New Canaan boys hockey coach Bo Hickey retires

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PHi_j0033_2After 20 years at the helm of the New Canaan boys hockey program, Bo Hickey is finally calling it a career.

The longtime coach shared his decision to retire with Rams players Monday night at Terry Conners Ice Rink in Stamford, his hometown. Hickey led New Canaan to an FCIAC tournament championship last March in a 5-2 upset of rival Darien. The team later lost in the quarterfinals of the state bracket to Notre Dame-West Haven, though the program has long been a staple in both postseason tournaments.

During the Hickey era, the Rams claimed 10 FCIAC titles in 15 conference final appearances. The program has also reached the state championship six times.

The New Canaan Advertiser was the first to report Hickey’s decision to retire.

“It took me three or four months to work it out in my mind,” Hickey said. “I thought it was time to go.”

Highlights of Hickey’s career include coaching Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty for one season and a handful of other future pros from the local area. Two New Canaan teams under his leadership went unbeaten through the regular season, the 2010-11 squad (25-1, reaching the state semifinals) and the 1998-99 group (23-1-1, falling in the 37th minute of overtime in the Division I state final to Notre Dame-Fairfield). His 2003-04 team went 24-2.

Ever intent on attributing his program’s success to its players, Hickey continued to point in the direction of his kids, both past and present, upon discussing the news of his retirement Monday.

“I couldn’t ask for more from the people I got it from,” Hickey said. “All we did was win. I coached for 20 years and didn’t score a goal. The kids worked hard. They were like sponges. I must’ve had good kids, because we won.”

According to Rams football coach and close Hickey confidant Lou Marinelli, a unrelenting focus on doing right by his players has always been a Hickey hallmark.

“The thing about Bo is he’s always about the kids. No one will ever know how much money he willingly took out of his own pocket for his program,” Marinelli said. “He’s a dying breed.

“I’ve been here a long time and Bo was with me the entire time. He’s met a lot of kids and coached a lot of kids and it always amazes me when I go to a wedding or a christening because it always comes down to a group of guys telling Bo stories. He’s a guy kids will never forget.”

Categories: General, New Canaan
Andrew Callahan

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One Response

  1. GerryC says:

    This is a shame…A real loss….a loss to all the young kids coming along who will not enjoy the benefit of Bo’s coaching and Mentoring.

    Coaches like Bo only come along every so often. Bob Lynch, Mickey Lione, Paul Kuzco, Sharkey Laureno, to name a few. Those that are lucky enough to play for them and be around them are better people for the experience.

    Bo’s tough exterior with the typical “Chaw” in the side of his mouth, that dismissive chuckle and shake of the head when he knew you were trying to get by on him, those were a disguise to the real Bo.

    His teams were a reflection of him, always prepared, smart, tough and willing to battle you all the way to the finish line.

    Bo’s going to be missed around the league and unfortunately he’s going to be missed most by the next generation of athletes who won’t be privileged enough to learn from him.

    Good Luck Bo, Congratulations on a phenomenal career, and most of all THANKS!