Friday, August 17, 2012

Gene DeFilippo Retiring

As many of you know by now,  Boston College Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo is retiring.  I have long been a supporter of Gene and wish him the best in his retirement. I went back to the archives of this blog and pulled out this post from 1 year ago.  I've edited it a bit but the main point is still relevant.

I was sharply criticized then but I stand by it today. Thanks Gene for your service and making Boston College Athletics vastly better than it was in 1997. 

From September, 2011:

We lost today.  I was there and was devastated as the winning field hit the goal post.   I stormed out swearing under my breath at another loss to an inferior team.      But I am old enough to have perspective on this situation. 

The first day I set foot on the Boston College campus was in the fall of 1976, a few days after BC beat Texas at the 20,000 seat Alumni Stadium.   I always knew that I wanted to be an Eagle but seeing the buzz on campus that fall day solidified my decision to come to BC.   I have never looked back.  I met my wife at BC, have taught 160+ classes at BC, have had kids go to BC and live each day with a pride that is BC.  Anybody who knows me understands  the message I am trying to convey.  

Now, to the football situation.   I am disgusted by the comments I see about our AD, Gene DeFilippo.    For all of you that post degrading his accomplishments, shame on you.   During my sophomore year in 1979, our Eagles. were 0-11 playing in front of less than 10,000 people in a high school stadium that was and is Alummi Stadium.   Things improved when Tom Coughlin arrived but he didn't stay long enough to really build the football program.  Who could blame him.   His success at BC brought new opportunities and he became the first head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.   I loved Tom Coughlin   I can still see him roaming the halls, making sure his players were in class.    He was the main catalyst for the expansion of Alumni Stadium.   Without him, we could still be sitting in the high school stadium that was once Alumni.

So then Dan Henning was hired by our then AD, Chet Gladchuk.  Scandals and the inmates running the asylum led to a period of total disaster.   Then, in 1994, Mike Milbury was hired to coach our hockey team.   In less than a month, Milbury quit.   He had no idea what kind of chaos he was walking in to.

Then in 1997, a new AD was hired.   We knew very little about the man but with all the noise around our programs, we were ready for a change.    Since then, what has happened?   Are we better off today?   It is not even a debate worth highlighting.   The man has done a great job.   He lives and breathes BC athletics.  Has he made mistakes?  Of course.  Who among us hasn't?   So continue to bash him and me for my support of him.   He is responsible for the move to the ACC (very lucrative), the Yawkey Center and $20 million of annual fundraising for athletics.   We have 31 varsity sports at BC, more than any other ACC school.   Do you realize our AD is responsible for more than just football?   Do you realize our men and women are nationally ranked in soccer?  Did you know that our women's field hockey team is ranked #8 in the country?   Of course not. So many of you are out to bash the AD that has helped us achieve national prominence in NCAA sports.   So before you start playing the blame game, look back on history because it has a way of repeating itself. 

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