Boston College Eagles

Boston College Eagles
University Boston College
Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
Hockey East
Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Brad Bates
Location Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Varsity teams 29
Football stadium Alumni Stadium
Basketball arena Conte Forum
Ice hockey arena Kelley Rink
Baseball stadium Eddie Pellagrini Diamond at John Shea Field
Mascot Baldwin the Eagle
Nickname Eagles
Fight song For Boston
Colors Maroon and Gold[1]

The Boston College Eagles are the athletic teams representing Boston College. They compete as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level (Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sub-level for football), primarily competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

Nickname and mascot history

The Eagle nickname and mascot for Boston College's teams were given by Rev. Edward McLaughlin. Fr. McLaughlin, incensed at a Boston newspaper cartoon depicting the champion BC track team as a cat licking clean a plate of its rivals, penned a passionate letter to the student newspaper, The Heights, in the newspaper's first year in 1920. "It is important that we adopt a mascot to preside at our pow-wows and triumphant feats," wrote Fr. McLaughlin. "And why not the Eagle, symbolic of majesty, power, and freedom?

The Boston College mascot is Baldwin the Eagle, an American bald eagle whose name is a pun derived from the bald head of the eagle and the word "win."

The school colors are maroon and gold. The fight song, "For Boston", was composed by T.J. Hurley, Class of 1885, and is America's oldest college fight song.


The Boston College sponsors teams in eleven men's, fourteen women's, and two coed NCAA sanctioned sports.[2]



Ice hockey




Notable non-varsity sports


Conferences and affiliations

The Eagles compete in NCAA Division I as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The women's rowing team competes in the Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges (EAWRC) as well as the ACC. The men's and women's ice hockey teams compete in Hockey East. Skiing and sailing are also non-ACC. Boston College is one of only 15 universities in the country offering NCAA Division I football (Football Bowl Subdivision), Division I men's and women's basketball, and Division I hockey.

A founding member of the Big East Conference, the Eagles joined the Atlantic Coast Conference on July 1, 2005. Up to that point, Boston College was the only Big East member affiliated with the Catholic Church that played football in the conference. All the football-playing members of the Big East (now American Athletic Conference) are now secular (usually public) institutions.

Move to the ACC

On July 1, 2005, Boston College moved from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

In 2003 the ACC announced plans to expand from nine teams to twelve. Miami, Syracuse, and Boston College were rumored to be the three schools under consideration, and all three met with officials from the ACC regarding membership. It was later revealed that Miami had been dissatisfied with the Big East and its leadership since a formal letter of complaint was issued by them to Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese several years prior in 1999. Their issues went unresolved, leading to Miami's interest in the ACC—a league who had been pursuing the college football superpower since the mid-1990s, at the request of neighboring football schools Florida State, Clemson and Georgia Tech.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, representing UConn (whose membership in Big East Football was then pending) led the "remaining" football schools (Virginia Tech, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia) in the filing of two lawsuits. One suit named the ACC, and the other named Miami and Boston College, accusing them of conspiring to weaken the Big East. Syracuse was not named as a defendant in part because they never made public comments about the ongoing situation.

In an unexpected turn, due in large measure to political pressure applied by Governor Mark Warner of Virginia, the ACC replaced Syracuse with Virginia Tech in its expansion vote. Things became even more surprising when, reached by phone at a conference in Switzerland, then-N.C. State Chancellor Marye Anne Fox cast a shocking last-minute "no" vote against Boston College. As a result, the ACC extended invitations only to Miami and Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech immediately accepted the invitation and filed court papers to get themselves out of the awkward position of suing their new conference. The remaining four plaintiffs removed Boston College from the list of defendants and asked both BC and Syracuse to join their suit. Boston College and Syracuse declined.

