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BC launches a major initiative to improve its sports programs

BC's football team cracked the national rankings this year for the first time in 10 years.
BC's football team cracked the national rankings this year for the first time in 10 years.Michael Swensen for The Boston Globe

Boston College wants to take its sports programs to new heights, and on Thursday, it unveiled a plan to get there.

A five-year strategy aims to make BC more competitive nationally — particularly in football and men’s basketball — enhance the athletic facilities, and improve the fan experience. It will be backed by a $150 million fund-raising campaign called “Greater Heights: The Campaign for Boston College Athletics.”

Athletic director Martin Jarmond revealed the plan, the first of its kind at BC, at a donor event Thursday.

“Our time is now,” Jarmond said. “We can’t succeed by resting on our laurels. We need to consistently look for ways to make BC attractive to student-athletes, coaches, and fans so we can achieve competitive excellence.


“That includes building and renovating facilities and providing the support services needed to make the student-athlete experience as successful as possible both in and out of the classroom.”

The announcement comes a week after BC’s football team was nationally ranked for the first time since 2008. Last winter, the men’s basketball program had a winning season for the first time in seven years.

The men’s and women’s hockey teams, along with women’s lacrosse, have set the standards of success at the school, while the women’s soccer team is 10-0 this season and ranked 14th nationally.

“Our goal is for BC football and basketball to be consistently ranked in the top 25, to maintain and enhance the elite status of our hockey program, and bolster all of our varsity sports to achieve competitive excellence,” said Jarmond.

“All of this will involve major fund-raising, and we plan to be more aggressive than ever before to address these important needs through the Greater Heights campaign.”

The part of the plan to “strengthen competitive excellence” will set high goals for all 31 varsity teams, including winning conference championships. BC also will look to recruit and develop the best coaches and student-athletes, be ranked in the top 25 in football and men’s basketball, and build sports analytics capabilities that utilize data and improve performance.


This summer BC opened Fish Field House, a $52.6 million, 115,700-square-foot indoor practice facility for the football program, and will now turn its attention to improving Conte Forum, where the basketball and hockey teams play.

It also will add space at its Harrington Athletics Village for player development for the baseball and softball teams, renovate locker rooms, and provide enhanced strength and conditioning, sports medicine, and nutrition for the school’s Olympic sports.

The fund-raising campaign will target alumni, parents, corporate partners, and others.

“We plan to build on BC’s distinctive athletics history, which includes five NCAA championships, 14 national championships, 32 conference championships, eight national player of the year awards, and 910 all-conference honors,” Jarmond said.

Karl Capen can be reached at karl.capen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Capen316.