The cliche you hear most often when describing success in athletic departments is stability in leadership.
How would you describe the stability factor for this Power 5 conference school : 6 football and men's basketball coaches and 4 athletic directors over the past decade?
Not surprisingly, there have no national championships, conference titles, major bowl bids or even many winning records during that time frame in those sports.
Oh, there has been stability at the very top--one school President--during that time frame, which is an interesting common denominator.
Say hello to the Boston College Eagles who are again in the process of searching for an athletic director after word filtered out that Patrick Kraft was headed for Penn State.
Kraft was hired two years ago to replace Martin Jarmond, who was hired to replace Brad Bates, who was hired to replace Gene DeFilippo who resigned in 2012.
That AD carousel was part of an athletic picture in men's basketball and football in which the Eagles ranged from hopeless to hapless.
Also included is a list of coaches which included Frank Spaziani, Steve Addazio and now Jeff Hafley in football and Al Skinner,Jim Christian and now Earl Grant in basketball.
The one constant through all of this has been BC President ReverendWilliam Leahy, whose interest in athletics seems minimal, except when a new coach is being hired.
Hafley appears to have settled down the football program and Grant may have the basketball program pointed in the right direction, but these are turbulent times in college athletics and an athletic director with the proper marketing and leadership skills is imperative.
Jarmond was only at The Heights for two years before jumping west to a better job at UCLA. |
Kraft arrived at BC in the summer of 2020 and is headed to Penn State, also a better job.
No one is suggesting that BC should be a destination job, but it is far better than a transfer station.
There will be no shortage of qualified candidates.
But predicting the direction Rev. Leahy will travel has proven to be a foolish venture.
More than a few unsuccessful candidates were blunt in their assessment of their failure: I didn't kiss the ring'''.
It is more complicated than that, of course, but understanding the culture at BC is vital for success.
College athletics, with new transfer portal rules and Name, Image and Licensing opportunities is a different entity than it was 10 years ago.
The next AD at BC must be able to live in that world, as well as the old fashioned world of funding 29 varsity sports which exists at BC as well as the other restrictions in a Jesuit school.
Several people, with and without BC connections, ranging from UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford, VCU athletic director Ed McLaughlin and UCLA senior associate Matt Elliott all have legitimate credentials.
So does someone like USF athletic director Michael Kelly, whose connections with the Atlantic Coast Conference would be invaluable at BC.
As usual, however, it will depend on what Rev. Leahy feels is the right way for BC--and that remains a mystery