"I am saddened to see coach Pearl go, as he has been a big part of this great institution both as a student-athlete and a coach," said Holy Cross director of athletics Nathan Pine in a press release. "But we support Paul and his family in this decision and wish him continued success."
Donato described Pearl's move to Harvard as a "life-based decision." Pearl lives close to Cambridge and faced long commutes to Worcester.
At Harvard, Pearl will offer the broad expertise of a head coach yet will likely focus on special teams and defense. He will be tasked with restoring the Crimson's power play to national prominence and increasing offensive production from the team's blue line, which combined for a league-low four goals during the 2013-2014 season.
Criscuolo feels that Pearl will offer an immediate "respect factor" when the team resumes formal practices in September.
"Coach Donato has been doing a lot behind the scenes to make sure we're all ready," Criscuolo said. "I think that adding another guy who's known for winning and done a great job coaching will help [Donato] and help us improve individually and as a team."
—Staff writer Michael D. Ledecky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.