Boston College AD Search: Will It Be Sean Frazier?


Yes, that is Sean Frazier handing the national championship trophy to Jerry York in April. He and the greatest college hockey coach of all-time could be getting even better acquainted in the near future.

With Gene DeFilippo’s exit as the Boston College athletic director just 11 days away, the school has been quietly conducting a search for a full-time replacement. One name rumored in the search has been Sean Frazier, and all indications are that he is now a front-running candidate.

Now, certain “Jersey Guys” should be treated with a “trust but verify” approach, especially after years of blind shilling for the current administration, but if Frazier, current deputy athletic director at Wisconsin, is truly in the running, then this is a good thing for Boston College.

Sean Frazier spent his college years at Alabama as a football player. We have no reason to believe he did much playing, but even if he walked onto the team, he suited up for the Crimson Tide. That in itself is something notable, but also for the fact that Frazier likely recognizes good football when he sees it. Conversely, if hired, he would see what Boston College currently has and know that it isn’t.

He then received his Master’s at Maine, a big-time hockey school, and is working on his Ed.D. now at Wisconsin. Before heading out to the Midwest, Frazier also served in Maine’s athletics department, and witnessed the Black Bears win a national title. His first big break as an athletic director came at Manhattanville College, in the shadow of I-684 just outside White Plains, NY. While there, his big achievement was founding both men’s and women’s ice hockey programs.

From Manhattanville, Frazier became AD at Clarkson, where he founded another hockey program, this time for just the ladies. After that, he became familiar with Hockey East territory once again in taking a job as the athletic director at Merrimack. Finally, in 2007, he moved over to the Badger State to work in their athletics department. A year and a half ago, Barry Alvarez made Frazier his top lieutenant at Wisconsin Athletics. He also served as chairman of the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee for the 2011-12 season, which is why he handed Jerry York the hardware.

At Wisconsin, Frazier is involved with oversight specifically in the football and hockey programs, which are some of the most important ones we have at Boston College. Wisconsin’s football program has not been without incident during that time, however. Frazier’s name was briefly mentioned in a report about a January scandal in which an associate athletic director for the school became intoxicated at a Rose Bowl party in California and sexually assaulted a male student, while underage students drank alcohol on the school’s dime. No specific ill came of it for Frazier, nor does it appear that he made any misleading statements, but the praise has not been universal. (Editor’s Note: Wisconsin’s investigation into the matter has been regarded as ““transparent” and “decisive” and appears to be closed.)

Should this event back in January disqualify him? I don’t think so, especially because his involvement in the story appears to be minimal, and given his track record of success and how he fills out the checklist for Boston College in just about every way. It is impossible to comment on that situation further without knowing more, but you can be certain that it probably came up in an interview if it has indeed happened already.

If Boston College hires Frazier, that would mean two things: (1) BC Athletics/the Board of Trustees/Father Leahy are satisfied with Frazier’s explanation on the situation or simply don’t view it as that big of a deal, and (2) BC Athletics/the Board of Trustees/Father Leahy are taking this hire seriously. He is intimately familiar with big-time football and hockey, and is the sort of guy that we hope would look for solid new coaching hires. If I had to pick someone to make my next football coaching hire, probably in late 2012 or early 2013, I would want it to be someone who knows about winning football teams in major programs over most others.

Frazier is the best candidate name that has been floated by any media sources so far. Time will tell if he is “the guy.”