Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mt. Rushmore: Write-In Vote

We continue our profile of Boston College sports greats to arrive at our BC athletics make-believe Mt. Rushmore...

We've nearly come to the end of the road. We are set to unveil our BC Mt. Rushmore on Monday.

In the meantime, we thought we'd profile those BC sports greats who, while they didn't make the final list for our reader poll, nevertheless deserve some consideration. The list of our snubbees, in no particular order ...

Brian Gionta - I am going to guess and say that a majority of of the side bar poll votes (8%) were for Brian Gionta. Gionta was the greatest hockey player we have ever seen play for the Eagles. In our opinion, he certainly should have won at least one of the Hobey Baker Awards for which he was a finalist (his sophomore, junior and senior years). Individual awards aside, Gionta helped guide the Eagles to an unprecedented four straight Frozen Fours. Those Frozen Four appearances included two heartbreaking overtime losses to Michigan and Notre Dakota, a loss in the semifinals to Maine, and capped with a 3-2 OT victory over North Dakota for the program's second national title. And five goals in a period is about as great a performance as we have ever seen by a BC Eagle.

Mike Holovak - Holovak was a star running back for the Eagles from 1940-1942. He is regarded as one of the best running backs in Boston College history, having left school as the career leader in career rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. Holovak's teams went 26-5 in his three years. The Eagles finished #5 in the final AP poll of his freshman season (11-0), and #8 after his junior year (8-2). Holovak was a first round, 5th overall pick in the 1943 NFL draft. Holovak was on HD's Mt. Rushmore of Boston College football, so we've tried to tell you something about him other than text lifted directly from the BC media guide.

Len Ceglarski - Ceglarski played both varsity hockey and baseball while a student at BC. He was a member of the 1949 National Championship ice hockey team and batted .429 as the Eagles' starting second basemen. When legendary coach Snooks Kelley retired in 1972, he took over behind the Eagles bench. Over twenty seasons, Ceglarski guided the Eagles to over 400 wins including a runner-up finish in the 1978 National Championship game (a 5-3 loss to the dropkick dogs). He would retire as the NCAA Division I leader in career coaching victories with 689.

Mike Ruth - Also on HD's Mt. Rushmore, Ruth is Boston College's only Outland Trophy winner (nation's best offensive or defensive interior lineman). His senior season, he was also selected as to the AP's first team All-American and All East teams. Ruth played for the Eagles from 1982-1985. As a dominant defensive lineman, Ruth registered over 300 tackles and 29 sacks (a BC record). Along with Flutie, only 1 of 2 players to have his number - #68 - retired by the school. Helped guide the Eagles to their 1984 Cotton Bowl victory over Houston and a Tangerine and Liberty Bowl apperance.

David Emma - Emma, along with Mike Mottau, is one of the school's two Hobey Baker Award winners (1991). Emma finished his four year career as the school's leading scorer with 239 points, and is second on the all-time goals (112) and assists (127) list. Two time first team All-American selection. Emma was also awarded the 1991 Walter Brown Award (best American-born player in New England) and was inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 2006.

Dana Barros - First BC Eagles basketball player to score over 2,000 points in his career (finished with 2,293). Barros was selected as Big East Freshman of the Year in 1985-1986. Led the Big East in scoring during both his junior (21.9 ppg) and senior years (23.9 ppg). Inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 2005.

Craig Smith - Smith finished his career with 2,349 points, behind only Troy Bell. He is one of less than 100 players in NCAA Division I history to tally over 2,000 points and 1,000 boards in his career (joining Danya Abrams as the only Eagles on that list). His senior year, Smith was selected to the first-team All ACC team and the third-team All American team. Broke the team's freshman scoring record with 617 points. Played in seven NCAA Tournament games, registering 122 points, 75 boards and 53 field goals (BC records).

J. Donald Monan, S.J. - Father Monan served as the school's president for 24 years, the longest tenure of any Boston College president. Under his leadership, the school built Conte Forum, renovated Alumni Stadium, doubled the size of the 'Plex, and was a founding president of the Big East Conference. Monan was inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 1985, and also awarded the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's Distinguished American Award in 1996. The Distinguished American Award to a person who over a long period of time has made significant contributions to the betterment of amateur football in America.

Gene DeFilippo - This might be an unpopular honorable mention at this point depending on how you feel about how he handled the Jagodzinski soap opera, but the fact is that GDF has been the AD during an unprecedented string of successful Boston College athletics programs. Guided the school and the program from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2005. GDF was also instrumental in the building of football's Yawkey Athletics Center. Has seen the BC hockey team and sailing teams win multiple National Championships, as well as tremendous athletics success in football and basketball.

Any other write-in votes we missed? Last chance to state your case for one of these honorable mention candidates or someone we missed ...

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