Boo Corrigan has been named Director of Athletics for Army. Here’s to you, Boo.
Army has a new athletic director. He’s got some serious shoes to fill, as departing AD Kevin Anderson did a stellar job while at the helm of Army’s athletic program. Anderson is off to take over the University of Maryland’s athletic department. He will be missed at Army, but he leaves having restored Army to respectability in intercollegiate athletics. Corrigan, meanwhile, has a very distinguished record, having last served as senior associate athletic director for external affairs at Duke University since August 2008.
For me, the most significant thing about Corrigan’s hiring is the continuation of a successful connection between two great institutions, the United States Military Academy at West Point and Duke University. Duke men’s head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski graduated West Point in 1969, coached at Army for five years before taking the helm at Duke in 1980. He has had tremendous success at Duke, winning his fourth national title a year ago. He is on track to become the NCAA all-time winningest coach, either this season or next. Ironically, he will pass his own coach at Army, the legendary Bob Knight.
Krzyzewski’s numbers speak for themselves, and by themselves they are absolutely daunting. More importantly perhaps is the manner in which he has accomplished the milestones. Mike Krzyzewski’s program at Duke has been a model of integrity and class. He has imbued everything he has done at Duke with the values he learned at West Point. His players reflect this spirit and attitude both on and off the court. They are all about team-watch Duke basketball and you will see no selfishness, no negative vibes between players. On the contrary, they pull for each other, pick each other up when one is having an off night. This is reminiscent of an unofficial motto among West Point cadets: Cooperate and graduate.
The connection between the two schools deepened in the past couple of years, as former Army star Chris Spatola married Krzyzewski’s daughter Jamie and was hired as Director of Basketball Operations at Duke. Spatola graduated West Point in 2002, and as a rising high school senior at Duke’s basketball camp, caught Coach K’s eye. Krzyzewski influenced Spatola to consider Army after no other Division I schools offered him a scholarship.
It’s a great story, the link between West Point and Duke. Here’s hoping that Boo Corrigan can bring some of the success to Army that Coach K has brought to Duke.