Union College men’s hockey coach Rick Bennett’s name has surfaced as a candidate for the vacant head coach job at Boston University.
Reports in the Boston Globe and College Hockey News in the last two days named Bennett and BU graduate and NHL veteran Shawn McEachern as contenders for the job, along with a variety of other BU alums.
Bennett did not return a voicemail and text to his cellphone on Monday.
Hiring him away from Union likely would require a substantial buyout of his current contract, which in 2017 was extended through the 2022-23 season.
The BU job opened up when David Quinn took the New York Rangers job on May 23. He had replaced long-time coach Jack Parker at BU and coached the Terriers to 105 victories in five season, reaching the 2015 national championship game, before he jumped to the NHL.
BU sports information director Brian Kelley told the Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont that athletic director Drew Marrochello would not comment until the new coach was hired and that “The process is well underway and we hope to have someone in place shortly.”
The 50-year-old Bennett, a Providence College graduate, won a national championship at Union in 2014, his third of seven seasons as the Dutchmen’s head coach, during which he has a 158-84-32 record and two Frozen Four appearances.
The Dutchmen took a run at the ECAC regular-season title this season before losing to Princeton in the ECAC quarterfinals to finish 21-15-2 overall.
McEachern, 49, is a Waltham, Mass. native who played for Parker at BU from 1988-91 before playing for five different NHL teams, including the Boston Bruins, from 1991-2006.
Since 2010, he has been the head coach at The Rivers School in Weston, Mass., less than 20 miles west of Boston.
He has also served as a college assistant coach, at UMass-Lowell, Northeastern and Salem State.
Bennett’s name had been mentioned as a possible candidate for the open job at Merrimack, but the school hired Scott Borek on April 11.
The day after the Rangers fired Alain Vigneault in April, Bennett was on a “not all-inclusive list of potential candidates” for that job in a New York Post column by Larry Brooks.
At the time, Bennett, who played 15 games with the Rangers in the early 1990s, chuckled off the notion that he was in the running to coach the Blueshirts.
Reach Gazette Sportswriter Mike MacAdam at 518-395-3146 or [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @Mike_MacAdam.
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Categories: College Sports, Sports