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April 18, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Hockey names former player coach

After being named the hockey team’s fifth head coach yesterday, Scott Paluch couldn’t even wait for the press conference to end to get the team in shape for next season.

“The players are just as excited as I am to move forward,” Paluch said. “As a matter of fact, most of them are taking off to get right to the weight room. Gotta make sure none of them are late.”

Paluch wasn’t joking, either.

The back of the press conference was lined with the players who came out to meet their new head coach and as soon as the press conference ended the back of the room cleared out and the players headed to the locker room to go work out.

“Everyone has a smile on their face and is ready to go,” junior forward Tyler Knight said. “We’re excited to work out today, and that is kind of rare.”

It wasn’t quite clear why the players were excited to work out, but maybe it’s because Paluch knows what it’s like to be a Falcon.

He is BG’s first former Falcon to become head coach. He was a defenseman for the Falcons from 1984-88.

“I feel like I’m a pretty lucky guy to come back to a program I not only know so well but have been fortunate enough to be a part of a lot of glorious moments here,” Paluch said. “It’s certainly a special moment. And for me it would be a double bonus to witness those as a player and a coach.”

As a player he captured the Central Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season title during his junior season (1986087) and earned the program’s first CCHA tournament title in his final season (1987-88). The Falcons went to the NCAA tournament both years.

Paluch also earned All-American and All-CCHA first team honors as a senior.

“His success can’t do anything but help us,” junior goaltender Tyler Masters said. “He’s someone who has been through the wars and wore the jersey. That gives him a little bit more credibility, that he’s been in our position. The fact that he’s put on the Bowling Green jersey it makes me want to follow him right now.”

Besides playing for the Falcons, Paluch has also worked under Boston College head coach and former Bowling Green head coach Jerry York for the past 12 years. He was a full-time assistant coach for York at Bowling Green during the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons and was a volunteer assistant for the previous two years. He has been at Boston College for the past eight years and the associate head coach under York for the last five years.

“I spoke to the Boston College athletic director (Gene DeFilippo),” said Paul Krebs, Director of Athletics. “He said ‘I know you’re in the market for a hockey coach. I’m gonna give you one sentence: If Jerry York were to leave today, Scott Paluch is our hockey coach. End of conversation.’ Obviously, you have to filter through some of that, but that’s a very high praise.”

Boston College’s head coach wasn’t the only one to praise Paluch. CCHA commissioner Tom Anastos also made his presence known at the press conference and personally congratulated Paluch on his new job. Krebs also said he spoke with former Falcon greats George McPhee and Nelson Emerson and played phone tag with Rob Blake.

“I don’t think there are any secrets to how coaches are successful,” Paluch said. “I think obviously you have to have a firm base of discipline and establish a quality high-level work ethic, and from the hockey standpoint, you certainly want to start with good solid defense in your own end.”

Strengthening the defense is just one of the areas Paluch is focusing on. He is also planning on increasing the amount of forechecking players do.

“I think forechecking is at a premium,” Paluch said. “Players like to play that way and it’s a fun game to watch. There are a lot of teams around the country that are successful that way.”

The players are ready to start the 2002003 season off with success under Paluch.

“This is our last ticket,” Masters said. “We want to win. Knight and I have one chance left. Championships don’t come around all that often.”

Paluch could not comment on whether or not he would keep assistant coaches Dave Smith and Tim Alexander.

“Over the next couple days were going to have some meetings with the coaches and make some decisions,” Paluch said. “It will be a situation that we’ll probably take slowly.”

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