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Sharks name David Quinn as next head coach

Mike Grier brings another BU alum to the organization.

Head coach David Quinn of the New York Rangers looks on from the bench against the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden on March 19, 2019 in New York City. Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

This morning, the San Jose Sharks gathered media at SAP Center to announce the 10th head coach in franchise history. General manager Mike Grier took the podium and announced that former New York Rangers head coach David Quinn will be the team’s coach moving forward. Quinn is expected to fill out his staff over the next few weeks.

Quinn, 55, is a former Boston University defender and captain, whose playing career was ultimately derailed by health complications, and despite being drafted 13th overall by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, he was never able to play at the NHL level. He instead turned to coaching, beginning his career in 1993 with Northeastern University as an assistant coach. In 1998, the Rhode Island native joined USA Hockey as an assistant coach.

After bouncing around the NCAA through the 90s as an assistant coach, Quinn served as head coach of the US National Team Development Program Juniors team for two seasons between 2002 and 2004. He ultimately landed back at Boston University, where he served as associate head coach through 2008.

Quinn’s penultimate season with BU was a big one — the team finished fourth in Hockey East’s regular season, but went on to win the Hockey East tournament championship, the Beanpot Tournament and NCAA Championship. His final season, however, was a much different result, seeing the team drop to sixth in Hockey East and failing to defend their titles, missing the Frozen Four for the first time 2002.

Still, Quinn was able to snag a head coaching job with the Lake Erie Monsters (currently called the Cleveland Monsters), the Columbus Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate, from 2009 until 2012. The club tallied a 115-94-7-20 record after three seasons under his leadership, and earned the franchise its first-ever playoff berth in the 2010-11 season. The following season, he served briefly as an assistant coach of the 2012-13 Colorado Avalanche, who did not qualify for playoffs.

When longtime BU coach Jack Parker retired in 2013, Quinn made his return to Boston University, serving as head coach for five more seasons and posting a 105-69-21 record. This is where his coaching career broke out — the team continued to dominate Hockey East, winning two titles, and making the NCAA Tournament for four consecutive seasons. In 2015, BU was the NCAA runner-up, losing 4-3 to Providence. Quinn himself was named as Hockey East and New England Coach of the Year and was runner-up for the Spencer Penrose Award, given to the nation’s best Division I Coach.

In May 2018, he accepted a position as head coach of the Rangers, his first and only NHL head coaching credit to his name thus far. Over the course of three seasons, the team failed to make playoffs each year, including losing in the qualifying round for the 2020 bubble postseason. Overall, the Rangers posted a 97-87-25 record over three seasons, with two admittedly under irregular circumstances.

“David has successfully coached at several different levels in his hockey career, including with Team USA on the international stage at the Olympics and leading the team at the World Championships to the Bronze Medal game,” said Grier in a release. “His experience in developing young players as a head coach at Boston University and at the NHL level over the last few seasons has proven to be effective.”

“His previous NHL head coaching experience is valuable to us and he implements a system that will fit with our philosophy of being a hard team to play against. We are extremely happy to have him a part of this organization.”