BC coaching derby heating up

Sometimes at Boston College when things get complicated, the theory BC officials follow is to make it simpler.
For two weeks, BC athletic director Brad Bates has studied a list of candidates, interviewed some and asked about others.
Various names have appeared in media speculation. Syracuse assistant coach Mike Hopkinswas interviewed over the weekend.
St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt was contacted last week.
Other names such as Towson coach Patt Skerry, was on the list of potential candidates to be interviewed.
Very little has come out publicly or privately.
The silence out of Hopkins could very well mean that he is still in the mix, but hasn’t received an offer.
And then there is Schmidt, who interviewed last week and is a Boston College graduate and would be the most seamless fit.
Reportedly, Schmidt’s interview last week was with Eddie Fogler, whose search firm is helping BC vet candidates.
A second interview may have been scheduled for Monday or Tuesday, which would seem to again cast Schmidt in the favorite’s role.
Schmidt has won at Robert Morris and St. Bonaventure. He has the backing of several prominent BC alumni, including Doug Flutie and he will not cause ripples by asking for too much too soon.
In the often strange world of BC decision making that makes sense to some people.
While Hopkins did interview, Skerry, who grew up in Medford then went to Tufts, is still a mystery candidate Is he in or is he out?
If Schmidt is indeed the choice, the process should be wrapped up quickly, with all signs pointing to a decision being made and an announcement coming soon.
But on Monday night, another name surfaced and it is linked to Bates’ background in the Mid-American Conference.
Bates, who spent a dozen years as the athletic director at Miami (Ohio) reportedly is now interested in Ohio University coach Jim Christian.
Christian has a New England background, as a player at Boston University and Rhode Island. His coaching career includes stops at Western Kentucky, Saint Francis, Miami–before Bates arrived–, Pittsburgh and Kent State. He became the head coach at Kent State in 2002 and stayed until 2008 before moving to TCU for 4 seasons.
He came back to the MAC in 2012 and has won 49 games the past two seasons.
At 49, he is young enough to give the sagging BC basketball program a power boost and aside from his four year stint at TCU, which produced only 1 winning season, he has been a consistent winner every place he has gone.
Like Schmidt, Christian would be a fairly seamless fit into the world of BC basketball.

© 2014, Mark. All rights reserved.

  8 comments for “BC coaching derby heating up

  1. brian johnson
    April 1, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    How many “leaders” has Blauds reported on in the coaching search

    • Mark
      April 1, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Do you think it stays the same? Baltimore is leading the AL East right now. Will it be different a week from now. Its a process, sparky. Right now the process has Jim Christian in the lead. That could change because as new information comes in. As people decide what they are going to do, the list shifts.
      I tell you what. I will stop mentioning BC at all. And you can get your information from….?

    • Ben Dover
      April 1, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      Roughly 1838 this week.


  2. Ben Dover
    April 1, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Blauds, you think you could do a “where are they now” feature on Spaz?

    Would be nice to hear how he’s doing with that 7 figure buyout.

    • Mark
      April 1, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      Give it up sparky. I’m more interested in what you are doing now. Like what homeless shelter Ben Dover spends his nights?

      • Ben Dover
        April 1, 2014 at 4:27 pm

        Why you looking for some action?

        Sorry don’t swing that way, you’ll still have to settle for Spaz taking care of those needs.

  3. Big Shot
    March 31, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    UNC,Duke,SU,Louisville,Pitt,-these are the reasons BC is having a hard time getting a third tier candidate.Of course Brad Stevens would tout McCarty, it would be quite a raise for him. One thing I do know Schmidt can coach, but for BC they want it all, and have not much to offer a sure thing candidate, thus this is what you are left with. Also, when BC was crashing and burning in November,December,January, why did they not get ready for this search? My guess is Bates was giving Donohue one more year, which, now looks like a better move than they are stuck with. Hiring a new coach, of the longshot variety, for five years. Again,it doesn’t matter,since you on a good year will go 2-8 against the top five schools in conference. Enjoy the money BC, it’s all you are left with.

  4. Mitch
    March 31, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Good afternoon, Mark:

    I’d like to respond to both your blogs by saying that one would think that recruiting ability and charisma would be of paramount importance in BC’s coaching search.

    Brad Bates applied those priorities to the BC head football coach search. Sure, it helped that Steve Addazio, a long-time assistant and top recruiter (Florida), brought two years of head coaching experience (Temple) to the table. Regardless, Addazio has re-energized the football program and has even created quite a recruiting buzz the likes of which we haven’t seen at BC in quite some time.

    The hope would be that Bates would take as much time as necessary to put this now hapless men’s basketball program into the hands of a head coach who can create a similar buzz for basketball that Addazio has inspired for football.

    As for the candidates you mention:

    Mike Hopkins has the recruiting background—and he appears to have the passion—as he said he wants to go to a program where he can be the head coach “forever and win forever.” His long-time tenure as the #2 guy at Syracuse gives him instant creds with recruits and the current players.

    Like you I am surprised Pat Skerry has not been interviewed. Skerry is a very good recruiter, he’s from Medford, and he now has a couple of years of head coaching experience (Towson). In some ways, he appears to be in the Steve Addazio mold—very passionate and driven.

    I spent an hour of so the other day listening to press conferences from Mark Schmidt (St. Bonaventure), just to get a feel for him as a coach. Because he is a BC alum I wanted to feel inspired. However, I found him to be somewhat flat most of the time, even after wins where one would think he would be fired up about his kids’ performance. Instead I heard a lot of pat lines like, “we’ll take a win no matter how we get it.” There wasn’t much charisma—and I really think, for right or for wrong, BC needs a charismatic presence to re-energize the players and the fan base.

    I know you said that Walter McCarty had not been interviewed—but I love what he said about BC and the town of Boston and how passionate the fans would be if BC ever got back in the hunt for an ACC Championship. I very much appreciate that Brad Stevens believes McCarty would do a great job at BC. Stevens wouldn’t just say that. I think it would be worthwhile to give McCarty an interview.

    We saw this weekend the kind of impact Kevin Oliie is having in just his second year at UConn. He had no coaching experience coming in and he came into a tough situation with NCAA sanctions and a first year tournament ban. Yet he managed to keep all the players in the program—and now look how that is turning out. Any recruits watching UConn yesterday would likely be ecstatic to hear Kevin Ollie’s on the phone.

    So what voice on the phone from BC is going to excite recruits? I think a younger guy…one with passion and an understanding for what makes players tick today…and one who’s style of play centers on tenacious defense, aggressive rebounding, running the floor, attacking the rim and when cut off, dishing and swishing.

    BC needs a swish hire.

    If it means playing out the entire shot clock—that’s fine.

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