By Damien Ovalle
After forty years of service to Brooklyn College, Bruce Filosa announced his official retirement from his role as director of recreation, intramurals and intercollegiate athletics, marking a new era for Brooklyn sports.
Under Filosa’s tenure, Brooklyn College enjoyed a rich history. The school earned various CUNYAC Championships, ECAC Championships, and made NCAA Division III appearances; not to mention the many great athletes who passed through his system.
Things started to change in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, not only with COVID-19 protocols, but inside the program itself. One of those major changes was Director Filosa taking a step back from the Athletics program.
As BC moved towards in-person instruction and campus life began to grow again, Athletics made similar progress. Alex Lang, the women’s basketball coach and former acting sports information director, was named acting director for recreation, intramurals, and athletics after collegiate sports were on a year-long break due to the coronavirus.
Since then, Lang rose to his responsibilities as interim director, hiring coaches for multiple programs such as men and women’s swimming, cheerleading, and men’s and women’s volleyball, to name a few. He also opened the West Quad back up to the community and encouraged students to rejoin teams.
Tim Slakas, assistant athletic director/sports information assist., scheduling, and intramurals, played an essential role in keeping Brooklyn’s Athletics on the track back to how the program used to run pre-COVID.
With Filosa gone and his permanent replacement yet to be announced, the start for a new director began earlier this fall and has placed the final say to several administrators including Student Affairs, which oversees the college’s Athletics department.
“The search process for the Director of Athletics is not complete. Therefore, I cannot comment on it,” said Ron Jackson, the vice president of student affairs, when asked about the search.
Although not being involved in the direct selection of a new Athletics director, Slakas noted the search is “ a standard process.”
As Brooklyn College opened the nationwide search and cast its net for a new athletic director, it was believed that Lang was most qualified to receive the position due to his tenure and experience. According to people familiar with the director search, there is a discourse within the Athletics program as the search draws to a close, and the possibility of Lang losing the position as the interim director remains.
When asked to comment on the search and his feeling towards the ongoing situation, Slakas told The Vanguard, “Alex is an excellent candidate, he’s highly qualified just because of his experience, accomplishments over two decades as a coach, and an administrator.”
To further discuss his candidacy however, Lang declined commentary due to the position search being ongoing.
The appointment of a new Athletics head will ultimately boil down to the real decision-makers: the college’s human resources department and the CUNY Board of Trustees. Nonetheless, a variety of people from coaches to players are against the notion of possibly removing Lang from his current title. Many have gone against the board, changing their attire, creating signs, and posting their frustrations on social media. Posts such as “wear black clothing” and “Support Alex Lang For Director” were passed around on social media.
There is a strong sense of family within the West Quad. Faculty, student-athletes, and others have grown with each other and developed this bond that comes together whenever the Bulldogs play. At the forefront of that is the person who many have become used to being their director, Alex Lang.
When asked to comment on the athletic director position and the status of the search, Richard Pietras, the college’s media relations manager, said, “Brooklyn College follows the university’s established search protocol with regard to hiring. The search process for the athletics director position is complete, and the college will name the new director shortly.”
As students, athletes, and the rest of the Brooklyn College community wait for who will be at the helm of the college’s sports, the question remains: Will Alex Lang continue to lead Athletics or will a new vision be installed in Brooklyn?