Hockey Fans Mourn Jim Prior, Legendary Voice of BU Hockey
If you have a favorite Beanpot memory, chances are good that if you close your eyes and really focus, you can probably still hear Jim Prior’s voice.
The longtime PA announcer, synonymous with Boston University ice hockey, died Saturday, leaving scores of college hockey fans mourning the man whose voice still lingers in the hallowed, concrete halls of Walter Brown Arena.
An Arlington native, Prior was a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving in the Vietnam War. His professionalism and passion for the sport of hockey, as well as his ritualistic, puck-drop refrain seared into the brains of college hockey fans across Boston and beyond—”The teams are ready, soooooo let’s play hockey”—earned him a spot in the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame.
For 30 years, your voice filled Walter Brown and Agganis. A great man and a dedicated friend. Rest in peace, Jim. pic.twitter.com/11HyNzhLzs
— BU Men's Hockey (@TerrierHockey) July 24, 2016
Sorry to hear about Jim Prior. Can't put my cursor on his favorite picture of him by me, but here are a few pic.twitter.com/Y1ickBO0Xd
— Melissa Wade (@HockeyPhotos) July 25, 2016
“He’s an icon now, since he’s been around so long,” longtime BU coach Jack Parker said in a 2002 profile that’s resurfaced in the wake of Prior’s death. “He’s our guy. He’s been our announcer of record, so to speak, for a really long time, and all of the other announcing he does reflects on his professionalism and enthusiasm.”
While he famously refused to announce against the Terriers, Prior often lent his velvety pipes to the Beanpot and Hockey East tournaments.
We offer our condolences to the entire @TerrierHockey family on the passing of legendary public address announcer Jim Prior.
— Northeastern MHKY (@GoNUmhockey) July 24, 2016
Our thoughts go out to the Terrier community today. The hockey community lost a legendary voice and a great man. https://t.co/5gQ05XopcW
— BC Hockey (@BCHockey) July 24, 2016
Terriers both past and present mourned Prior’s death on Twitter.
Deeply saddened to hear the passing of a wonderful man, the voice of @TerrierHockey Jim Prior. Thank you for all the advice along the way!
— Matthew Grzelcyk (@Matt_Grzelcyk5) July 24, 2016
— Patrick MacGregor (@Patmacc4) July 25, 2016
Crushed to hear about the passing of Jim Prior, was always around to help in any way he could. He will always be the voice of @TerrierHockey
— Garrett Noonan (@GarrettNoonan13) July 24, 2016
One of the nicest, most well respected people I've ever met. RIP Jim Prior
— Cason Hohmann (@cashohmann) July 24, 2016
— BU Roller Hockey (@BURollerHockey) July 25, 2016
Even Mayor Marty Walsh, a Boston College alum, expressed his condolences for the legendary voice of his alma mater’s crosstown college hockey rival.
The BU community lost a legend in Jim Prior, the voice of BU hockey whose love for the game was contagious. He will be deeply missed.
— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) July 24, 2016