Eugene F. Corrigan

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Greensboro Sports Commission
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Eugene F. Corrigan

Gene Corrigan

A native of Baltimore, Md. and 1946 graduate of Loyola High School, Gene Corrigan participated in nearly every sport available in his school and community.  Before embarking on his collegiate career, he completed an 18-month stint immediately following high school with the United States Army.  Despite his yearning to play intercollegiate ice hockey, he enrolled at Duke University in Durham, NC where a similar fast-paced sport—lacrosse—was offered.  He became a four-year starter for the Blue Devils, leading them to the national title game in 1951. 

Corrigan graduated from Duke in 1952 with a degree in liberal arts and returned to Baltimore where he taught Latin, English and History at St. Paul’s School where he also coached prep football, basketball and lacrosse.  He moved to the collegiate coaching ranks in 1955, coaching soccer, basketball and lacrosse at Washington and Lee University (W&L) in Lexington, Va.  Three years later, he began his first nine-year association with the University of Virginia (UVA), serving as the head soccer and lacrosse coach as well as assistant basketball coach and physical education instructor.  Three years into his appointment he gave up the basketball assignment to become the Cavaliers’ Sports Information Director. 

Corrigan left UVA in 1967 to become the first full-time Service Bureau Director for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) under Commissioner Jim Weaver, while also handling duties with officials and investigations.  He was invited back to W&L in 1969 as the Director of Athletics and two years later returned to the University of Virginia for a ten-year stint as the Director of Athletic Programs, launching a period of expansion in women’s sports upon UVA’s decision in 1971 to enroll women.  In 1981, he was appointed Director of Athletics at the University of Notre Dame, serving the Fighting Irish until his selection as Commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1987.

During his athletic administration career he helped shape intercollegiate athletic policy as a member of the powerful NCAA Council and Executive Committee.  In addition to serving on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and chairing the Division I Men’s Lacrosse Committee, he was intimately involved in the protracted and complicated football television negotiations involving the College Football Association, the NCAA and its member schools and networks.  From 1995 to 1997 in his final two years as ACC Commissioner, he concurrently served as the President of the NCAA. He had also previously served as President of the United States Lacrosse Coaches Association.

Corrigan remains a member of the National Football Foundation (NFF) Board of Directors and College Hall of Fame and has served on its Honors Court.  He earned the association’s Gold Medal award in 1996, the highest individual award bestowed by the NFF recognizing an outstanding American who has contributed significantly to the sport of college football and our country.  Corrigan was named recipient of the Marvin “Skeeter” Francis Award in 2006 by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association, recognizing notable achievement and service to the media in the coverage of ACC sports.  A year later, he was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.  He and his wife Lena have seven children, 19 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren and reside near Charlottesville, Va. In retirement he remains active as a college athletics consultant and with various fundraising projects for the Charlottesville Catholic School.

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