Six weeks after firing Alain Vigneault, the Rangers have settled on a new head coach: Boston University’s David Quinn.
Quinn, 51, and the Rangers came to an agreement in principle in the last several days after weeks of back-and-forth talks in which the coach had turned down at least one offer from the team, according to three people associated with the university who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the hiring.
Quinn will become the second N.C.A.A. coach to make the jump to the N.H.L. this year. Last month, the Dallas Stars hired Jim Montgomery, who had been the head coach at the University of Denver. In 2015, the Flyers hired Dave Hakstol from the University of North Dakota.
Quinn will join two other B.U. graduates currently coaching in the N.H.L., the Devils’ John Hynes and the Penguins’ Mike Sullivan. The Rangers’ assistant general manager, Chris Drury, is also a B.U. grad.
For the Rangers, the hiring is the first step in a major overhaul that began in February when the team traded Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash and other veterans for prospects. In April, after the Rangers missed the playoffs, Vigneault was fired.
Vigneault took the Rangers to the Stanley Cup finals in the first of his five seasons, losing to the Los Angeles Kings in five games. The next season, the Rangers finished with 113 points and won the Presidents’ Trophy, but fell to Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference finals.
This season, the Rangers struggled to score consistently and to protect Henrik Lundqvist, their 36-year old goalie, and they finished last in the Metropolitan Division.
After Vigneault’s firing, Quinn became one of the first candidates General Manager Jeff Gorton sought out. Quinn initially indicated he wanted to remain at the university, and told people at B.U. that he was not going to take the Rangers’ job. But Gorton persisted.
Quinn spent five years as the head coach at Boston University, where his teams made the N.C.A.A. tournament four times and lost in the national championship game in 2015.
He built a reputation for developing defensemen and for landing high-profile recruits. Two of the top rookies in the N.H.L. this season — Arizona’s Clayton Keller and Boston’s Charlie McAvoy — played for Quinn, as did Buffalo’s Jack Eichel for one season.
The current B.U. roster includes 12 drafted players, three of them first-round picks, and a fourth player likely to be taken in the first round in this year’s draft.
A native of Cranston, R.I., Quinn was a star defenseman in prep school and was selected in the first round in 1984, 13th over all, by the Minnesota North Stars. He then played at Boston University, but as a junior he suffered bleeding in a leg and learned that he had Christmas disease, a form of hemophilia.
Forced to end his playing career, he turned to coaching. In 2009, he was an assistant on Boston University’s national championship team. He then had stints as a head coach in the A.H.L. and as an assistant with the Colorado Avalanche, before returning to his alma mater to succeed Jack Parker.