The courtship between Harvard coach Tommy Amaker and Boston College officially ended on Saturday night with a simple statement. “After thoughtful deliberation< I continue to realize my heart is at Harvard,” said Amaker in a release which confirmed that he would remain as the men’s basketball coach with the Crimson.
Unofficially, the relationship between Amaker and Boston College ended last Tuesday when Amaker, through his agent, David Falk, let BC and anyone else who was interested know that there would be no “process” involved in filling the job.
The message, as was first reported last week by a Jerseyguy. com, was that Amaker was indeed interested in talking to BC, but he was not applying for the job and would not be a candidate for the job with an assortment of other coaches.
The Boston College response was that there would be a process and that Amaker would be high on their list, but that their would be other coaches considered as well.
And that pretty much ended the discussion with BC, but Amaker had another suitor. Wake Forest called as well and offered Amaker what BC did not–no process–and an opportunity to come back to the ACC
But such a move would require Amaker to leave Boston. Amaker thought about it, talked about with his wife Stephanie Pinder-Amaker, who is a licensed clinical psychologist on staff at the Harvard Medical School, and they told Wake Forest, thanks, but no thanks. They had a great life at Harvard, loved the city and were not ready to give it up.
Taking the BC job would have been the compromise–move into the fast paced world of ACC basketball again, but stay in Boston.
BC officials, used to candidates who would accept an offer from BC under any conditions, did not know how to respond to Amaker’s wishes of being the only candidate in the process, something he had done in taking jobs at Seton Hall, Michigan and Harvard. He was not adverse to interviewing, but he wasn’t “applying” for any job at this point in his career, which has risen steadily since his arrival in Cambridge with three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and second round wins the past two years.
For BC, which is in a crisis stage with the direction of its basketball program, this hire could and should be regarded as crucial. Fan support is down, enthusiasm is below that level and private funding is shrinking.
The BC process of doing things on and off the court is antiquated, almost obsolete. Amaker had a vision in his head of how to turn things around, but BC never heard it all because the talks never really went beyond the process.
So Amaker will return to Harvard. “It’s all good,” he said last night, when asked about the future. “I’m in a great place.”
BC is not.