Shep: You know, when I woke up this morning I didn’t see this coming.
Ryan: I can’t say I did either. Seems like strange timing but I guess we won’t really know until we see what his next move is.
Shep: Yeah. And just so we’re all clear here, we’re talking about Boston University athletic director (Or director of athletics or whatever. Read Strunk & White) Mike Lynch announcing his resignation today, effective June 30th. It’s a little abrupt and unexpected, and I’m not 100 percent sure Lynch knows what he’s doing next. The last sentence of the statement was very open, the way I read it.
Ryan: True, but there really are only a couple of different possible scenarios here in my mind. He either was offered a new position that we will be hearing about shortly, or he really wanted to distance himself from the scandals he oversaw recently with the men’s hockey team and the women’s basketball team. I’m leaning towards it’s most likely the former.
Shep: Yeah, the former would be the most plausible. But just the way the statement is worded, I wouldn’t be totally shocked if he doesn’t have something else lined up here. One of the ways I read it just made it all seem like this was a person leaving earlier than planned or intended. Apparently this was quite abrupt–no one else in athletics really knew. That could go either way.
So, how will he be remembered at BU? He advanced the department, but as you mentioned, the past few years had their share of black marks. Cutting wrestling wasn’t the most popular decision.
Ryan:I still think his legacy is an overwhelmingly positive one. He’ll be remembered as a master fundraiser getting Agganis Arena off the ground, and he built New Balance Field amongst many other facility improvements. He (finally) got BU out of America East and he added three new sports too. Cutting wrestling was obviously an unpopular and likely a difficult decision to make, but AD’s must make difficult decisions at times, and for the most part I’m a fan of his.
Shep: I think I am too, but I do think it’s worth mentioning that the later years were not quite as blissful as the opening years. He also fired Dennis Wolff, which I think turned out to be a positive. And I truly think the department is more stable financially, though it’s hard to get an honest answer on that. One specific thing of note: he chaired the committee that brought Notre Dame and Connecticut into Hockey East, and in the process made a pretty tight bond between BU and two large, brand name schools. I think that’s a specific, maybe overlooked positive.
Ryan: Yeah it’s not the first thing most people would think of. Firing Wolff I think is another example of a pretty difficult decision that he made that turned out well for him, even if he didn’t have 100 percent support at the time.
Shep: Nope. He very much did not at the time. What do you think he’s going to do now? Because, honestly, I don’t know. I guess I’m not hip on administrator vacancies.
Ryan: Nor am I, but I’m still betting the house that he has an invitation from a power conference in his back pocket. Book it. The only thing that is a little off there is he has no reason to not announce his next move right now. Now I’m doubting myself. I’m still going with he found a better job.
Shep: That is what makes the most sense. What do you think is next for BU? They need a new athletic director. Will the next person be able to replicate Lynch’s highs? Is this an attractive job?
Ryan: Well, replicating Lynch’s highs is not impossible, but it would be pretty difficult. That would require a national championship, at least one brand new state-of-the-art facility, a new sport or two, and consistent dominance across all sports within the Patriot League. I think it’s a very attractive job, mostly because of the great shape in which Lynch has left the program. There is room to build it and grow it certainly, but Lynch laid some serious groundwork to get that growth started.
Shep: I think topping it would require a major shift in donor support–something Lynch did, but certainly left room for expansion. And this person best be prepared to ride through some potentially turbulent periods. With the likely changes coming to the NCAA a matter of when, not if at this point, they could be in for a wild ride. We could be looking at a department totally refocused ten years from now, and all because of outside forces.
Do you think the university goes internal or jumps outside? The strongest internal candidate would have to be Drew Marrochello, who will serve as interim AD. Nancy Lyons appears to be no longer with the university, or else I have to think she would be on the list. There’s maybe a couple of people in development who could make the jump. Maybe this is Jack Parker’s retirement gig? He already did the job once.
Ryan: Parker already has his retirement gig–he and Eruzione can ride off into the sunset together. The only reason I would lean towards an internal solution is that I don’t know anything about the external ones. Also, internal worked pretty well when they hired Lynch. Drew says hi to me at basketball games so I like him.
Shep: Strong qualifications. I’ve spent part of the day trying to figure some external candidates and no one in particular stood out to me, but we’ll have a theoretical list soon (#content). Anyone but GDF. Please not GDF.
After a decade in charge of the Terriers, Boston University athletic director Mike Lynch is leaving Babcock Street.
In an e-mail sent to athletic department staff members Monday morning and later posted on GoTerriers.com, Lynch announced his departure, effective June 30th.
