CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- Bobby Jay has returned to Harvard for his second stint as an assistant coach with the Crimson, Ted Donato, The Robert D. Ziff '88 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Ice Hockey, announced Wednesday.
Jay previously served as an assistant from 2004-07, the first three years of Donato's tenure. During his three seasons, the Crimson reached two league championship games, winning the ECAC Hockey League title in 2006. Jay directed the Harvard penalty kill, which ranked among the top 20 in the nation in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
"I'm ecstatic about having Bobby Jay back on our staff," said Donato. "He is an outstanding coach and did a great job for us for three years. He knows our program and league well and has a wealth of experience as a coach and player at the college and professional levels."
Following the 2006-07 season, Jay left coaching for two seasons to pursue a family business in Phoenix, Ariz. He returns to replace Sean McCann '94, who has been named the head coach at St. Sebastian's School.
Prior to Harvard, Jay served as the general manager of the American Hockey League franchise in San Antonio, the top affiliate of the NHL's Florida Panthers. He was responsible for evaluating and selecting all talent for the roster and planning and managing the overall budget for all hockey operations. He also maintained direct communication with the parent club regarding the progress and development of players.
He previously served as an assistant coach with the Manchester Monarchs, the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. He helped the squad qualify for the Calder Cup playoffs each of his two years.
The Burlington, Mass., native played 10 years professionally, including a year of professional hockey in Sweden. He began his career in 1991 with the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League and started off well, being named the team's best defensive player in just his second year.
In his third season, Jay earned selection as an IHL All-Star and helped the Komets sweep all three rounds of the 1993 IHL postseason to capture the Turner Cup. He turned in the best statistics of his career--playing 78 games, netting five goals and adding 21 assists--and was named the team's best defensive player for the second consecutive year.
He moved on to the Phoenix Roadrunners, then the Kings' top affiliate, in 1993-94. He played in 65 games for Phoenix and earned a brief call-up with the parent club, playing in three games for the Kings.
In 1994-95, Jay signed with the Detroit Vipers, where he spent seven seasons as a player and assistant coach. He won his second Turner Cup championship in 1997 and played two more seasons before moving behind the bench in 1999-2000 to begin his coaching career.
Jay starred at Burlington High School, earning Middlesex League all-star honors, and at the Canterbury School (Conn.) before enrolling at Merrimack College for his collegiate career. He walked onto the team his freshman year and went on to play more than 100 games for the Warriors. He shared the Fans' Award as a sophomore in 1986 and won the Unsung Hero Award in 1987.
In his senior season, Jay captained the team to a 34-6-0 record, the ECAC East championship and the school's only NCAA Division I tournament appearance. The Warriors advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to the eventual NCAA champion, Lake Superior State.
Jay resides in Burlington with his wife, Jennifer, and daughters, Addison (4) and Ashleigh (1).