Boston College AD: I have 'total confidence' in coaches
BOSTON (AP) Boston College Athletic Director Brad Bates said in a letter to the school's supporters Friday that he has ''total confidence'' in his football and basketball coaches even though their teams failed to win an Atlantic Coast Conference game in either sport this academic year.
''We have two excellent coaches in Steve Addazio and Jim Christian, and I have total confidence in their ability to fix the situation,'' Bates wrote. ''Both understand the challenges ahead and have plans in place to address them and produce winning programs. I have absolutely no doubt they will succeed.''
The Boston College football team finished 3-9 this season with an 0-8 record in the ACC. The Eagles basketball team just finished its season with a 7-25 mark and an 0-18 record in the conference.
Not since Texas Christian, then of the Southwest Conference, went a combined 0-24 in 1976-77 has a school from a major Division I conference gone winless in its league football and basketball seasons. BC is the first ACC school ever to sink that low.
BC's basketball team was hurt by the departures of some of its best players from last year and injuries to some of the best who were left behind. They lost three games by five or fewer points, including a three-point loss to then-No. 9 North Carolina on Feb. 9 in a game the Eagles led for nearly 36 minutes.
In the final week of the season, after the school's plight had attracted national attention, BC led North Carolina State with 1.1 seconds remaining before giving up the go-ahead layup at the buzzer.
Basketball coach Jim Christian said last week it was good to have the support of the administration.
''You have to realistically know it's gonna take time,'' he said. ''It's a rebuilding process and this is all part of the process. It's not easy to go through, but I knew when I took the job it was gonna be a very difficult process. ... But at the same time I've never doubted or waivered that it's gonna get done. Never once.''
Bates' letter noted some brighter spots for the school's athletic teams, including a top-ranked women's hockey team that is heading to the NCAA tournament undefeated and a men's hockey team that is ranked third in the nation. The school also recently announced a $200 million upgrade to the athletics facilities.
''Yet, in the world of college athletics, we must also win in football and basketball,'' Bates acknowledged. ''As we have in the past, we will fight back, and we will win. We are BC.''
AP Sports Writer Kyle Hightower contributed reporting to this report.