BC athletics in transition phase

Boston College football is 1-2 on the young 2012 season.

It is a time of transition for the Boston College athletic program.

It starts at the top with athletic director Gene DeFilippo, who is retiring effective Sept. 30 after 15 years at the helm. DeFilippo’s stamp on the program is leading their move from the Big East to the ACC, which became official in July of 2005.

Boston College has yet to announce DeFilippo’s replacement.

The Eagles are still trying to fit in with the powerhouses in the ACC. The major sports teams have not faired so well since the move, struggling to keep up with the mighty ACC competition. In 2007 and 2008 the football team made it to the ACC title game, but fell to Virginia Tech both times. Those have been the biggest games for the Eagles’ athletic program since joining the conference.

Many of the major sports teams are in a transition phase themselves.

The football team is currently 1-2 coming off of a tough 22-13 road loss to Northwestern last week. The team still has the ACC portion of its schedule left and also games against Army and Notre Dame.
Coming off of a 4-8 campaign in 2011, the Eagles could be on their way to another sub-.500 record, which would also drop head coach Frank Spaziani’s career record to below .500 since being named head coach in 2009. Spaziani hasn’t been to an ACC Championship in his time as head coach and there have been rumors that he could be on the “hot seat” following the season.

Winter sports to the rescue?

Men’s basketball is in the same state as the football team. After a successful first year in the ACC, and advancing to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament it has been all downhill since. They have not made the NCAA Tournament since the ’08-09 season and following the ’09-10 season long-time head coach Al Skinner was fired and replaced with former Cornell coach Steve Donahue. Donahue has not qualified for the NCAA Tournament in his two years, finishing 9-22 last year. He is still in the process of rebuilding the program his way.

Luckily for the Eagles, they have their men’s hockey team, which has won three national titles since 2008 and has been to the Frozen Four six times since 2004. Clearly the Eagles are in an overall transition phase, but if teams can somehow replicate even half of what York has done with the hockey program they will be in pretty good shape.


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