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Bates is BC's Choice for Director of Athletics

University President William P. Leahy, SJ, congratulates Brad Bates at the press conference introducing him as Boston College's new director of athletics. (Photo by John Quackenbos)

By Jack Dunn | Director of News & Public Affairs

Published: Oct. 18, 2012

Boston College named Brad Bates, the director of athletics at Miami (Ohio) University, as its new director of athletics on Oct. 9. Bates, who is credited with bolstering Miami University’s athletics program during his 10 years as AD, succeeds Gene DeFilippo, who retired on Sept. 30 after 15 years at BC.

As athletics director at Miami, Bates oversaw a program that featured the school’s first back-to-back football bowl game appearances in nearly 30 years (2003-2004) and two Mid-American Conference (MAC) championships in 2003 and 2010. Under his direction, 14 of Miami’s 18 teams won at least one conference championship, including football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, soccer, cross-country and field hockey. The RedHawks men’s ice hockey team won a Central Collegiate Hockey Association championship and appeared in two consecutive NCAA Frozen Fours, including the national championship game in 2009.

In addition, Bates implemented retention strategies to raise student-athlete graduation rates, achieving an overall Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 89 percent in 2011, while also raising private funds to upgrade Miami’s athletics facilities — including a complete renovation of Yager Football Stadium — and a new ice hockey arena and softball field.

Prior to being named director of athletics at Miami, Bates served as senior associate AD at Vanderbilt University, where he had held positions of increasing responsibility within the athletics department between 1985 and 2002. In addition to overseeing the administration of all 15 sports, Bates supervised the athletic department’s budget, while leading its marketing, development, licensing and Title IX compliance efforts. 

A graduate of the University of Michigan, where he began as a walk-on defensive back before earning a football scholarship under legendary coach Bo Schembechler, Bates holds a master’s degree in education from Michigan and a doctorate in education from Vanderbilt. He was also a member of the faculty at Miami University, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in sports administration.  

University President William P. Leahy, SJ, praised Bates, who this year served as president of the NCAA Division IA Athletic Directors Association, as an experienced and respected leader in collegiate athletics administration who possesses the background and vision to lead Boston College athletics in the years to come.

“I am delighted that Brad Bates will be our next director of athletics,” said Fr. Leahy. “He is thoughtful, a proven leader, and someone who understands and supports Boston College’s commitment to excellence in both academics and athletics.  I look forward to working with him.”  

Added Bates, “My wife Michele and I are honored to have this tremendous opportunity, and we feel an enormous sense of responsibility to the students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans of this extraordinary institution,” said Bates. “Boston College offers a world-class education with first-rate athletics in one of the nation’s best cities, and its Jesuit, Catholic tradition demands that we seek knowledge in ways that better the human condition and promote student development.  I look forward to joining the Eagle family.”

At Boston College, Bates will be responsible for one of the nation’s premier athletics programs with 750 student-athletes competing in 31 varsity sports. A perennial leader in NCAA student-athlete graduation rates, Boston College has 21 sports teams that earned a perfect GSR score of 100 this past season, the most of any Football Bowl Subdivision school, marking the third consecutive year that BC achieved this distinction. In addition, BC student-athletes continue to be national leaders in volunteer service, with Boston College winning the National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Award of Excellence in 2010 in recognition of the community service endeavors of Eagle student-athletes.

A native of Michigan, Bates and his wife, Michele, were active members in the Miami University and local community, serving as volunteers with Special Olympics, the American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels and the Community Reading Program.