’s Fan Friday: Memories Of Gene Corrigan

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Gene Corrigan
Gene Corrigan served as UVA Athletics Director for 10 years and coached multiple sports for the Hoos as well. ~ Photo courtesy Virginia Athletics Media Relations

Former Virginia Athletics Director and coach Gene Corrigan, who also served as ACC Commissioner and NCAA President, died peacefully Sunday in Charlottesville. He was 91. UVA and the ACC announced the news of his passing this past Saturday.

Corrigan began his first job with the Cavaliers in 1958 as the head lacrosse coach, head soccer coach, and assistant basketball coach. After three years, he moved out of basketball coaching and added work as Virginia’s Sports Information Director. In 1969, Corrigan left UVA to become the Athletics Director at Washington & Lee, where he had started his coaching career in 1955.

In 1971, Corrigan returned to Charlottesville as Virginia’s Athletics Director. After serving in that role for 10 years, he accepted the same job at Notre Dame from 1981 to 1987. From there, he became the third full-time ACC Commissioner and held that post from 1987 to 1996 when he retired. From 1995 to 1997, he was also serving as NCAA President.

Current UVA AD Carla Williams shared her thoughts on Corrigan in a news release.

“Gene Corrigan was a giant in our industry,” Williams said. “Barry Parkhill, Coach Corrigan and I had a road trip not long after I arrived at UVA and we could have talked for hours. I learned a lot that day. It was always a delight to see Coach Corrigan and Lena because of their genuine kindness. My prayers are with Lena, Boo, Debbie and the entire Corrigan family.”

Current ACC Commissioner John Swofford shared his thoughts as well.

“When Gene hired me at the University of Virginia straight out of graduate school, it was one of the luckiest days of my life,” Swofford said. “That day began a relationship and mentorship that lasted nearly half a century. Simply put, Gene was one of the most remarkable individuals, and leaders, I have ever known. His impact on the ACC and college athletics was profound and immeasurable, only surpassed by his impact on the individuals he positively affected – and there are a multitude of us. I will miss him immensely, but I am so grateful to have had him as a mentor, boss, friend and colleague for so many years. Nora and I spent several hours with Gene and Lena at their home in Charlottesville last fall. The time was truly special. Nora joins me in extending our hearts and prayers to Lena and the extraordinary Corrigan family.”

Virginia fans shared some of their thoughts on the Sabre message boards as well. UVAFan2626 started a thread on the football board that led to several posts of tribute to Corrigan. See selected ones below.

Keep scrolling for the rest of Fan Friday.

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Student Fan(s) Of The Week

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Feature Photo Of The Week

Braxton Key shed the cast on his left wrist and put up 13 points in Virginia’s 61-56 win against Florida State.

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  1. Gene Corrigan was a coach at Camp Wahoo. Bill McCann (UVA) was the camp director and Wennie Miller(VMI) was one of the other coaches. I attended the camp at the Miller School and although I never became the player I aspired too, it was a fantastic experience. Back then, coaches actually worked with the players not just players or former players. All three coaches were great. They were approachable, funny and certainly took an interest in all of the campers. My first summer there I was a little intimated by Coach Corrigan. I was left handed and he yelled (nicely) to shoot my lay ups on the right side of the basket with my right hand. He was right, of course;. Later he called me a jump shot artist. Made my day! Met him many years later at Barracks Road. We had a great conversation.

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