than 2,000 games as an NHL linesman, and Ron Wilson, the winningest American coach in NHL history with 648 regular-season victories.
Smith led the US women’s national team from 1996-2006, coaching in the Olympics three times.
Under Smith, Team USA won its first gold in 1998.
Parker’s coaching career started right after his playing days ended. He coached at Medford High School for one season before joining the BU staff as an assistant.
He helped lead the program to consecutive national titles in 1971 and 1972, and was named head coach one year later at 28 years old.
When he retired in 2013, Parker had accumulated 897 wins, the most of any coach at a single school and third most all-time. The Somerville native won three national championships as BU head coach.
He is one of three men to win the Spencer Penrose Award as NCAA Division 1 Coach of the Year three times. After he won the award for a second time in 1978, 31 years passed before he won it again.
Parker was inducted into the BU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994, 19 years before he wrapped up his coaching career.
His enshrinement in the US Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth, Minn., at a date to be announced, will be another accolade to add to his long list.
“It’s an unbelievably humbling experience to go in with these guys,” Parker said. “It’s really something for me to be involved with everyone in this class.”Brad Almquist can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @bquist13.