For the first time since 1997, Boston College will have new leadership at the head of its athletic department this fall. Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo announced on Friday that he is stepping down from the position he has held for 15 years, effective Sept. 30.
DeFilippo cited a chance to spend more time with family and recent health concerns as the primary reason in which he is deciding to retire.
“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."
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DeFilippo guided Boston College through one of, if not the, most productive athletic eras in school history. The Eagles' hockey team won four NCAA titles during his tenure, the men's basketball team was on the brink of a Final Four appearance in 2006 and the football team was ranked as high as No. 2 in 2007.
The revenue sports of football and men's basketball have suffered mightily over the past few years, however, as was highlighted in a Metro Boston feature back in March. Several sources in the story cited a work environment that was "toxic" under DeFilippo's watch in recent years. Former head football coach Tom O'Brien and former basketball player John Bagley also spoke with Metro in March about the direction of Boston College at the time.
DeFilippo's most notable accomplishment at BC was successfully
guiding the school's transition from the Big East Conference to the
Atlantic Coast Conference in 2005. Controversial at the time, several
Big East schools followed suit, most notably Syracuse and Pittsburgh
this past year.
DeFilippo graduated from Springfield College in 1973 and served time in the athletic departments of South Carolina-Spartanburg, Kentucky and Villanova.