DeFilippo explains decision to replace Skinner

March 30, 2010 - 9:13 am

At a press conference to explain Boston College's decision to part ways with basketball coach Al Skinner, director of athletics Gene DeFilippo said that the school made its decision in hopes of finding a coach who could better motivate a team on the court and connect with the BC community. DeFilippo said that he wanted players who better appealed to the student body and fans in their style of play and effort. That could be accomplished through greater hustle on the court, with the AD identifying players who dive for loose balls and who take charges as measures for what he would like to see from the team. [poll id=8] The decision to sever ties with Skinner was made last Wednesday, two days after DeFilippo had first met with the coach. The two sides, according to DeFilippo, concluded that there were differences in how to run the program that made a parting mutually agreeable. They agreed to keep the decision quiet for at least 48 hours, while Skinner pursued other jobs, including the head coaching position at St. John's (which since has gone to Steve Lavin). Even so, DeFilippo notified St. John's and other schools that the decision not to retain Skinner already had been made. When six days had passed without Skinner having been hired elsewhere, Boston College felt compelled to announce the decision. Boston College does not have a timetable for hiring Skinner's replacement. That said, DeFilippo felt that the school should have no shortage of interest in the position. "This is a very very important hire. We're going to take as much time as possible," he said. "This is an excellent job." The Eagles named Pat Duquette, an assistant under Skinner, the interim head coach of the Eagles while they conduct their search. The other BC assistants will also remain on staff while the search is conducted. Over 13 seasons on Chestnut Hill, Skinner accumulated the most wins of any men'€™s basketball coach in school history, compiling a 247-165 record that resulted in seven berths in the NCAA tournament. But the Eagles struggled to a 15-16 record in 2009-10 (the team'€™s second losing season in the last three years) that included a 6-10 mark in the ACC. The Eagles were 6-7 in the NCAA tournament under Skinner, advancing as far as the Sweet 16 once (in 2004-05) and reaching the second round on four additional trips. Mike Petraglia and Jerry Spar contributed to this report.