Shocking news emerged Friday afternoon in Chestnut HIll when word came down that one of the most powerful men on campus, Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo, was stepping down from his position and retiring at the end of September. DeFilippo's tenure brought plenty of unprecedented sports success, with his biggest move being the Eagles' conference switch to the ACC.
DeFilippo has had a rocky two-year stretch, however, which was set off by the controversial firing of football coach Jeff Jagodzinski. The good folks at BC Interruption started to assess the legacy of Gene, with the recent missteps fresh in everyone's mind:
Of course, with the good comes the ... not so good. DeFilippo had arguably the worst year of his 15 year career at BC in 2011-12. The BC A.D. came under fire nationally for comments about ESPN's role in conference realignment and his personal role in blocking UConn's entry into the ACC. Back at the Heights, DeFilippo angered Boston College fans and alum with his Twitter gaffe on Clemson attendance and comments on Frank Spaziani's performance following a 4-8 campaign.
Despite the recent history, Brian at BCI writes that Gene is leaving the program in a better place than which he found it:
But it will be DeFilippo's decision to lead the program out of the Big East that will serve as his lasting legacy to the school and the program. GDF certainly managed to ruffle a few feathers along the way, but BC is now well-positioned within the college athletics landscape for success in the future. For this reason alone, I think we can safely say that DeFilippo left the Boston College athletics department in a better place than which he found it.
It's hard to make a quick snap judgment of his entire tenure before it's even over, but the successes of the past decade and the move out of the Big East will likely have history look upon DeFilippo favorably.
For more on the Eagles, visit BC Interruption.