More GDF: Gene gets an extension
BC announced a signed extension for Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo. The press release is below and my thoughts are after.
BOSTON COLLEGE EXTENDS CONTRACT OF ATHLETICS DIRECTOR GENE DeFILIPPO
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass (4-13-09)-- Boston College has extended the contract of Director of Athletics Gene DeFilippo through May 2014, University President William P. Leahy, SJ, announced today.
In announcing the extension, Leahy praised DeFilippo for his success in enhancing Boston College Athletics as one of the most successful and respected athletics programs in the nation.
"Gene DeFilippo has provided tremendous leadership and vision to Boston College ’s athletics program, and he is also a great ambassador for our University,” said Fr. Leahy. "I am pleased that he will be with us for at least another five years."
Since arriving at Boston College in 1997, DeFilippo has been credited with strengthening the BC athletics program in a number of areas, including academic support, facilities and fund raising. During his tenure, Boston College student-athletes have consistently earned among the nation's highest graduation rates, resulting in the coveted Athletic Director’s Award for Academic Excellence during the 2007-2008 academic year. In addition, DeFilippo has spearheaded renovations to Conte Forum and Shea Field, added a new field hockey and a lacrosse/soccer field on the Newton Campus, and new field turf and an air-supported structure over Alumni Stadium that provides an indoor winter practice facility for all sports.
DeFilippo was also instrumental in the successful completion of the privately funded 72,000 square-foot Yawkey Athletics Center , which houses the football program and Learning Resources for Student Athletes, and provided critically needed space in Conte Forum for women’s athletics and Olympic sports.
Through his efforts, donations in support of BC athletics have grown steadily, with alumni, parents and friends contributing a record $21 million in 2008, a 10 percent increase over the previous year and a 200 percent increase from 2003.
Furthermore, DeFilippo oversaw the successful transition to full membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference, thereby enhancing the University’s visibility on the national stage and helping to significantly increase athletic revenue in support of BC’s 31 varsity sports.
“I am extremely fortunate in that the only job I want is the one I have here at Boston College ,” said DeFilippo. "I look forward to working with Fr. Leahy and the University community, our student-athletes and staff towards our goal of making BC Athletics the best it can be.”
Prior to coming to Boston College , DeFilippo served as director of athletics at Villanova University from 1993-1997 and has worked in athletics administration at the University of Kentucky , the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg , and Vanderbilt University . He also coached football at Vanderbilt, Youngstown State University and Tennessee .
A 1973 graduate of Springfield College with a bachelor of science degree, DeFilippo earned a master's degree in educational administration from the University of Tennessee in 1974.
DeFilippo and his wife, Anne, are the parents of three children: Christine, John and Mary.
During the Jags firing I found myself at the center of a lot of BC speculation, gossip and positioning. While it was clear Gene had Father Leahy's ear and support, he is not universally loved and supported. There are many serious donors who have been turned off by him and who felt he mishandled the Jags firing and subsequent search. Some friends of Gene also wondered if the whole saga hadn't taken a lot out of him and if he would hang it up before his contract ran out. This extension brings more clarity to all the speculation. Gene obviously still has enough support around BC to get this extension. And he seems like he wants to hang around BC for a few more years.
Personally I think the extension was premature. Gene is currently under contract until 2011. Was he going anywhere? Did we need to give him more money given the current ticket sales and donation challenges? Also, what happens if the Spaz decision proves to be a poor one? Gene will get much of the blame for that. If things don't go well that means we could be buying out a football coach and AD.
At the end of the day I think Gene has been a good AD. But this premature extension speaks to some of the same issues that have surrounded his tenure: he has too much power and is unchecked in his decisions too often.
Regardless of the money, politics or personality, this now means Gene will probably hire our next football coach, basketball coach and hockey coach. Let's hope he gets wise with age and leaves us in good hands.
Labels: Gene D