This holiday used to be about Washington and Lincoln. Now it is a catch all for every U.S. president. Allow me to further tweak it by honoring Boston College’s current President, William P. Leahy, SJ.
It is not easy replacing a legend. Leahy’s predesscor, Father Monan was an icon at BC and often aknowledged as the savior of the school. When Leahy took over I don’t think anyone worried that he would keep the academic or fundraising aspects of the school on track. However, many wondered what this supposed sport novice would do to the Athletic Department. It didn’t take long to test him as the football and basketball teams had full off the field meltdowns in Leahy's first year. The way he handled both, the two important coaches he hired (TOB and Skinner) without any real input from our then lame-duck athletic director, and the ACC expansion will be Leahy’s lasting legacy with BC sports. For all the complaints I (and other BC fans) have about BC athletics, there is no denying that since Leahy’s hire, BC has produced numerous quality and championship teams and poured millions of dollars into our athletic facilities.
I’ve spoken to Leahy (albiet briefly) about BC sports. I don’t think he could tell you what happened in the overtime of the 1997 BC-Miami game…and I don’t think he gets nearly as frustrated or emotional as I do during games, but he does care about the team, the coaches and the fans. His care and his administrations continued support is appreciated.
I’ve seen plenty of highs and lows, but I would like to thank Father Leahy for his leadership and the success of BC athletics.