The post—which included an article from U.S. Hockey Report—incorrectly gave the impression that Coach Crocker was responsible for all Terrier recruiting during Jack Kelley’s tenure as BU head coach. While Bob was an integral part of the process of bringing talented players to Commonwealth Avenue, Coach Kelley led the effort, building upon the recruiting network and contacts—particularly in Canada, but also throughout New England—he developed initially when he was Colby College’s head coach. His keen eye for talent and matchless coaching skills enabled him to revive the Terrier program in just two years after taking the helm in 1962.
More than just a recruiter and coach, Kelley was a teacher whose knowledge and skills were imparted to many of his players who later assumed coaching positions on a variety of levels. Among them:
Jack Parker–BU; Bill Riley Jr.-Lowell; Eddie Wright- SUNY Buffalo; Dick Toomey-Brown; Wayne Gowing-Wilfred Laurier; Don"Toot" Cahoon- Princeton, UMass; Ron Anderson-Merrimack (NHL scout); Steve Stirling-Providence, Babson, N.Y. Islanders, Norfolk (AHL); Don Lumley-Kent State; Jim Higgins-Princeton; Rich Green-Colby College; Andy Fila, Boston University, Jack Ferriera-Army, (NHL executive); John Danby-high school; Paul Giandomenico-high school; Peter Yetten- Waltham High school; Bob Sylvia-Quincy High school; Bob Martell-Quincy High school; Bill Flynn-Germany, Italy. [Note: if you know someone we omitted, please add a comment below]
One of Kelley’s top players at Colby, Ron Ryan, went on to coach at Penn, Merrimack, Colgate and the New England Whalers, before becoming an NHL executive. And Bob Crocker, who assisted Kelley at BU, coached at Penn and later was assistant GM of the Whalers, prior to his long career in scouting.
Coach Kelley remains one of the legends of BU and college hockey. Following the 1971 and 1972 national titles, he stretched his championship streak to three seasons by leading the New England Whalers to the AVCO Cup title in the World Hockey Association’s first season.