Better Know a BC Coach? Ben Howland


Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Let me be the first to go on record: Ben Howland will not be the next Head Basketball Coach at Boston College.

Howland is a great coach who was fired last year after 10 successful seasons at UCLA. The circumstances surrounding Howland’s firing are complex. While many characterize Howland’s tenure at UCLA as up-and-down, those pesky facts say otherwise: he inherited a God awful 10-19 team coached by Steve Lavin and led them to 7 NCAA tournament appearances and 3 consecutive Final Fours in his 10 seasons. According to SI’s George Dohrmann, Howland’s snub of UCLA-turned-New Mexico commit Kendall Williams may have contributed to his ultimate demise at UCLA.

These are pretty small potatoes given Howland’s outstanding resume. A resume probably too outstanding (read: expensive) for BC’s tastes. But let’s give him a look anyways…

Coaching History: 

Gonzaga (assistant)
UC Santa Barbara (assistant)
Northern Arizona

Why Is He Available?

As I mentioned before, Howland pissed off a popular AAU Coach in Southern California. Howland allegedly scorned hometown stud Kendall Williams and it affected his ability to recruit with the other Southern California AAU programs. From what I can gather, it seems like some local political B.S. Oh and Bill Walton didn’t like him? Although his name has been thrown out for almost every Head Coach opening since the end of last year, Howland seems to be waiting for the right job to come along.  Could BC be that job?

Why Should BC Hire Him?

Because he is one of the best College Basketball coaches in the country. If Howland is interested and isn’t asking Father Leahy to give the store away, BC would be fools to not bring him on. He built successful programs at Pitt and UCLA and would be poised to do so at BC in order to set up his last “great” job (he is pushing 60). Many of you may be looking for someone like Addazio who will come in and call BC a “dream job.” Not I. I’ll take a mercenary if it means we are back in the dance. Gary Williams and Tom Coughlin left BC for greener pastures but they also left BC set up with the infrastructure for success.

Why Shouldn’t BC Hire Him?

He will be very expensive. It is reported he was making almost $2 million at the end of his tenure at UCLA. BC will not be able to come near that number. Also, Bates wants the kind of coach who will be around to build for the long-term future, especially given his comments yesterday:

There have been some rumblings that Howland is not a “players’ coach” and that his personality would be an ill fit for BC but that is picking nits. The last coach to bring their team to three straight Final Fours? The unemployed Ben Howland. Plus, Howland would bring a national (everywhere but Southern Cali maybe but that is national enough for me) big-name pedigree to recruiting which BC has severely lacked since Bill Coen and Ed Cooley left Al Skinner’s program in 2006.

Chances He Is The Next Coach at Boston College?

Howland might be the biggest name on the list of potential coaches, but he is one of the least likely. I think we learned with the Addazio hire that Bates isn’t worried about making a splash, he’s worried about hiring someone who is in for the long haul. Howland would make some headlines but given the price tag, I’m not sure Father Leahy et al. would even consider him. However, if Bates could talk the Head Honchos into throwing some money into basketball and bringing someone like Howland in, our program would reap the benefits for years to come.