The Boston College search for a new basketball coach appears to be following a traditional–for this generation of athletic directors–format
BC athletic director Brad Bates reportedly has reached out to former South Carolina and Vanderbilt head coach Eddie Fogler to help find candidates for a replacement for Steve Donahue, who was fired last week.
Such a move, coupled with the word that as of Monday afternoon all was still quiet about contact with Harvard, would suggest that BC is not making Harvard coach Tommy Amaker its primary choice.
Things could change rapidly in the next few days, especially if Fogler puts Amaker at the top of HIS List.
Fogler is well respected for doing a thorough job on vetting candidates and has helped in searches at such places as Auburn, Michigan, Penn State and Vanderbilt.
There is also linkage between Bates and Fogler, who was the head coach of the Commodores from 1989-93.
Bates arrived at Vanderbilt in 1985 as the head strength coach, moved to a job as assistant Athletic director in 1989, moving up the administrative ladder to Senior Associate AD before taking over as Director of Athletics at Miami of Ohio in 2002.
It makes perfect sense for Bates, who is know for his thoroughness in research to contact Fogler about the BC opening.
Bates only response to a question about Fogler was that “I use several people in the business that I trust.”
What names Fogler will give Bates remains the key question.
Besides Amaker, a list could include Providence Coach Ed Cooley, Bryant University Coach Tim O’Shea, each of whom previously worked at BC for Al Skinner. O’Shea is also a BC graduate.
But Cooley, who spent nine years as an assistant at BC to Skinner, is happy at Providence, where he took the Friars to the Big East tournament championship and the NCAA tournament. “I’m at the right place at the right time,” said Cooley on Monday.
O’Shea, who won at Ohio and Bryant, would be interested if the call came from his alma mater, but is regarded in the second group of candidates who might emerge
Another possibility could be Xavier Coach Chris Mack, who also fits the profile of a young (44) who has produced four 20 plus win seasons in five years at Xavier, knows the ACC from his days at Wake Forest as an assistant to the late Skip Prosser.He has also taken Xaiver to four NCAA tournaments in five seasons, including one second round appearance and two Sweet 16 round appearances.
Mack also fits into the mold of a coach with a Catholic education-St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, which has produced several BC football players including two time All American linebacker Luke Kuechly–has coached at an urban Catholic University with high academic standards and produced winners in two major conferences, the Atlantic 10 and the Big East.
One problem that BC may have is that Wake Forest, which also has an opening, is also interested. If Mack does leave Xaiver, getting back to the ACC at a place where he is spent three years and was comfortable would seem to have an edge.
Another problem is that Mack, who grew up in Cincinnati, is already home in comfor table surroundings near his family and friends and coaching at his alma mater.
Other names such as Manhattan Coach Steve Masiello and George Washington Coach Mike Lonegran, who was interested in the BC job when Skinner was fired four years ago also could appear on a wish list.
So now Bates and Fogler and the other people in Bates’ inner circle will determine if Amaker, who was back at Harvard on Monday, or someone else will take control of a BC basketball program which needs a leader sooner rather than later.
© 2014, Mark. All rights reserved.