Monday, October 09, 2017

Roaring ovation welcomes Tom O'Brien into 2017 BCAA Hall of Fame

By John Fidler
October 8, 2017

The BCAA Hall of Fame class - for 2017 was inducted last night at halftime and was one of the best of all time. Headliners were hockey goaltender Scott Clemmesen who was in the nets for the Eagles dramatic 2001 National Championship win vs North Dakota. Joining Clemmensen among others were, Men’s ice hockey forward Bill Guerin, former Patriot center Dan Koppen and the all time leading scorer in Men’s Basketball history, Troy Bell. The biggest ovation of the night though was for former Head Football Coach, Tom O’Brien.

Speaking of O’Brien - the slide of BC football coincided with his departure after the 2006 season to take the job at NC State. Many of you speak fondly of Jeff Jagodzinski, but from my perspective, he was the beneficiary of the rock solid foundation built by O’Brien. Other than the backslide in year two of the Jags regime, we will never know what might have been, but there were plenty of reasons to believe it wouldn’t have continued.

The prevailing theory is that O’Brien departed over issues with then AD Gene DeFillipo (that wouldn’t have made him the only one) but the level of consistency, toughness and talent hasn’t been approached since.
O’Brien drove a lot of BC fans crazy, with consecutive 4-7 seasons in his first two years, but after that never had a losing record. The complaints mostly were around his conservative nature, breaking through what BC fans felt was a glass ceiling and leaving some big game win opportunities on table. It can though be argued that O’Brien is the greatest long term coach in BC history and without a doubt took this program to a level that we would all like to see it achieve again.

O’Brien spent a lot of his time as a lieutenant - for former Navy and Virginia coach George Welsh, which reminds me there are lieutenants and there are generals. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a lieutenant, but there is a next step to be the general. O’Brien was able to take that step, but BC has spent many years looking at lieutenants in search of promotion to general and whether it be Dan Henning, Frank Spaziani or Steve Addazio have missed that distinction more often than they have hit it.

Popular Posts