We’re trying to build stronger communities at this time, so we’re taking this idea presented by our sworn bowl rivals, Bring on the Cats (the Kansas State SB Nation blog), and applying it to Syracuse Orange rivals. It will require us to look at some of our rivals — both old and new — and find players/coaches from that school who we might not really like, but that we can honestly say we don’t hate.
Today, we look at long-time foe and perennial OrangeEagle runner-up the Boston College Eagles.
1) Pete Frates- if you’re going to disagree with this one, I’m going to just ask you to leave this blog and never return. Seriously.
2) Sam Apuzzo- a rival of the Orange women’s lacrosse squad but one of the best players in the country is deserving of respect.
3) Dennis Clifford- The former BC center had the misfortune of ending his career on a winless ACC squad and many laughed at this interview at the time (myself included) but ultimately Clifford was just aware that the carefree days of grabbing meals with college buddies were ending. We can all relate to that.
4) Alexandra Carpenter- standout for the BC women’s hockey team who led the Eagles to the National Championship in 2015 while becoming the 1st BC player to win the Patty Kazmaier Award given to the NCAA’s top women’s player. Carpenter was a member of the 2014 US Women’s Olympic silver medal squad.
5) Brian Gionta- the former Eagles standout and Rochester native won a National title with BC and a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils. Gionta played on two U.S. Olympic teams, and went on to serve as Captain of both the Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres before his retirement.
Honorable Mention (Administrative) Gene DiFilippo - the former BC AD who led the Eagles out the backdoor of the Big East and into the ACC might seem a curious choice, but let’s look at the aftermath he left. After Jeff Jagodzinski interviewed for the New York Jets job he was fired by BC for not seeking permission to interview. In his two seasons as head coach, Jagodzinski had a record of 20-8 which included bringing the Eagles to back-to-back ACC Championship Games. Since he was let go, BC’s record is 65-74.
In 2006, BC was seconds away from the Elite Eight and by 2010 DiFilippo had fired Al Skinner using the following rationale:
DeFilippo said he was looking for a more exciting style of play than the banging, Big East style that Skinner favored and that DeFilippo blamed for half-empty arenas that were as much a hallmark of BC basketball as Doug Flutie playing drums in the pep band.
“We want a coach who is going to play a very exciting brand of basketball,” DeFilippo said. “We want a team that’s going to dive for loose balls, that’s going to take charges, that’s going to play great defense, and a team that’s going to give us everything they have to give while they’re out on that floor.
Since replacing Skinner BC’s failed to make a NCAA Tournament appearance and has finished over .500 in ACC play just once. As far as Conte Forum attendance you’ve all seen what that looks like when Syracuse travels for that “road” game.
If you’re wondering what DiFilippo does now well would you be surprised that schools pay him to help them in their coaching searches? Either way we thank Gene for his work in squashing BC’s athletic momentum right when it was peaking.