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Happy Evacuation Day: Five Notable Departures from the Heights

Honoring Boston's March 17 holiday with a look back at historic departures.

It's March 17, so the occasion calls for kitschy St. Patrick's Day-themed posts, right? Well, in Boston, today is also Evacuation Day, honoring the day British soldiers fled Boston during the American Revolution, ending a long occupation and prompting great celebration. In that vein, what better way to start a look back at 5 prominent "evacuations" in BC history than with...

1. Gene DeFilippo - 2012

...Okay, that was a little harsh. Gene wasn't the Redcoats. But he did occupy the AD chair at BC for a long time, and certainly overstayed his welcome. Though this site and the rest of the BC blogosphere celebrated as though it were the original Evacuation Day, his departure was greeted with a more mixed reaction from the broader alumni population. Gene did a lot of good for BC during his time here, but the way he torpedoed the football program on his way out will forever tarnish his legacy. Brad Bates' tenure as AD has been a breath of fresh air, and his hire of Steve Addazio breathed new life into the football program.

2. Mike Milbury - 1994

Two months after being named Boston College's head men's hockey coach, Mike Milbury promptly resigned before ever coaching a game. At the time, Milbury was probably most famous for beating a New York Rangers fan with his own shoe; the odd BC chapter in Milbury's career sort of gets lost in the shuffle, sandwiched between the shoe incident, his disastrous tenure running the New York Islanders, and his career of saying bizarre things on television.

Milbury's departure sent Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk back to the drawing board. He settled on reaching out to BC alum Jerry York. That worked out pretty well.

3. Jeff Jagodzinski - 2009

The Job Interview Heard 'Round the World. Jagodzinski's firing by GDF played out like a slow-motion televised drama, with days of speculation surrounding just what BC would do. There are some in the BC community who supported the decision, and others who will point to Jagodzinski's lack of post-BC success as justification for letting him go. However, this move was widely ridiculed by the wider college sports community, and compounding the decision with hiring Frank Spaziani turned out to be the most disastrous series of events in recent BC sports history.

4. The Big East - 2005

Boston College evacuated the sinking ship that was the Big East, in a prescient move that happened years before the rest of the major dominoes fell in college realignment. There was much debate over the move at the time but ultimately it's hard to argue against it. Whether the ACC is the perfect fit for BC or not, it's certainly a better place to be than the wreckage of the Big East, especially for the football program.

5. Frank Leahy - 1940

After leading BC to an undefeated season and a claimed football national championship, head coach Frank Leahy departed for Notre Dame, where he went on to have great success from 1941-1953. Leahy's departure stung BC, which to date has not won another share of the football championship, and certainly is part of the tapestry of the BC-Notre Dame rivalry/feud/whatever-you-want-to-call-it.