“After 14 years at BU and a decade of leading the Terriers, I have come to the conclusion that it is time to move on and blaze a new path in my career,” it read. “I do not know yet what the future holds, but I do know that whatever my next stop may be I will always be a Terrier at heart,” he later added.
BU senior vice president Todd Klipp told BU Today deputy director of athletics Drew Marrochello will serve as interim athletic director while the university searches for a replacement.
In his ten years as athletic director, Lynch oversaw a department graced with periods of prosperity and darkness. BU won a number of conference championships, six America East Commissioner’s Cups and the 2009 men’s ice hockey national championship. The school added three new teams, expanded and improved its facilities and moved to the Patriot League. And it’s women’s teams began to flourish, winning the Patriot League Women’s President’s Cup in the school’s inaugural season in the league and with women’s ice hockey–not even a Division-I sport at the university in 2004–capturing three straight Hockey East titles and making two national championship games in the last four years.
But issues ran high, especially in recent years. Two men’s ice hockey players were arrested on separate sexual assault charges during the 2011-12 season. Women’s basketball coach Kelly Greenberg was twice accused of bullying, leading to her resignation in April. And the decision to cut wrestling after the 2013-14 season left a feeling of betrayal among one of the department’s most active alumni bases.
Jack Parker, then-executive director of athletics, named Lynch director of athletics in 2004. Prior to that, Lynch had spent four years as the university’s assistant vice president of development for athletics and student life, where he spearheaded the effort to build Agganis Arena, the Student Village and the Track & Tennis Center. Lynch came to BU from the University of Miami’s development office in 2000.
Lynch graduated from Rollins College in 1990, where he was an All-American on the baseball team.
So many questions about this photo. Why? Where? How? Did Rhett pay for that slice with dining or convenience points or a combination of the two? Is that last thing even possible? Is that Gnarlz or Wild E. Cat? In what dimension can a mascot that doesn’t exist eat an anamorphic piece of pizza?
Unrelated: WordPress just got $18 to host Bloggin’ on Babcock for another year. I’ve been on vacation for a while, but maybe we’ll be back soon. Maybe not. Maybe we’ll just share some Papa Gino’s. Why? Who knows.
Remember a couple of weeks ago, when BU men’s ice hockey hired a coach who was formerly with Harvard? Well, now that coach who was formerly with Harvard has gone and talked with a recruit who was formerly with Harvard and what do you know, that recruit is now with BU. What a great day for everyone not Harvard.
Said recruit’s name is Brandon Fortunato, according to The Terrier Hockey Fan Blog. He’s a defenseman, born in 1996 and currently playing alongside Jack Eichel on the US National Team Development Program’s U18 squad. In 61 games this season, he has three goals and 36 assists, leading the team’s defensemen. Multiple outlets have used similar words to describe his playing style:
Fortunato becomes the second mobile, well-regarded defenseman named Brandon (joining Brandon Hickey), heading to BU's campus for this fall.—
Over The Boards (@OTBPuckWatch) May 13, 2014
Cool! Passing the puck and getting it out of the defensive zone is generally a good thing in hockey.
This brings the current theoretical number of player’s on BU’s 2014-15 roster to 31. David Quinn has said there will be cuts, though Fortunato’s scholarship status hasn’t been reported (and everyone has just said he has committed, not signed a letter of intent or anything else). But it’s still a great flip for the Terrier staff and nice early sign of what O’Connell brings to the table.
We’d been expecting it for a while, and though it’s practically worthless in the fight against the Q, Chelmsford native and US NTDP product Jack Eichel signed his National Letter of Intent with Boston University today/this evening/sometime in the past few days and just posted to Instagram now. If he’s coming to college–and that appears to be the path he has chosen–it will be to play for the Terriers.
My emotions about this are subdued and rational and HAHAHA, PSYCH. NO WAY I’M NOT CELEBRATING THIS. SOMEONE GET ME A BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE. I NEED TO CELEBRATE. ROLL TIDE AND WAR EAGLE Y’ALL. TAKE THAT JERRY YORK. DIDN’T EVEN MIND BUDDY LEAVING. LIFE IS GREAT KIDS. LIFE IS SO, SO GREAT.
FreeP makes official what we already knew (but with quotes from David Quinn): Albie O’Connell and Scott Young are coming to BU as assistant coach and director of hockey operations, respectively. Pertti Hasanen is “seeking more coaching opportunities,” while Buddy Powers has found a nice field to live in.