Two weeks after losing associate head coach Greg Brown to the New York Rangers, Jerry York hired another Boston College men’s hockey alumnus to fill the void. On Wednesday, the longtime head coach named Brendan Buckley, BC ’99 an assistant, rounding out the Eagles’ 2018-19 coaching staff.
“I am excited to bring back to campus a member of my first Boston College recruiting class and captain of the 1998-99 Eagles,” York told BCEagles.com. “Brendan will bring to our locker room the same energy, tenacity, and passion that he showed on the ice as a player at BC, in his pro career, and as an assistant coach under Mike Cavanaugh.”
Buckley played for the Eagles from 1995 to 1999, experiencing the first few years of York’s tenure. While at BC, the Needham, Mass. native suited up for a total of 158 games, recording 39 points along the way.
Buckley was much more productive on the offensive end of the ice during his final two seasons on the Heights, racking up more than twice as many points as he did as a freshman and sophomore. It was also at that time that he established himself as one of the team’s most valuable leaders. Buckley served as an assistant captain as a junior and then rose to the ranks of captain the following year. In that span, the Eagles won two-straight Hockey East Tournaments and booked back-to-back trips to the Frozen Four.
Once Buckley graduated from BC, he tried his hand at professional hockey. Having been selected by the Anaheim Ducks—then called the Mighty Ducks—back in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, the defenseman began his pro career with the organization’s AHL affiliate, the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks. He never made the jump to the NHL, but was certainly a mainstay in the AHL. When all was said and done, Buckley logged 550 career games between the AHL and European leagues, spending time with a number of organizations—four of which named him either a captain or an assistant captain.
His 12-year pro career came to an end in 2011, following a 40-game season with Ritten Sport, an Alps Hockey League team located in Ritten, Italy. Right after Buckley hung up the skates, he joined Buckley Sports Management—an ice hockey-driven sports agency—where he rose to the positions of vice president and director of recruiting. Four years later, he was hired to assist Cavanaugh as part of Connecticut’s coaching staff.
Over the course of his three-year stay in Storrs, Conn., Buckley worked with the team’s defensemen and was involved with the program’s recruiting efforts. Considering that Brown previously oversaw the Eagles’ defensemen, it’s likely that Buckley will assume those duties this coming fall. Whatever he’s asked to do, it’s clear that he’ll be up to the task.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to come back home and rejoin the BC hockey family,” Buckley said. “Being able to play for Coach York and now work alongside him and the staff is a dream come true.”
Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Editor