Boo Corrigan’s work with Army’s athletic department was too good to go unnoticed.
The way longtime lacrosse coach Joe Alberici had it figured, it was only a matter a time before he would need a new boss at West Point.
On Wednesday, N.C. State announced it has hired Corrigan from Army to be its next athletic director.
“This is such a home run for N.C. State,” said Alberici, who has been Army’s lacrosse coach for 14 years.
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“Boo’s a great leader and has a terrific vision for the athletic program. Our loss will be N.C. State’s gain.”
Corrigan, 52, will be introduced at a press conference at Reynolds Coliseum on Thursday. He will take over for Debbie Yow at N.C. State on May 1. He has agreed to a five-year contract worth $1.05 million annually and with another $250,000 available in annual bonuses.
Yow, who has been the Wolfpack’s athletic director since 2010, is set to retire at the end of April. She will remain on contract through July 14.
N.C. State chancellor Randy Woodson made the decision to hire Corrigan. He used the Parker Executive Search firm in Atlanta to help with the process. Corrigan, whose father Gene was the former ACC commissioner, has recently been a candidate for the top jobs at Virginia and Vanderbilt. Corrigan had previously worked in administrative roles at Duke, Florida State, Notre Dame and Navy.
“N.C. State is a special institution with a long, proud athletic history and an incredible fan base,” Corrigan said in a statement released by the school. “I’m excited to work with the university’s outstanding coaches, talented student-athletes and dedicated staff to build on the strong foundation developed over the last several years and look forward to moving N.C. State to even higher levels in all aspects of the student-athlete experience.”
Corrigan was hired by Army in 2011 and helped rejuvenate the military academy’s dormant football program in short order.
Gene Corrigan has been in poor health recently and was unable to comment Wednesday. His wife, Lena, said the family was happy for Boo.
Eugene “Boo” Corrigan chose an athletic administrative career for himself, his mother said, but “of course, the apple doesn’t fall from the tree. I think he had a pretty good role model.”
“We all feel like he belonged in the ACC although they had some wonderful years at West Point,” Lena Corrigan said.
Success at Army
Army’s athletic department has had success across the board during Corrigan’s tenure with 20 Patriot League titles (regular season and tournament) and significant improvements in fundraising and facilities.
He was named the 2017 Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
The improvement of the Black Knights’ football program was Corrigan’s most impressive work. Army went 3-9 in Corrigan’s first year as AD. He hired coach Jeff Monken in 2014 and two years later, ended a 14-game losing streak to Navy.
Army set a school record with 11 wins this season, including a third straight win over Navy. The Black Knights finished 11-2 and ranked No. 19 in the AP poll, their best finish since 1958.
Todd Turner, N.C. State’s athletic director in the early 1990s, now runs his own executive search firm. He helped Corrigan hire Monken. Turner has no doubt Corrigan will be successful with the Wolfpack.
“He’s terrific and will be just superb at N.C. State,” Turner said. “The best thing about Boo is he’s such a great relationships person and not only for the coaches and the people in the department but he’ll be great with the community and the fans. They will really find him to be approachable and easy to get along with -- just like his dad.”
Alberici, who has worked for Corrigan for eight years at Army, agreed that Corrigan has the right personality for the Wolfpack job.
“He has a laid-back persona and the coaches really care for him,” Alberici said. “His management style is empowering. He has been amazing here.”
Progress under Yow
Corrigan takes over an athletic department that has taken off under Yow. She wanted to build a “top 25 program” in all sports and the Wolfpack finished No. 15 in the Directors’ Cup competition last year and is ranked No. 10 for this academic year.
Yow also will leave Corrigan in good footing in the revenue sports. She hired basketball coach Kevin Keatts in 2017 and reworked his contract this fall and football coach Dave Doeren signed a new deal before the 2018 season.
“With Debbie’s retirement as N.C. State’s athletics director, it was critical that we find a leader that could build on the unprecedented success we have enjoyed during her tenure,” Woodson said in a statement released by the school. “In Boo, we have found a very successful leader who puts student-athletes first, builds strong relationships both internally and externally, and is committed to the development of coaches and staff to achieve at a very high level. I could not be more excited about the future of N.C. State athletics.”
Corrigan grew up in Charlottesville, Va., while his father served as Virginia’s athletic director from 1971-81. Gene Corrigan later was athletic director at Notre Dame before becoming ACC commissioner in 1987.
Boo Corrigan is married to the former Kristen Aceto, a field hockey and lacrosse player at the University of Virginia, who also earned a master’s degree from the school. The couple have three children, Finley (17), Tre (15) and Brian (14).