The moment a women’s hockey recruit’s skates hit the ice in Conte Forum, coach Katie Crowley draws special attention to two letters stitched onto the front of their jersey: BC.
“It’s an honor to put that jersey on,” she says. “There’s a history to our sport, and they’re continuing that legacy of women’s hockey.”
And to honor that legacy and past alumni, Crowley has her sights set on more than a few national championships in the next five years. Noting her blockbuster 40-1-0 year, the second-best final record in NCAA history, she says, “We’ve learned from that and have been able to grow.”
“We want to win more trophies for our program.” She adds: “I know the alums are proud but I think they’ll be even prouder.”
A three-time U.S. Olympian, Crowley knows the time, effort, and sacrifice it takes to reach greatness, and her formula—pride, accountability, and character—has transformed a sub-.500 program when she arrived as an assistant coach to one of the elite programs in the nation.
In the last four years, 25 of her Eagles—past, present, and future—have represented the U.S. or Canada in international competition, including five players on the gold-medal-winning 2018 U.S. Olympic team. The squad has also made eight consecutive trips to NCAA tournaments since 2011.
But the biggest part of her success has been building a tight-knit culture that brings Eagles back after graduation. Success to her is seeing past Eagles in the arena cheering on the future of BC and women’s hockey.
“Sports help you grow as an individual and hopefully as a contributing member of society. At BC, you need the full package: academics, athletics, and the social side,” she says. “So, we talk about building bridges within the community and within and outside our team.”
Crowley also has a supportive community behind her, including mentors and distinguished coaches like Jerry York and Mike Ayers, for which she’s eternally grateful.
“I take a little bit from past coaches,” she says. “My high school softball coach taught me discipline, how to be a team and be together, and that no one individual is better than anyone else. That’s been a tremendous influence on me.”
Not to mention her two-time Olympic teammate and assistant coach Courtney Kennedy, and also the resources BC has invested in the women’s hockey program, including a new locker room, that has made all of her achievements possible.
Crowley adds: “In the words of coach Jerry York, ‘It’s trophy season.’”