Here is a list of the “Top 10 Athletic Directors in Basketball”. Two ACC athletic directors made the list, but for some reason the author forgot to include Lee “I know basketball” Fowler. There is a suggestion on that site (not from us) for the author to come up with a list of the 10 worst Athletic Directors, so stay tuned.
I follow what happens at Boston College now that Tom O’Brien is our football coach and there have been some interesting occurrences that were worth discussing in relation to NC State.
After two straight appearances in the ACC title game, Boston College Athletic Director Gene Defilippo recently fired Jeff Jagodzinski for interviewing for the New York Jets’ head coaching position. That led to promoting long-time defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani which was not necessarily popular among BC faithful.
This week Boston College announced an extension through 2014 for Defilippo which was met with mixed reviews by BC fans. Here is some commentary from a BC blogger:
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.
If you remember way back to April of 2007, then our own Lee Fowler was granted an extension through 2013 with a basketball program and football program far less successful than either of the respective programs at Boston College.
Since Defilippo’s hiring in 1997, BC’s basketball program has been to at least 8 NCAA tournaments, won 3 regular season Big East titles, and won 1 Big East Tournament title. In the meantime, the football program has the 21st best overall winning percentage in the nation, 1 Big East title, 2 Atlantic Division titles, a tie for 1st place in the Atlantic Division, and has never finished lower than 2nd.
At the time of Fowler’s extension, NC State basketball program had been to 5 tournaments in 7 years, had won 0 ACC regular season titles and 0 ACC Tournament titles. In football, NC State only had the 46th best overall winning percentage, no conference titles, and no Atlantic Division titles. In fact, we had just gone 2-6 in the ACC and finished in last place in the Atlantic Division which was our worst overall season in about a half century.
So given these huge differences in terms of accomplishments (not counting BC’s two national titles in hockey, 2 runner-up finishes, and 2 other trips to the Frozen Four during Defilippo’s tenure), after a 3 year extension Defilippo is at BC currently with a 5 year contract. Compare that to Fowler who at the time received a 3 year extension from NC State giving him a 6 year contract.
I thought the differences in results for Defilippo and Fowler and the two extensions were worth noting and comparing. What criteria was used by NC State that led them to the offering of a longer extension for a far less successful employee? The BC blogger brought up some great questions and the point about having to buyout the contracts of two major employees at the same time can also be asked/applied to the situation surrounding Fowler’s extension as well.
Some more comments from the BC blogger:
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.
In news today that made the Boston Globe, the largest donor to the football program has resigned from the Board of Trustees.
The job may have gotten tougher with the resignation of Greg Barber, a member of the Board of Trustees.
Barber’s relationship with Boston College dates more than 40 years. His connection with BC athletics is not quite as long, but just as significant, highlighted by the Gregory P. Barber and Family Endowment for the Head Football Coach, a gift of $2.5 million, the largest contribution ever at The Heights. Add another $1 million gift for the construction of the Yawkey Athletic Center, and Barber, BC ’69, has made a significant financial contribution to his alma mater.
But last week, Barber quietly resigned from the 20-member board. He began contributing to the athletic program – primarily football – when Rev. J. Donald Monan, S.J., was the school’s president and Chet Gladchuk was the athletic director, which led to an endowment for the head football coach.
During the past few years, however, Barber has maintained a much lower profile. When asked yesterday why he was resigning, Barber said, “No comment.”
When asked if he intended to maintain the flow of contributions, now in the $4.5 million range, Barber said he had not made up his mind.