The Boston College men's basketball program has received a gift from alumna and Boston College Trustee Karen Izzi Bristing, and her husband Steve Bristing, to endow the head coaching position held by Jim Christian. It's the largest donation ever made to the men's basketball program.
We are most grateful to the Bristings and Izzis for their devotion and commitment to Boston College and especially our men's basketball program," said Director of Athletics Brad Bates. "I believe that in the hands of a talented coach we can make transformational differences in the lives of young people and this gift will assist us in attracting and retaining top coaching talent long into the future."
Karen Bristing, a 1984 graduate of Boston College who has served on the Board of Trustees since 2011, grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from Nashua High School. She is the owner of Equinox Equestrian Center in Sun Valley, California.
"This gift recognizes several areas that are important to us personally and to Boston College," Bristing said. "The importance of a vibrant athletics program, my enjoyment of athletics as a student, the opportunity to honor my parents - especially my father who is an avid fan - and the chance to create a family legacy all played a role in our choosing to support a University we love."
Karen and Steve reside in La Canada, California with their son, Matthew. Karen's son, Andrew, is a sophomore at Boston College.
"We are overwhelmed with the support the Bristings and Izzis have shown to our basketball program," Coach Jim Christian said. "We are committed to building our basketball program into a consistent winner that makes our students, fans and alumni proud. This will require a commitment from many people, and we are certainly grateful for their generosity."
The head coaching endowment is the third of its kind at Boston College. Men's basketball joins football and men's hockey as varsity sports with head coaching endowments.
The early returns of the Jim Christian era of Boston College basketball have certainly been promising. Hopefully this gift will help put the program on solid footing financially as Christian and staff continue to try to turn this thing around.