Given the time of year, it is perhaps apropos that this is a Christmas list as opposed to a standard wish list. This is the kind of list where you only get one of the gifts you offer up, though, so it better be the best one possible. It is also apropos because I think we’ll be closer to Christmas when this process is complete. I would be shocked if Brad Bates named a coach next week — given how deliberate Bates seems to be, several weeks is a good guess.
These are a few of the candidates I would consider if I were doing the hiring (not an exhaustive list; I don’t have all day):
Defensive coordinator, Notre Dame
I think Diaco will at the very least get a call. He’s young (graduated from college in 1995, which would conceivably mean he’s pushing 40), experienced on the sidelines despite never having been a head coach, and has tasted competition in the ACC at Virginia. It doesn’t hurt him personally to be the defensive coordinator of the #1 team, but it also means other schools could come calling. He’s from New Jersey, fertile recruiting ground for BC. Diaco would be a good fit for the program, though again, he does not have head coaching experience.
Head coach, Miami
Golden may or may not be an option, but we’ve all heard the stories that some ‘Canes boosters think Golden is a fish out of water in Miami. The program is ankle-deep in NCAA sanction shinola, but Golden has not been completely unblemished himself. Still, if he is what BC considers to be a good fit, he’ll get a call to come back north to a school at which he has already been an assistant. Whether or not he interviews, Golden’s name will be discussed.
Head coach, Northern Illinois (pictured)
Doeren has had two impressive seasons coaching the MAC’s Huskies. Any of the most successful MAC coaches are legitimate candidates because of Bates’ ties to the conference, and Doeren is amongst the best. He’s won as many games in two seasons (22) as Frank Spaziani won in four, plus a bowl game as an interim in 2006. Doeren has big-time football experience as well, having spent five years as defensive coordinator at Wisconsin. Additionally, he’d be just 41 if hired in December. One thing to take into account, however, is that he inherited his players, but Doeren is building a solid reputation. Other schools will show interest, but so will BC.
Head coach, Kent State
Hazell is another very successful MAC coach who inherited his team, but he’s got them ranked #17 in the BCS standings, which has to count for something. In an ironic twist, Hazell and Doeren will face each other in the MAC title game this weekend. He’s another New Jerseyan who has been an assistant at some large programs, such as West Virginia and Ohio State. Hazell is 48 and has many good coaching years ahead of him, though he’s only had one good season out of two. I would prefer more of a track record but he will be a candidate if BC wishes him to be.
Pete Carmichael, Jr.
Offensive coordinator, New Orleans Saints
This is not me throwing the BC purists a bone: Carmichael would be a serious candidate if I were drawing up the list. He played for Boston College and is a native of Massachusetts, both of which help give him intimate knowledge of the program’s tradition and where it stands relative to others in the region. Carmichael just turned 41 and is probably ready for his head coaching shot. On the other hand, he has not coached in college in 13 years since leaving Louisiana Tech (but neither had Jeff Jagodzinski, who was out of college football for almost a decade before taking the BC job). There is a lot to like about Carmichael if interested.
Offensive coordinator, San Francisco 49ers
The question is whether or not Roman would be interested, but if so, he has a lot going for him. Any coach who can help make Alex Smith look like a passable quarterback is probably a genius (though Jim Harbaugh has a lot to do with it), but Roman has done a very good job in a short time in San Francisco. He has coached in both college (Stanford) and the NFL (49ers, Panthers, Texans, Ravens) and is another New Jersey native. Roman is a 1993 college graduate, putting him at about 40-41 years old.
Other names will be evaluated as they emerge.