A JERSEY GUY: BC Needs To Recruit John Beilein

Mark Blaudschun

It is time for Boston College athletic director Martin Jarmond to make his next move to revive the Eagle' athletic program and image.

All indications are that Jarmond made the correct move in firing BC football coach Steve Addazio and hiring hiring Ohio State assistant Jeff Hafley.

BC football had become stale and in a perpetual "wait until next year'' mode.

In two months, Hafley has changed, if nothing else, the air flow into the program.

Now it is time to look at basketball.

BC hoops has been more inept than BC football, with basketball coach Jim Christian posting only one winning record in his six seasons at The Heights.

The Eagles are a few weeks away from ending another losing season, barring a late surge in the regular season and a win or two in the ACC tournament.

BC has gotten better this season and posted some remarkable results-home wins over Duke and Virginia Tech and a road win at North Carolina.

But like football, there is no significant upward trend.

Why?

The first place you look is at the head coach.

Jim Christian is a good guy and a good coach, but is he good enough at the ACC level?

You make the call.

In two stints in the Mid-American Conference (Kent State and Ohio U), Christian's teams never had a losing record, won 20 or more games five times and had 2 NCAA and 4 NIT appearances.

In two stints at the major conference level, at TCU and at Boston College, Christian's teams, had 7 (and perhaps 8) losing seasons in 10 years, no 20-win seasons, zero NCAA tournament appearances and one NIT appearance.

AD's shouldn't fire coaches unless they have candidates who they feel can do the job and presumably want the job.

Jarmond has evaluated BC basketball, the way he evaluated BC basketball.

There have been names floating at The Heights all season, specifically Michigan assistant (and former BC player) Howard Eisley.

Eisley may indeed be a good choice, but he has never been a head coach and he is a gamble, just as Hafley was a gamble in football.

But the game changed last week when the Cleveland Cavaliers and Coach John Beilein parted ways after less than a season.

Beilein has been a college head coach--a very, very good college head coach-- at West Virginia and at Michigan.

At 67, he is obviously closer to the end of his career than the start, but he also might want to end his career on a more positive note.

He is AVAILABLE.

He has the qualifications and he will receive offers at schools--with places such as Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt and Texas being mentioned.

Other than Texas, BC should be able to match or top any offer Beilein gets.

BC offers an academic atmosphere and an athletic spotlight in the ACC, similar to what Beilein had at Michigan.

It doesn't have the facilities, which is a major draw back, but it DOES have the money, thanks to the annual $36 million infusion of ACC cash the Eagles receive as part of the television rights package.

If BC and Jarmond are truly serious about competing--Top 25 level--in college basketball, they need to open their wallets.

If you throw out Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski's 9 million dollar a year package, the average top level ACC coach is paid $2.85 million per season.

Christian was in the bottom half, earning approximately $ 1.8 a year.

It wouldn't be a stretch for BC to make Beilein a "Godfather'' offer, in the $3.5 to $4 million a year range.

Again BC can easily afford that investment.

The Eagles are a few weeks away from wrapping up another season.

Now is the time to move.

They have a potential coach, they have the money, they have enough perks to offer.

At the very least, BC should make the call and see what happens-- that is if they are serious about improving a basketball program which has been dormant, at best, for more than a decade.

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Mark Blaudschun

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