Former NCAA president and ACC Commissioner Gene Corrigan died overnight surrounded by family at 91, the conference announced Saturday.
In September 1987, Corrigan became the third full-time commissioner of the ACC and led the conference until his retirement in December 1996. In addition to his role as commissioner, Corrigan also served as the president of the NCAA from 1995–97.
During his time heading the ACC, the conference added a ninth member (Florida State) and ACC programs captured 27 national championships, including three in basketball and two in football.
"Simply put, Gene was one of the most remarkable individuals, and leaders, I have ever known," ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. "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."
Prior to leading the ACC and NCAA, Corrigan was the athletics director at Virginia, Notre Dame and Washington and Lee. He also coached soccer and lacrosse at UVa and was an assistant coach of basketball, soccer and lacrosse at Washington and Lee.
He joined the Army in 1946, serving for an 18-month stint. Then he attended Duke, where he was a four-year starter in lacrosse. He was inducted into the school's Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991. Corrigan has been recognized by countless other organizations for his role in college athletics including the National Football Foundation’s highest honor, the Gold Medal (1996).
Among his seven children, his son, Boo, was hired as NC State athletic director in January 2019.
Corrigan is survived by his wife, Lena, seven children, 19 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.