Aug. 17, 2012
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Boston College Athletics Director Gene DeFilippo has announced that he will retire from his position on September 30.
"My wife Anne and I have been discussing this decision for some time and we agree that this is the right time for me to retire," DeFilippo said. "It is also the right time for Boston College to have new leadership in the athletics director's position. In light of my recent bout with melanoma, which is treatable, this decision became clearer to me this summer. After the intensity of 40 years of intercollegiate athletics, this change will enable me to spend more time with Anne, my three children, and our granddaughter, Katherine. I look forward to this next stage of my personal and professional life."
After taking a mini-sabbatical, DeFilippo plans to teach courses in sports management and to work as a consultant.
DeFilippo will remain on the job until September 30. Beginning October 1, Senior Associate Athletics Director John Kane will serve as interim director until a successor is named.
University President William P. Leahy, SJ, thanked DeFilippo for his vision, dedication and service to BC Athletics during his 15 years as AD. "Gene devoted himself to building a strong, successful athletics program, one that reflected BC's commitment to quality academics and institutional integrity," said Fr. Leahy. "Doing that has been his passion and joy, and the BC community, particularly our student athletes, have benefitted immensely from his care, advice and hard work."
During DeFilippo's years as athletics director, Boston College won four national championships in men's ice hockey, 11 national team and individual championships in sailing, and enjoyed 12 consecutive winning seasons in football, with a total of 103 victories. He oversaw the successful transition to the Atlantic Coast Conference, considered among the best and most stable conferences in the NCAA, and led an athletics program where the graduation rates of BC student-athletes ranked among the highest in Division IA sports. In 2010, BC student-athletes earned the prestigious National Student Athlete Advisory Committee Award of Excellence in Athletics in recognition of the volunteer outreach and community service initiatives of BC's 750 varsity athletes.
DeFilippo also worked to upgrade the University's athletics facilities, including multi-million dollar renovations of Alumni Stadium and Conte Forum, new soccer, field hockey and lacrosse playing fields on the Newton Campus, an air-inflated bubble over Alumni Stadium for winter practice use, and a new Astroturf surface on Alumni Stadium. He played a key role in raising money to build the privately funded $27 million Yawkey Athletics Center, which included space for the BC football program and the Office of Learning Resources for Student-Athletes, and a function area for University events. During his years as athletics director, donations in support of BC Athletics rose from $5 million annually in 1998 to more than $20 million in 2011.
A 1973 graduate of Springfield College where he earned three varsity letters as a quarterback, DeFilippo served as graduate assistant football coach at the University of Tennessee and then assistant football coach at both Youngstown State and Vanderbilt universities before transitioning to athletics administration. He served as director of athletics at the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg, associate director of athletics at the University of Kentucky, and then director of athletics at Villanova University before being named AD at Boston College in 1997.
"I'd like to thank Fr. Leahy for allowing me to serve as athletics director for the past 15 years," said DeFilippo. "He was always supportive and was the best boss anyone could have. I will always be indebted to him for giving me the opportunity to work at such a great institution."
Gene DeFilippo: Program Accomplishments the Last 15 Years
- Boston College transitioned to full membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The academic record of BC's athletics teams have become a source of immense pride. Last year, BC, along with Duke University, tied for second in the nation for overall Graduation Success Rate (GSR) in all sports among FBS schools.
- Twenty-one BC sports teams received a perfect GSR score of 100, the most teams with a perfect score of any FBS athletics program in the country. This marked the third consecutive year the Eagles recorded the most perfect scores among their FBS counterparts.
- The football team enjoyed the most successful period in its history, earning back-to-back trips to the ACC Championship game (1997, 1998) and 12 consecutive postseason bowl games, capturing 103 victories during that streak.
- BC won 88 games from 2000-09, tying Auburn and Southern California for 11th among all teams in college football.
- The Eagles have enjoyed record-breaking success in men's and women's basketball and men's and women's soccer.
- The men's ice hockey team has won four NCAA championships (2001, 2008, 2010, 2012) and has competed in five of the last seven national championship games.
- The sailing team has won 11 national team or individual titles in the past five years.
- Donations to the Flynn Fund have increased from $5.3 million in FY 1998 to more than $20 million this past fiscal year.
- In the last two years, there have been 87 commitments of $100,000 or more.
- In 2010, BC's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee was awarded the National SAAC Award of Excellence in recognition of its community service efforts.
- Boston College is one of only three BCS institutions that have never been found guilty of a major NCAA violation in any sport (along with Stanford and Northwestern).
- Boston College has invested millions in facilities upgrades, including the $27 million Yawkey Athletics Center and multi-million dollar renovations to Conte Forum, Alumni Stadium and the soccer, field hockey and lacrosse facilities on the Newton campus.
Quote from Boston College President William P. Leahy, S.J., on Gene DeFilippo:
"Gene devoted himself to building a strong, successful athletics program, one that reflected BC's commitment to quality academics and institutional integrity. Doing that has been his passion and joy, and the BC community, particularly our student-athletes, have benefitted immensely from his care, advice and hard work."
Quote from Boston College Football Coach Frank Spaziani on Gene DeFilippo:
Gene has been a great boss and an outstanding leader for our athletics program. Beyond that, he has been a great friend. The school and I will miss him. I wish him nothing but the best. "
Quote from Boston College Men's Basketball Coach Steve Donahue on Gene DeFilippo:
"What Gene has meant to Boston College is hard to put into words. He reinvented the Athletics Department in his 15 years as AD; everything we have is based on Gene's vision. It's very rare that you find someone who has the vision and the guts to follow it. He is going to be missed."
Quote from Boston College Men's Ice Hockey Coach Jerry York on Gene DeFilippo:
"We have had an outstanding run at Boston College and Gene has been terrific for our hockey program. We've had a remarkable working relationship. I wish him the best of luck as he begins a new chapter in his life."
Quote from ACC Commissioner John Swofford on Gene DeFilippo:
"Gene has been a positive figure in the college sports landscape for a long time - a veteran and highly respected AD and a national leader. His contributions to BC, the ACC and nationally are too numerous to name. Gene is a great friend and colleague. We will miss him around the ACC table."
Quote from former All-America linebacker Luke Kuechly on Gene DeFilippo:
"In my time at Boston College, `Coach Flip' not only provided us with the necessary resources to be successful in our sport but he also took the time to individually meet each student-athlete. His love for being AD was easily seen in his passion and support of the sports and student-athletes at Boston College. BC will miss the energetic personality of `Coach Flip'."