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BC extends DeFilippo

Posted by Mark Blaudschun, Globe Staff  April 13, 2009 02:06 PM

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In a year which began with a major speed bump in January when he fired football coach Jeff Jagodzinski, since the things have smoothed out considerably for Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo today when the school announced that DeFilippo’s contract had been extended two more years through May 2014. The deal had been in the works for the past several weeks, but was not finalized until today.

‘‘I’m thrilled,’’ said DeFilippo yesterday. ‘‘This is the good. It’s been a good decade and I hope it gets better.’’

In making the announcement, Boston College President Father William Leahy said that DeFilippo had provided ‘‘tremendous leadership and vision.’’

This year, some of that vision was clouded by tears of frustration and anger as DeFilippo went through the process of firing Jagodzinski, someone he considered a friend, after only two years, both of which had produced ACC division titles.

Ostensibly, Jagodzinski, who moved back into the NFL as the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was fired because he went against a direct DeFilippo edict of taking to the New York Jets about their opening for head coach.

That moved precipitated a shake up in the football staff, which resulted in the hiring of long time defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani.

DeFilippo has also been the front man for BC on the switch from the Big East to the ACC, which has led to increased revenues and, according to BC, a 200 percent increase in donations from 2003 to 2008 when BC reported a donation total of $21 million.

DeFilippo, who came to BC from Villanova in 1997, has had other inquires during the past few years—most notably from Notre Dame and Tennessee—but has chosen to stay at BC and guide the Eagle program through the sometime turbulent waters which came with the switching of conferences.

He also has made changes in women’s basketball and women’s ice hockey coaches and been a key figure in the Eagle football program which has had three head coaches in the last three years as BC went from Tom O’Brien to Jagodzinski to Frank Spaziani.

It has not always been a smooth trip, with grumblings from season ticket holders complaining about significant increase in ticket prices. and there have also been other rumblings of discontent from boosters and other supporters about what they feel are a lack of direction in some areas.

’’It’s all part of the job,’’ said DeFilippo. ‘‘But it’s been a great ride and I look forward to it continuing.’’

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