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HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY

On the move to NEPSAC, Austin Prep hires John McLean as boys’ hockey coach

John McLean (center), who was named boys' hockey coach at Austin Prep, is pictured with director of athletics Patrick Driscoll (left) and Head of School Dr. James Hickey.Courtesy photo/Photo courtesy of Austin Prep

Austin Prep will have a new, but familiar face behind the bench when it begins play as a NEPSAC boys’ hockey program for the 2022-23 season.

John McLean, whose vast hockey resume includes four Super 8 championships at the helm of Malden Catholic, was announced as the new Cougars coach Tuesday.

The 56-year-old McLean replaces Bill Pappas as Austin Prep prepares to leave the MIAA for the prep school ranks, a move the school announced for its full athletic program in January. Austin Prep will begin competing in the NEPSAC next winter.

“As with any coaching position at Austin Prep, the best candidate will have the right experience, exceptional gifts, and be mission-aligned. We are fortunate to add an individual who brings a unique balance of these attributes,” Austin Prep director of athletics Pat Driscoll said.

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“Coach McLean’s experience and passion for developing the student-athlete makes him an excellent choice to lead our boys’ ice hockey program.”

Driscoll served as an assistant under McLean when both were at Malden Catholic. McLean replaced the late Chris Serino in 2012 and posted a 118-31-18 in his six seasons with the Lancers, with consecutive Super 8 championships from 2012-14 and another in 2016.

In a statement released by the school, McLean thanked both Driscoll and Austin Prep Head of School Dr. James Hickey for the opportunity.

“Austin Prep is a tremendous institution with a very strong academic and athletic tradition. I look forward to meeting the team and starting the new journey into the NEPSAC,” McLean said. “This is a unique opportunity for our student-athletes to compete and develop at a high level within their school community.”

McLean starred at Arlington Catholic and was a four-year player at Boston College, serving as tri-captain of the Eagles in 1986-87. Following BC, he split two minor league seasons in the Hartford Whalers system between the AHL (Binghamton Whalers, Maine Mariners) and IHL (Milwaukee Admirals).

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He began his coaching career at Boston College and later coached at Merrimack under Serino, who brought McLean with him as an assistant upon taking over at Malden Catholic in 2005-06.

McLean, who is the Director of Player Development for the Islanders Hockey Club and president and owner of Dynamic Skating, has worked as a skating coach and instructor for the Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Austin Prep already had a connection with the Islanders Hockey Club, where Cougars girls’ hockey coach Stephanie Wood serves as women’s director.


Jim Clark can be reached at jim.clark@globe.com.