CHN Staff Report
BOSTON It had been the worst-kept secret for a while. Now it’s official.
For years, it was assumed that one day, Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan would become the school’s athletic director, and loyal assistant Jerry Keefe would take over the coaching reins.
That timeline was recently sped up, when Northeastern had a sudden opening for athletic director. Instead of waiting until the next go-round, Madigan decided to pounce on the chance to run the entire athletic department at his alma mater. That was last week.
Though Northeastern did not officially say so at the time, it was assumed Keefe — an assistant for the last 10 seasons — would soon be named head coach. That assumption came true today.
“I’m thrilled for him to have this opportunity to lead our hockey program to the next level,” said Madigan. “He’s been a dedicated loyal coach and member of the Northeastern community. I’m excited to watch his future and to watch our program grow and develop under his leadership.”
Keefe helped lead the Huskies to three straight Beanpot championships, three NCAA tournament appearances, and one Hockey East title.
“I’d like to thank President Aoun, Chancellor Henderson, Athletics Director Jim Madigan and the University Senior Leadership Team for this opportunity,” said Keefe. “This is my dream coaching job and I’m excited to build on the great culture we have established over the past 10 seasons.”
Along with his role with Northeastern, Keefe was selected to coach with the United States National Junior Team from 2018-20, helping Team USA win the silver medal in 2019.
Before Northeastern, Keefe was an assistant coach at UMass Boston (2006-07) and a head coach at Westfield State (2008-09), before his two seasons as an assistant coach at Brown (2009-11). He resurrected Westfield State’s hockey program and led the Owls to a runner-up finish in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) for the first time since 1981.
Keefe was a four-year center at Providence from 1996 to 2000 and finished with 98 points (30 goals, 68 assists) in 102 career games. After leading the Friars with 52 points in 37 games, the highest single-season point total in 15 years, Keefe was honored as New England’s Most Improved Player (1998-99). Upon graduation, Keefe’s professional hockey career started at the end of the 2000 season with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (AHL) and Trenton Titans (ECHL). He spent five seasons playing professional hockey, including a pair of seasons in Europe, before retiring in 2004.
A native of Billerica, Mass., Keefe was a three-time All-Scholastic player and a member of a state championship team at Matignon High School, earning Massachusetts Player of the Year honors in 1993. Prior to enrolling at Providence, Keefe also played for the U.S. National Under-17 Team that won a silver medal in Tokyo, Japan in 1994 and the U-16 team that went 4-0 in Switzerland.