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Boston University athletic director Mike Lynch resigns

Boston University athletic director Mike Lynch announced his resignation Monday after a 10-year run marked by numerous achievements and a series of episodes that raised questions about his leadership.

Lynch will step down June 30, two months after BU’s women’s basketball coach Kelly Greenberg resigned amid bullying allegations. Her departure came six years after Lynch fielded similar complaints about Greenberg but elected to keep her on the job.

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Lynch also presided during a 2012 scandal involving the BU men’s hockey team. A school task force found that poor oversight contributed to a “culture of sexual entitlement’’ involving transgressions by BU hockey players, and longtime coach Jack Parker retired soon thereafter.

Lynch also was sharply criticized for his handling of a decision to abolish the school’s wrestling program this year after decades of success.

In “a letter of thanks to Terrier Nation,” on BU’s athletic department website, Lynch described his resignation as “a bittersweet moment.’’ He said he does “not know yet what the future holds.’’

Lynch responded to e-mailed questions from the Globe about his accomplishments and regrets by stating, “I’m very proud of all that we accomplished and although there were challenges I will look back on my time at BU very fondly.”

A story on BU’s official website quoted Lynch as saying, “Now that the 2013-2014 academic year has come to an end, I believe it’s an appropriate time to announce the difficult decision to leave my position.’’

Before becoming AD, he served four years as BU’s assistant VP of development for sports and student life.

“After 14 wonderful years on Commonwealth Avenue, the last 10 as director, it is time for me to move forward in my career and to allow BU to experience new leadership in our department of athletics,’’ the article quoted him as saying.

Lynch delivered the news Monday morning to the school’s athletic staff.

“I wish him well,’’ said Carl Adams, who after 32 years as BU’s wrestling coach was among the critics of Lynch’s decision to kill the program. “I hope he can move on with his life and have lots of success.’’

Others offered a harsh assessment of Lynch’s tenure. Cindy Schulz’s daughter, Jacy, was the most outspoken of several members of the 2006-07 women’s basketball team who alleged Greenberg mistreated them. Lynch effectively stood by Greenberg at the time, suggesting she had learned from her mistakes.

“Mike Lynch brought down the reputation of Boston University by turning a blind eye to years of abuse in athletics,’’ Cindy Schulz said. “A lot of people were hurt on his watch. BU finally is applying its code of ethics to sports. What a shame that it took so long.”

Lynch did not directly respond to questions from the Globe about Greenberg or the hockey and wrestling episodes.

“I hope people look back on my tenure and see how committed I was to our student athletes and the development of the Boston University athletic brand,’’ he said by e-mail. “I gave 110 percent each and every day.’’

As for his future, Lynch wrote, “I am going to take some time to sit back and ponder what my next move will be. I haven’t done so in 20 years! I fashion myself more of a builder than a shepherd and look forward to the next chapter.’’

Lynch, 45, is considered a gifted fund-raiser. His achievements at BU include helping to build New Balance Field and an underground garage through a fund-raising effort that generated a $3 million gift from Brighton-based New Balance.

Lynch previously led fund-raising campaigns for Agganis Arena, the school’s track and tennis center, and its fitness and recreation center. He also introduced men’s lacrosse and women’s lightweight rowing as varsity sports at BU.

As a measure of the school’s athletic success during Lynch’s tenure, BU won a record six straight America East Commissioner’s Cups, which recognize performance in 20 conference sports. Last year, he oversaw BU’s transition from America East to the Patriot League.

BU executive Todd Klipp praised Lynch’s “commitment to excellence in athletics, academics, and community.’’

Lynch will be succeeded on an interim basis by his deputy, Drew Marrochello.

Bob Hohler can be reached at hohler@globe.com.
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