DeFilippo, 47, will succeed former Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk Jr., who was named athletic director at the University of Houston in July.
Introducing DeFilippo at a Sept. 16 press conference in the Shea Room of Conte Forum, University President William P. Leahy, SJ, described BC's new athletic director - only its fourth in the last five decades - as the person who "can best lead our efforts to enable this institution to respond to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead of it.
"He is an individual who is committed to excellence, and to the heritage and values which make Boston College the great place that it is," Fr. Leahy said.
Describing BC as "one of the elite programs in the country," DeFilippo said he looked forward to working with Fr. Leahy. "I think we'll be a great fit," he said.
Eugene DeFilippo Jr. answers questions from reporters at the press conference on Tuesday, where he was introduced as Boston College's next athletic director. (Photo by Gary Gilbert)
DeFilippo said his administration would primarily be concerned with the best interests of student-athletes, "who are at the heart of our program." He said he would strive to ensure BC remains competitive in its broad-based athletic programs, and remains in compliance with Big East and National Collegiate Athletic Association policies in spirit as well as in letter.
"Everything we do will have that recognizable class that Boston College is always known for," said DeFilippo, who appeared with his wife, Anne, and several members of his family.
Also speaking at the event was Faculty Representative to Athletics Prof. Joseph Quinn (Economics), chair of the AD search committee. Quinn said the committee had been "honored and flattered by the stature and enthusiasm" of the candidates they had seen, and was "absolutely delighted with the outcome."
As both a top-level administrator and former Division I football coach, DeFilippo brings to Boston College a wide range of experience on and off the field. Since 1993, he has served as director of athletics at Villanova, where he was named to the NCAA Division I Management Council.
Big East Conference Commissioner Michael Tranghese said that in selecting DeFilippo, "Boston College is hiring an athletic director who is viewed nationally as not only one of the most outstanding administrators, but one of the best people in collegiate athletics."
Previously, he held positions as associate athletics director for external affairs at the University of Kentucky, director of athletics at the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg, and director of athletics administrative services at Vanderbilt University. He was offensive backfield coach at Vanderbilt in the early 1980s, and, previously, offensive coordinator at Youngstown State University and graduate assistant football coach at the University of Tennessee.
DeFilippo earned three varsity letters in football during his undergraduate career at Springfield College and graduated cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in 1973. He received a master's degree in educational administration, also with honors, from the University of Tennessee in 1974.
At Boston College, DeFilippo will be responsible for the administration and management of a broad-based athletic program committed to the pursuit of excellence in both intercollegiate competition and academic achievement. The Boston College program is comprised of 750 student-athletes participating in 33 men's and women's varsity sports, all of which compete at the NCAA Division I level, in addition to a wide variety of intramural, recreational and club sports. Boston College also is a member of the Big East Conference and Hockey East.
At Villanova, DeFilippo has been responsible for the overall operation of the athletic department, including management of its budget, 25 varsity sports, personnel, facilities, fundraising, marketing, promotions, licensing, public relations and broadcasting, among other areas. Athletic distinctions for Villanova during his tenure included the 1997 men's Big East regular season basketball championship; 1995 Big East men's basketball tournament title; 1994 NIT men's basketball championship; two NCAA championships for women's cross country; and the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, among others.
In addition to the NCAA Division I Management Council, DeFilippo was named to the NCAA Nominating Committee, the NCAA Special Committee on Marketing, Promotions and Licensing, and the executive board of the Philadelphia Sports Congress.
DeFilippo brought Villanova radio, television and licensing rights under athletic department control, which, along with his establishment of a new corporate sponsorship program, increased athletic department revenue. The Villanova University Capital and Athletic Endowment also increased substantially during his tenure. Additionally, he established a capital project facility and improvement plan for the upgrading and major renovation of several athletic department facilities; devised a five-year plan for gender equity to achieve proportional balance within the athletic program by the 1998 school year; and developed and implemented several new programs designed to improve services to the student-athlete, including the creation of a student-athlete advisory committee, the establishment of a program to enhance post-graduation student-athlete job placements, and the development of the Villanova PAWS Program - Providing Athletes With Support - which provides academic and other resources for student-athletes.
During his tenure, Villanova student-athlete scholastic averages rose to 2.90 overall during the 1996-97 academic year, a student-athlete was named a Rhodes Scholar, and more than 200 Villanova student-athletes were named to the Big East Conference Academic All-Star Team.
-Sean Smith contributed to this story.
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