By Tim Healey/DFP Staff
When Steve Greeley starts as the Boston University men’s hockey team’s assistant coach Monday, there will be one unofficial order of business that will need taking care of: getting his family some new apparel.
Greeley’s wife, Lauren, is a Boston College graduate, and his sister, Megan, is a rising sophomore. His father, also named Steve, coaches BC’s club hockey team.
Needless to say, the new coach and member of BU’s Class of 2004 is looking for a lot less maroon and gold in their wardrobes.
“I have to get them all back on board here,” Greeley said with a laugh. “We’ll have them in the seats wearing red and white soon. … They’re going to have to [be BU fans again]. They’re going to have to. My family has got a lot of BC in them, I’ll tell you that much.”
Whether or not the others are ready to move their allegiances down Comm. Ave., Greeley is starting his new gig July 1, just days after formally accepting the job Wednesday night, he told The Daily Free Press Thursday afternoon.
After playing for four years under Jack Parker, during which time the Terriers won two Beanpot championships and made two NCAA tournament appearances, Greeley spent a season in the ECHL.
He has worked for the Los Angeles Kings for the last six years, first as a college scout and more recently as a pro scout. When head coach David Quinn sought permission from the Kings in late April to talk to Greeley, then reached out to Greeley himself, things came together pretty quickly.
“One thing led to another,” said Greeley, a Scituate native who played his high school hockey at Milton Academy (Milton) and Thayer Academy (Braintree). “I’m thrilled to be going back to BU. I’m excited to work for David Quinn. It’s a great opportunity.”
Although he will hold a slightly different title — assistant coach, not associate head coach — Greeley is in effect replacing Mike Bavis, who resigned in the spring after spending 15 seasons on the Terrier coaching staff.
Greeley confirmed assistant coach Buddy Powers will also return.
“Mike Bavis is a great friend of mine, and I’ve had some great conversations with him as well about the job and about the school and everything,” Greeley said.
Recruiting will be one of Greeley’s main tasks, and he’s not wasting any time. At 6 p.m. Monday, he is flying to Buffalo, N.Y. to watch the U.S. Youth Select 17 development camp in Williamsville.
While Greeley doesn’t have experience recruiting youngsters to a college program, he doesn’t expect too much of a learning curve. He spent the beginning of his tenure with the Kings “recruiting” college free agents to Los Angeles, and he said the two tasks are comparable.
With the Kings, he had to sell the organization — including player development, facilities and the coaches — to college players looking to go pro, a goal similar to what he’ll be doing with BU.
“You’re still recruiting kids that are going to be professional athletes, and you have to convince them that your place is the right spot,” Greeley said. “That’s no different than trying to convince a kid or a family why BU is the best opportunity for them. I think experience-wise I don’t have a lot to learn trying to tell players and families why BU is such a great place.”
Greeley will have plenty of adjusting to do in the coming months — adjusting to the travel, his Agganis Arena office, his family’s conversion — but he is excited, to say the least, about the new opportunity.
“I never thought much about coaching. I kind of carved a little path in the NHL and things were going great there,” Greeley said. “As soon as I knew this was an opportunity, I knew in one night it was what I wanted to do. I think there’s something to be said for working with a college, and to BU is a pretty special place. I’ve made some great friendships here, and I want to be a part of it again.”