Published: Friday, August 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
In a surprising move, Gene DeFilippo officially announced his retirement as Director of Athletics at Boston College on Friday afternoon. After serving as AD for 15 years on the Heights, DeFilippo decided it was “the right time” for “new leadership in the athletic director’s position.”
“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 in a statement. “In light of my recent bout with melanoma, which is treatable, this decision became clearer to me this summer.”
DeFilippo will remain as athletic director until Sept. 30, when Senior Associate Athletics Director John Kane will take over as interim director until a permanent AD is named.
“Gene devoted himself to building a strong, successful athletics program, one that reflected BC’s commitment to quality academics and institutional integrity,” said University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J. “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.”
The decision came at an unconventional time, as the fall sports season is set to kick off tonight with the women’s soccer team hosting Providence. The start of the football season begins two weeks from Saturday.
Though DeFilippo faced criticism throughout his term as AD, especially in the last three years, he certainly left his mark on BC Athletics in an overall positive way. The man known as ‘Coach Flip’ to many of his student-athletes seemed to have run a clean athletic department, as BC is one of just three BCS schools that have never been found guilty of a major NCAA violation.
His most notable accomplishments include moving BC to the Atlantic Coast Conference, while overseeing four National Championships in hockey and 11 national team and individual championships in sailing during his tenure.
“We have had an outstanding run at Boston College and Gene has been terrific for our hockey program,” said men’s hockey head coach Jerry York. ”We’ve had a remarkable working relationship. I wish him the best of luck as he begins a new chapter in his life.”
DeFilippo also oversaw a largely successful football program during his time in Chestnut Hill, as the team reached 12 straight bowl games up until this year.
Off the field, DeFilippo played a key role in improving BC’s athletics facilities, and helped raise $27 million to build the Yawkey Athletics Center for the football program.