Director of Athletics
Gene DeFilippo became Director of Athletics in September of 1997 and he led the BC athletics program to an unprecedented period of innovation, growth, fundraising, athletic and academic success. His stated goal of keeping the student-athlete at the heart of the program has produced undeniable results. He also led the program through one of the most significant periods in its history as it transitioned to full membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Under DeFilippo’s leadership, Boston College student-athletes’ achievements in the classroom have become an immense source of pride for the University and its supporters. Boston College, along with Duke University, tied for second in the nation for overall Graduation Success Rate (GSR) in all sports among FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) schools, according to data released by the NCAA last October. The 97 percent that both schools registered was second only to Notre Dame’s 99 percent.
In addition, 21 BC sports teams received a perfect GSR score of 100, the most teams with a perfect score of any FBS athletics program in the country. This marked the third consecutive year the Eagles recorded the most perfect scores among their FBS counterparts. In addition, the football team’s score of 93 was one of only six FBS programs in the country to receive a score of 90 or better. Last year, 331 BC student-athletes maintained a grade point average of 3.0 or better, earning the Athletic Director’s Award for Academic Achievement. BC’s graduation rate for all student-athletes has consistently ranked in the nation’s top ten.
"Boston College is, above all, an academic institution," DeFilippo said. "We want to field competitive sports teams, and we want to win, which our teams do. But when we recruit student-athletes, we tell them they have an opportunity to receive a degree from one of the greatest universities in the country, and our mission is to ensure that they are successful. We are extremely proud of our student-athletes' accomplishments in the classroom."
Outside of their academic and athletic endeavors, BC student-athletes are perhaps best known for their devotion to community, as they spend numerous hours helping those less fortunate. In 2010, the BC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee was awarded the National SAAC Award of Excellence in recognition of the community service endeavors of Eagle student-athletes.
DeFilippo has undertaken an impressive overhaul of BC’s athletics facilities that includes new football practice facilities, a total renovation of Conte Forum, including a new sound system, floor and video boards, new soccer, field hockey and lacrosse stadiums on the Newton campus, and an air-inflated bubble to cover the Alumni Stadium turf to provide an indoor practice facility for all sports during the winter months.
Most recently, a new AstroTurf surface and brick work have been added to Alumni Stadium and the Conte Forum weight room and equipment room have been totally renovated. DeFilippo was instrumental in raising money to build the privately funded $27 million, 72,000-square-foot Yawkey Athletics Center, which houses the football program, the Office of Learning Resources for Student-Athletes, and a large function area for general University use. After football moved into the Yawkey Center, BC undertook a multi-million dollar renovation Conte Forum to provide additional locker room and office space for many of BC’s 31 varsity sports.
DeFilippo renamed the Athletics Department’s fundraising arm (formerly Blue Chips) in honor of longtime Athletics Director Bill Flynn. Thanks to the support of more than 4,500 donors, Boston College Athletics completed a highly successful fundraising campaign for the 2011-12 fiscal year. With more than $20 million cash contributed from alumni, parents and friends, the department experienced its most successful cash year ever for varsity athletics when taking into account past years’ totals that included significant capital payments for the Yawkey Center.
Commitments – often a indicator of future cash payments – were also strong with a varsity athletics record of more than $25 million pledged. This includes the largest commitment ever made in support of a varsity athletics team from an alumnus with the announcement of a $5 million gift to endow the head men’s ice hockey coaching position. Additionally, the baseball program received the largest ever one-time commitment from an alumnus with a $2.5 million gift. The aforementioned gifts were among five commitments at the $1 million+ level. They also contributed to the 43 commitments of $100,000 or more. In the last two years, BC Athletics has received 87 commitments of $100,000 or more – a 45% increase over the prior two-year total.
Anne and Gene DeFilippo cemented their commitment to Boston College by announcing their pledge of $100,000 to endow a scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a female student-athlete who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement and financial need.
In athletics competition, DeFilippo has overseen some of the most successful seasons in Boston College Athletics history. The men’s ice hockey team just won its third NCAA Championship in the past five seasons, its fourth since 2001 and fifth overall. The hockey team has competed in five of the last seven national championship games. The women’s hockey team returned to the Frozen Four in 2012, and the sailing team has won 11 national team or individual titles in the past five years.
In football, BC produced an unprecedented 12 straight winning teams (1999-2010), capturing 103 victories during that streak. BC won an amazing 88 games in the 2000s (2000-09, including bowls), tying Auburn and Southern California for 11th among all teams in college football. DeFilippo also has overseen record-breaking success in men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s soccer.
From 1993-97, DeFilippo served as director of athletics at Villanova University. He served as Associate Director of Athletics at the University of Kentucky from 1987-93, Director of Athletics at the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg from 1984-87 and Director of Administrative Services at Vanderbilt University from 1983-84.
His coaching experience includes three years as offensive backfield coach at Vanderbilt (1980-82), which included the 1982 Hall of Fame Bowl. From 1975-79, he was offensive coordinator at Youngstown State University, during which time the team won two consecutive Mid-Continent Conference championships, 1978-79. In 1973-74, he was graduate assistant football coach for the University of Tennessee, coaching in the 1973 Gator Bowl and 1974 Liberty Bowl.
A 1973 graduate of Springfield College with a Bachelor of Science degree, DeFilippo earned three varsity letters as a quarterback in football during his undergraduate career. He received a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Tennessee in 1974.
He was named the 2010 recipient of the New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Martin Williams Souders Award, presented annually to a graduate of a New England independent school who made a distinguished record in sports and who since made a distinguished record in life through his/her ideals, leaderships and accomplishments. Past recipients have included George H.W. Bush, Sargent Shriver, Michael Erizione, Dee Rowe, Bill Cleary, and former BC Athletics Director Bill Flynn.
DeFilippo and his wife, Anne, are the parents of three children – Christine Eldred (married to Matt Eldred), John and Mary and have one granddaughter, Katherine Eldred.
The DeFilippo File
Years School Position
1973-74 Tennessee Graduate Assistant Football Coach
1975-79 Youngstown State Assistant Football Coach
1980-82 Vanderbilt Assistant Football coach
1983-84 Vanderbilt Director of Administrative Services
1984-87 University of South Carolina-Spartanburg Director of Athletics
1987-93 Kentucky Assistant, Associate Director of Athletics-
1993-97 Villanova Director of Athletics
1997-2012 Boston College Director of Athletics