When it was clear that this BC team was on its way to an historically bad season (was this in November? December? I really don’t want to look back at the schedule and guess. Please don’t make me), most fans braced themselves for a coaching change. It was disappointing that a hard-working, earnest guy like Donahue wasn’t going to work out. But his record spoke for itself.
Then, Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated reported that Coach Donahue would return for his fifth season at Boston College. The response, at least from BC Twitter, was catatonic. There were calls for boycotts, people used bad language, this happened:
— HasDonahueBeenFired? (@FireDonahue) March 18, 2014
All-in-all it seemed like a pretty disastrous situation: was BC really going to cheap out and keep Donahue even though he submitted arguably the worst season in school history, in his 4th year, with all his own recruits?
Well, given our school’s history, that’s exactly what we should have expected. Al Skinner was 6-21 in Year Two and 11-19 in Year Three. Granted, he rewarded our patience with a 27-5 campaign in his fourth season but few would have blamed BC for cutting ties with Skinner after three abysmal tries. Skinner’s predecessor Jim O’Brien? It took him eight (!) years at the helm to make the NCAA tourney and had just one winning season in his first five. So to most BC fans, keeping Donahue may have seemed inconceivable, but it would have been with precedent.
But this isn’t your older brother/sister’s Boston College. News broke this morning that AD Brad Bates had informed Coach Donahue that he would not be returning for his fifth season at BC. I was happy to see that most of the BC community responded to the news with a reserved relief. To dislike Coach Donahue personally seems ignorant but to defend his results, foolish.
Thus, we are tasked with mapping out another coaching search. The last time we undertook this journey, BC hired Steve Addazio as their head football coach to a very mixed reaction. I, personally, was less than enthused with the hire because I thought that BC needed to make a “splash.” I thought in order to make waves in the New England Sports World, we needed a big name.
But after Season One, count me as one who drowns himself in the Addazio Kool-Aid. It’s not so much the win-loss record after Year 1, it’s the attitude around the team. They dress like a good team, eat like a good team, act like a good team. Coach Daz makes you believe “I’ve seen how they do it at a National Champion and that’s how we’re going to do it at Boston College.” Granted, without the wins, Addazio will go the same way as Donahue, but I don’t think many in the BC community expect that to happen.
My purpose of comparing the two is to serve as warning: trust Brad Bates. Donahue was not his guy. Last time around, he was patient, went through a thorough process and hired who he thought was the best guy for the job. I say, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and expect he will do the same for basketball that he did for football. Our editor, Joe Micik, put it best:
What matters now is Bates made the right call; we need to support the program throughout this process and hope for a positive outcome.
— Soaring to Glory (@SoaringtoGlory) March 18, 2014
Nevertheless, what fun would it be if we did not speculate as to who our next coach will be? Over the next few weeks we here at Soaring to Glory will be profiling potential coaching candidates to replace Steve Donahue. Please read the title of these articles like would Ron Burgundy read his name on the teleprompter. It is not meant to be a list on who we think the next coach will be, but rather just a quick intro to who it could be.
If you have candidates or ideas, tweet them at us.