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The announcement came as a  surprise, not a shock.

It was done--in a style so typical of the man--without fanfare, without the belles and whistles which are now being rung as Jerry York moves into the next phase of his life, ending his tenure as the Boston College men's hockey coach.

In the fast paced, often cut-throat world of college athletics, iconic figures sometimes fall, sometimes the cost for greatness is paid off in other areas.

York, whose career resume will include a staggering NCAA record 1,123 wins in 50 seasons, the last 28 at Boston College with four national championships, was the complete package.

The cliche, which is sometimes offered during tributes, is that the person than he was a coach.

With York, a former Boston  College High School, as well as Boston College student, and the Eagles' hockey coach for the past 28eseasons, that statement tings true.

It is impossible NOT to like York, who turned BC into the football equivalent of Alabama and the basketball equivalent to UCLA, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas in basketball.

When York returned to The Heights in 1994 after coaching stops at Clarkson and Bowling Green, where he coached for 15 years and won his first national championship, his mission was clear.

Put the Eagles on the map in a sport where they had a better than even chance of making a major statement.

But what made York different was that he was every bit a BC FAN as much as he was a coach.

I've known Jerry since he came back to Boston in 1994, more on the golf course and seeing him at BC football games on Saturday where he would stop in the press box just to say hello to people.

He would ask about not only the BC football team, but which teams were legitimate national contenders.

It was the same in the other sports at BC, where York would just show up, make a phone call.  He was genuinely interested

That was and is Jerry York.

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 His passion was clear in everything he did, even when he would grumble about the demise of his short game when he challenged the course at the Woodland Golf Club.

He was more than a hockey coach, who turned BC into a dominant national power the past 20 years, with four national championships and a steady pipe liner of players that fed Stanley Cup championship and Olympic teams as well as throughout the NHL.

"He never changed,'' said his long time friend, Jack Magee, who has known York for 60 years. ""He's the same person then that he is now. I don't know anyone who is more comfortable in his own skin than Jerry York.

Magee, also a BC alum, tells the story of when York was a recruiting a prospect for the Eagles, which included dinner with the recruits family.

York finished the trip, said his good-byes, but came up with this assessment, which did NOT include a scholarship offer.

When asked what happens, York was direct, "I will never sign a kid, who is rude to his mother,'' York reportedly said.

York's style, like his personality, has been low key, which is why there was never any farewell tour in York's last season, even though it had to be a subject of discussion for the 76 year old York and his wife Bobbie.

York would have loved to end his career with another championship run, but this was a retooling season for the Eagles, who finished with a rare 15-18-5 losing record.

It was also an Olympic season, in which the BC roster was again picked clean.

But that is a minor speed bump on what has been a remarkably smooth journey.

For York, there is talk of travel, more golf.

There also will be hockey, as a fan, but York has made it clear that he has no problems letting BC athletic director Pat Kraft deal with that issue.

There will no shortage of candidates, with BC associate head coaches Ayers and Brendon Buckley among the contenders. Nor is there a lack of candidates in New England, with UMass-Lowell, UMass-Amherst, UConn and Providence all having head coaches with the proper pedigree that BC hockey merits.

But no one BC hires will be able to match what Jerry York has provided.