February ’14 was a tough month for the Eagles. The BC men’s basketball team was sputtering through a multi-month-long streak during which time they had managed wins against a lowly Virginia Tech team and nobody else. It was a miserable end to Steve Donahue’s tenure as head coach.
But far worse than any record was the loss of one of BC’s own on February 13: Richard “Dick” Kelly ’87, MA ’89, who passed away after a three year long battle with ALS. Kelley had been Boston College’s assistant athletics director for media relations since 1991. He was a persistent and joyful presence around BC, remembered as an effective mentor, a great friend, and, above all else, a good person.
So when the Eagles entered the Carrier dome to play undefeated and No. 1 ranked Syracuse a week later, it wouldn’t have surprise me to hear that BC’s minds and hearts were elsewhere. But they weren’t. donning DK patches on their uniforms and refusing to quit, the Eagles overcame an 8-point halftime deficit to beat the Orange in OT.
It took a a lot. It took a 20 point game from Olivier Hanlan. It took Boston College slowing the game down to a crawl. It took Syracuse shooting 16% from three. And it probably took Kelley’s spirit looking down on the Eagles. But it happened. Boston College, in the darkest moment of a dark season, gave everyone a win to remember. And that’s why it’s #10 in our top moments of the decade.