Amaker pondering BC decision

If Boston College wanted to hire Harvard Coach Tommy Amaker as its next basketball coach, it could have simply picked up the phone and told Amaker that he was their first choice and work on a deal to get it done.

According to sources familiar with the process, BC didn’t do that and Amaker was considering withdrawing his name from consideration, rather than be part of a group process of interviewing several candidates and wait for a decision.

It is not a done deal in either instance on Amaker.

But there were also indications that BC officials made it clear to Amaker that he was their No. 1 choice and that the hiring of a search firm to find candidates was a precautionary measure in case a deal with Amaker could not be worked out.

If Amaker were to take the BC job, he could have made it clear that certain upgrades to the BC basketball program would to be made to keep it on pace with other schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference, which is moving steadily to become the best basketball conference in the country.


The resolution of the issues-is expected in the next few days.

Athletic director Brad Bates consulted several people, brought in a search firm headed by former South Carolina and Vanderbilt coach Eddie Fogler and compiled a list of candidates as replacements for Steve Donahue.

Amaker’s name may or may not have been on that list, but it was on a list.

Amaker reportedly was not pleased with that. His theory was that if someone wanted him to be their coach, it was a plain and simple deal. He didn’t mind the interview process, but he was not comfortable with the idea of being one of a group of candidates interviewed.

He felt that he was beyond the point of auditioning. If you wanted him, offer him the job. If you didn’t want him, don’t bother calling. He did that when he was hired by Seton Hall. He did that when he was hired by Michigan. He did that when Harvard hired him seven years ago.

Bates chose to go the traditional way, of putting a list of several candidates together.

Amaker, who has guided Harvard to 3 consecutive NCAA tournaments and won second round games the past two years, did not want to work under those parameters.

The hope here is that Amaker can be convinced that he is the best person to lead BC towards respectability and that the list of other candidates was a safety net only if Amaker and BC couldn’t come to an agreement.

No news coming out of the Heights on Tuesday night, nor any word from Amaker could mean that a period of negotiating a deal has begun.

Whether that deal can be worked out remains uncertain.


© 2014, Mark. All rights reserved.

  11 comments for “Amaker pondering BC decision

  1. BC87
    March 25, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Mark – is this a joke? Amaker feels he does not even have to interview for the job? Hopefully Bates takes him off the list for being an arrogant SOB. Thank goodness as he was abolutely the wrong choice anyway. Best choices in order – and all would be good: Lonergan, Howland, Schmidt

    • Mark
      March 25, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      You’ve got it wrong Amaker didn’t argue being interviewed. He didn’t want to be one of five coaches interviewed

  2. Dolph
    March 25, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Amaker’s not the only guy out there, and he may not even be the best fit. Not sure where he get’s the attitude, but it’s his right. I would point out that he’s not John Wooden, Coach K, or Rick Pitino. Give him credit where credit’s due. He got HARVARD into the tournament a few times, but so did Donahue get Cornell into the Sweet Sixteen. He did reasonably well at both Michigan and Seton Hall too, but you can’t blame BC for doing their due diligence on this hire. One might reasonably ask if he WANTS the BC job?! Maybe he doesn’t care. I am sure if BC doesn’t get him someone else like Wake Forest will. Let the chips fall where they may.

    • Mark
      March 25, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      Amaker just didn’t want to be part of a group of coaches being interviewed. He didn’t chase the job. If BC wanted him, he would listen and probably come. He has a good job, a great job and would only leave if he felt a better offer came

  3. Bill
    March 25, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Do you get paid to write this stuff? Awful. BC fans don’t want Amaker, and we don’t want you writing about BC. Go away.

    • Mark
      March 25, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      No problem.

  4. Ben Dover
    March 25, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    “Amaker reportedly was not pleased with that. His theory was that if someone wanted him to be their coach, it was a plain and simple deal.”

    “there might still be some wiggle room to get Amaker back into the mix”


    • Could Amaker Win At BC?
      March 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      I am very interested in seeing whether Amaker could win at BC without the advantage he has at Harvard, where his program is allowed by the university to recruit and admit more weak students academically than the other Ivies allow. This gives him a material advantage which is sometimes overlooked when analyzing his admittedly eye-opening turnaround performance on a previously moribund program.

      I think Amaker would a big step up from Donahue but whether he could elevate the Eagles to, say, the top third of the ACC remains an open question.

      • Mark
        March 25, 2014 at 10:33 pm

        you make good points. I think it is tougher to get kids in at BC than Harvard

    • Mark
      March 25, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      Amaker didn’t want to be one of five coaches interviewed

      • Ben Dover
        March 26, 2014 at 8:09 am

        In what profession can you just get handed the keys to an operation and a 7 to 8 figure contract without an interview?

        If the above is true, BC had no interest and Amaker is pulling his name out to avoid the embarrassment and shakedown Harvard for more $$.

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