Long-time BC Hockey assistant Mike Cavanaugh is set to become UConn's new head coach. This is great personal news for Cavanaugh as he finally gets his chance to run his own program. For BC, it is a different issue.
Jerry York is the man and mind behind BC's sustained excellence the past 20 years. But his assistants were a critical component. Cavanaugh came to BC after spending a year with York at Bowling Green. He has been here for the rise and sustaining BC's dominance. Because he and Greg Brown have been so integrated into BC's decisions, recruiting and scouting, the program was able to continue relatively smoothly when York missed time with his eye issues.
Now York will have to find a new assistant to replace Cavanaugh. I am sure some of his areas of responsibility will shift to Brown and fellow assistant Jim Logue. Others will go to the new guy. Coaching under York is a dream job for any young hockey staffer, so Jerry will have his pick.
Long-term this is probably a good issue for BC. It makes Brown the clear in-house heir apparent when York retires. It also gives Cavanaugh some valuable experience running a team away from BC. Both Brown and Cavanaugh would have been favorites to be the next BC head coach. What might have been a coin-flip decision given their similarities now has real differentiation.
I don't think UConn is an easy college hockey job, so if Cavanaugh does succeed, that will speak to his abilities running a program. I wish him luck except for when he plays BC.