Mt. Rushmore: William J. Flynn

We continue our profile of Boston College sports greats to arrive at our BC athletics make-believe Mt. Rushmore...

Name: William J. Flynn
Died: June 1997 in Brighton, MA (age 82)
Sport: Three Sport Athlete (football, baseball and hockey)
BC Era: 1935-1939 (student), 1957-1991 (A.D.)

Current Standings: Currently in 4th place with 35% of the vote. Trailing Doug Flutie (93%), Jerry York (78%), and Matt Ryan (60%).

Why He's In

For all you young Eagles fans out there, if you only know the name "William J. Flynn" because its the name of the 'Plex or the name of our student-athlete scholarship fund, you are doing yourself a disservice. This man did his fair share of good things for the Boston College athletics department.

Full disclosure: I didn't know nearly the number of things Flynn did for Boston College until I started researching this post ...
  • At B.C., Flynn was a three-sport athlete, ultimately earning 9 varsity letters
  • Became the first BC hockey player to score 20 goals in a season
  • Captain of the 1938 Eagles football team during his senior season
  • Returned to the University in 1945 as a mathematics teacher and assistant football coach
  • Appointed Athletics Director in 1957 and served in that position for 35 years
  • In 1957, the future of our athletics programs was in question: the basketball teams played in a quonset hut, football played games off-campus and at Fenway Park, and the hockey team played its games on Huntington Avenue
  • The football team's off-campus playing fields became unavailable in 1957, and instead of shuttering the program, Flynn helped raise $370,000 to build Alumni Stadium
  • In the 1960s, oversaw the construction of a new hockey rink (McHugh Forum), a basketball court (Roberts Center), and a new baseball field
  • Raised money to build a new student recreation complex; the 'Plex was opened in 1971 and dedicated to Flynn in 1979
  • Presided over renovation projects for Alumni Stadium in 1971 and 1986
  • In 1988, raised funds and oversaw construction of Silvio O. Conte Forum, which replaced the old McHugh Forum and Roberts Center
  • Expanded the number of women's varsity sports from four teams in 1972 to 15 teams in 1985
  • Served as Athletic Director during the Kelley/Ceglarski hockey years, the 1960s golden years of basketball with Bob Cousy as coach and the Flutie era of B.C. football
  • Under his watch, the Eagles were one of the founding members of the Big East conference in 1979
  • Also in 1979, elected to serve as President of the NCAA (at the time, only the second school A.D. to hold that post)
  • Inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 1971

Maybe Not?
  • The only thing we can come up with was that Flynn also presided over the Athletics department during one of the darkest periods of BC history - the 1978-1979 basketball point-shaving scandal

X-Factor
  • After graduation, the man worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation during World War II, so he probably had dirt on everyone

YouTube ... not yet invented.


So does a Boston College A.D. of 35 years who helped shape the Athletics Department into what it is today make our Mt. Rushmore?

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