In a statement released Monday morning, Boston University athletic director Mike Lynch announced he will be stepping down from his post, effective June 30.
“After 14 years at BU and a decade of leading the Terriers, I have come to the conclusion that it is time to move on and blaze a new path in my career,” Lynch said in the statement.
After Lynch resigns from his post, Drew Marrochello, who is now the deputy director of athletics, will act as interim athletic director until a replacement can be found, said Todd Klipp, senior vice president, senior counsel and secretary of the Board of Trustees at BU.
A former baseball All-American while at Rollins College, Lynch first served as the Assistant Vice President of Development for Athletics and Student Life at BU from 2000 to 2004. During his tenure in this position, he largely worked in donor relations and fundraising, netting a 200 percent increase in financial support for BU Athletics.
Under Lynch’s tenure as athletic director, which began in 2004, BU Athletics saw change, expansion and success from a multitude of different programs. BU was awarded for its strong play in both the regular season and postseason in the America East Conference, leading the Terriers to claim six-straight Commissioner’s Cups. BU earned one out of every three America East championships (45 out of 140) that it competed in during Lynch’s time as AD. The men’s hockey team was also crowned National Champions for the fifth time in school history in 2009.
This past year, Lynch was a vital part of the transition of the school from the America East to the Patriot League. Athletics continued to thrive, as BU teams won a combined seven conference championships during the 2013-14 year. This last academic year also saw a new playing surface added to the BU community, as New Balance Field was completed, becoming home to the field hockey team.
Two new teams were added to the mix while Lynch oversaw the program, with women’s lightweight crew and men’s lacrosse now both competing at the varsity level.
The teams were not the only ones receiving accolades, as Lynch was awarded for his accomplishments as well. In 2011, he was named the Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
In his statement, Lynch referenced and thanked those who helped him in his aspirations of bringing national prominence to BU Athletics.
“Your guidance, wisdom and support – both financial and otherwise – have helped to bring tremendous growth and success to Commonwealth Avenue,” Lynch said in the statement. “Among the highlights: a vastly new physical plant that rivals the nation’s best; a dominant and broadly successful array of nationally competitive teams; millions of dollars raised in support of scholarship and leadership programming; tens of thousands of hours of contributions to the betterment of our community and student-athlete graduation rates and academic progress ratings that are always among the nation’s best; and a well recognized brand of excellence in athletics, academics and community.
“These things would not have been possible without your help.”
As part of his long-term plan for the athletics department that was announced in September 2008, titled “Terrier Pride: The Strategic Vision for the Boston University Department of Athletics,” Lynch made it a point to expand the term “student-athlete,” compelling BU athletes to perform community service. During his time as AD, BU athletes and coaches have committed over 4,000 hours annually to community service. BU Athletics have also worked closely with non-profits such as Race for the Cure, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Friends of Jaclyn, and Holiday Reading over the last decade. The Terriers also partner with College for Every Student or CFES, a non-profit that works to educate underprivileged youth.
Lynch’s time as director was not without hardship, however. In 2011-12, two players from the men’s hockey team, Corey Trivino and Max Nicastro, were arrested on charges of sexual assault. This year, women’s basketball coach Kelly Greenberg left the university after being accused of bullying players, the second time such accusations occurred during her 10-year period as coach. Lynch also saw the discontinuation of the wrestling team, a program that had spanned nearly a half century at the university, amid protest from the BU community.
It is unknown what Lynch will be moving on to in the next part of his career.
“I do not know yet what the future holds,” Lynch said in the statement. “But I do know that whatever my next stop may be I will always be a Terrier at heart.
The way he handled the discontinuation of the wrestling program was shameful. Telling head coach Carl Adams on April Fools day, while Carl had a recruit ON CAMPUS, and announcing it to the public before Carl could tell his wrestlers in person showed what Lynch thought of the program. He never consulted with Adams to ask HIM what was needed to improve what he considered a program that he said was “mediocre at best”. I guess he forgot that winning isn’t everything and that Boston University wrestlers embody his expanded definition of “student athlete”. Adios, Mr. Lynch.
Mike called the wrestling team “mediocre” at best as a means of justifying the decision to cut the program–by that logic, he could cut 3/4 of BU’s teams. The difference is wrestling competes (competed) with less than half the support that most BU teams receive. What people also fail to realize is that the wrestling team competes in the EIWA (and previously in the CAA), 2 incredibly challenging conferences in the wrestling world, both of which are more competitive–relatively speaking–than America East or the Patriot League. Wrestling still averages 3 NCAA qualifiers per year, which is amazing, given the disgusting lack of support. This year, with 0 recruits and the incredible burden of the looming termination, wrestling finished better than half the teams in the EIWA (country’s 2nd best conference), sent 3 to NCAA’s (2 of whom should be returning along with another qualifier from the year prior), and produced a conference champ. The BU wrestling team has a nearly perfect graduation rate, a sterling reputation amongst the Boston and BU athletic community, and actively supports BU’s other teams. Mike also said that wrestling was not relevant in the modern sports landscape. Well, that’s simply untrue, considering how much youth wrestling has grown and considering the ever expanding popularity of MMA (wonder if Mike knows that 90% of UFC title holders were college wrestlers). Add this unfair, unjust decision to a couple of scandals which were only handled because they finally came within public view, and you have remarkably unsuccessful AD. Nice legacy, Lynch.