The Big East presidents and athletic directors met in summer 2003 to discuss replacing the departed members and establishing a process by which members would exit the conference in the future. The remaining members of the conference moved towards establishing a $5 million exit fee and 27-month waiting period for any other schools who wished to leave in the future. At a Big East meeting in Newark on October 1, conference presidents asked BC president Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., about rumors surrounding the Eagles' intentions. Fr. Leahy conceded that the Eagles might indeed be leaving the conference.[3] It has been suggested that BC might have remained if the Big East had spun out its non-football schools and reconfigured as an eight- or nine-team league. The Big East considered extending invitations to Penn State and Notre Dame, however neither school showed interest in joining the conference.[4] Several models for a new conference were discussed; however it was eventually decided that the football schools would explore separating from the basketball-only schools and establish an 8-team all-sports conference. It was very quickly realized that this scenario would not be feasible due to the fact that the new conference would lose its automatic NCAA basketball tournament berth and possibly its BCS bid because the football schools had not been together long enough to satisfy certain NCAA rules. It was then decided that for the time being, the conference would add additional football and basketball schools and continue in its bifurcated structure until such time as the football schools could establish their own conference. Unhappy with this decision, the administration of Boston College once again entertained overtures from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Speculation that Chancellor Foxe, a Notre Dame trustee, cast her vote against BC so that the ACC might consider extending membership to Notre Dame was fueled by press accounts reporting that a bid to the Fighting Irish was imminent. But in October 2003, the ACC voted unanimously to invite Boston College to become their twelfth member. When BC accepted, they were returned to the lawsuit still pending against Miami by several Big East schools. In response, Boston College petitioned the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts for a declaratory judgment to avoid paying the increased Big East "exit fee" that had been voted for but not yet amended to the Big East's constitution. Boston College won both decisions, but the Big East appealed. A secret settlement reported to be worth US$5 million was reached in May 2005, and as part of the settlement the ACC agreed to play a number of football games each year against Big East teams.[5] However, this large settlement was offset by the cumulative legal fees incurred by the Big East in pursuing the litigation.[6] Boston College joined the ACC in 2005, and was exempted from having to play football against their former conference colleagues who had been party to the lawsuit. Boston College officials have stated that the university will not schedule games against any of their former Big East Football colleagues with the exception of Syracuse. An eight-year deal to play Syracuse in football starting in 2010 has been signed, and a four-year deal to play Providence College in basketball begins in the 2006–7 school year.[7]

Financially, the move to the ACC would appear to have been positive for the Eagles. Writing in the Charleston West Virginia Gazette, Mitch Vingle used the Big East's tax filings to examine payouts to full Big East members (schools playing both football and basketball schools) compared to payouts to ACC schools. ACC schools received an average of US$10.85 million for the tax year ending June 30, 2006, Big East full members averaged a little more than half what ACC programs took in at US$5,842,599. Additionally, Big East payments have dropped in each of the last three reporting periods.[8]


NCAA team championships

Boston College has won 5 NCAA team national championships.[9]

Other team championships

Below are 10 national team titles that were not bestowed by the NCAA:

Conference championships

Men's conference championships

Women's conference championships


Principal athletic facilities include Alumni Stadium (capacity: 44,500); Conte Forum (8,606 for basketball), known as Kelley Rink for ice hockey (7,884); Eddie Pellagrini Diamond at John Shea Field; the Newton Soccer Complex; and the Flynn Recreation Complex. The Yawkey Athletics Center opened in the spring of 2005, and the Newton Campus Field Hockey Complex was completed that fall. BC students compete in 31 varsity sports, as well as a number of club and intramural teams. Boston College's athletics program has been named to the College Sports Honor Roll as one of the nation's top 20 athletic programs by U.S. News and World Report (March 18, 2002).


Boston College athletes are among the most academically successful in the nation, according to the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate (APR). In 2006 Boston College received Public Recognition Awards with 14 of its sports in the top 10 percent of the nation academically. The Eagles tied Notre Dame for the highest total of any Division I-A university. Other schools having 10 or more sports honored included Navy (12), Stanford (11), and Duke (11). Teams honored were football, men's fencing, men's outdoor track, men's skiing, women's rowing, women's cross country, women's fencing, women's field hockey, women's indoor track, women's outdoor track, women's skiing, women's swimming, women's soccer, women's tennis, and women's volleyball. Boston College's football program was one of only five Division I-A teams that were so honored. The other four were Auburn, Navy, Stanford, and Duke.

Director of Athletics

  • Joseph Meagher: 1918–1920
  • Richard S. O'Brien: 1920–1924
  • John P. Curley: 1929–1957
  • William J. Flynn: 1957–1990
  • Chet Gladchuk, Jr.: 1990 – July 18, 1997
  • Gene DeFillippo: 1997–2012
  • Brad Bates: 2012–current


External links

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