Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
I can see the Tweets now: “Tommy Amaker?! Yeah, because the hot shot Ivy League coach really worked out for us last time!” That assertion may be incredibly misguided, but not necessarily wrong.
Amaker’s Harvard Crimson are once again one of the Cinderella darlings of America after yesterday’s victory over the 5 seed Cincinnati Bearcats. Honestly, it didn’t look like your typical upset. Harvard controlled the game from the tip and outclassed a very talented Cincinnati team. Naturally, given Harvard’s recent success and their proximity to Chestnut Hill, Amaker’s name has been floated around as a strong possibility to fill the BC coaching void, most notably by our Curly Haired Friend over at the Boston Globe.
Like Howland, I am fairly comfortable going on record saying Tommy Amaker will not be the next coach at Boston College. But not for the reasons I’d like to see. He won’t be taking the job at BC because he has a better one at Harvard.
Why Is He Available?
Because he is the Head Coach of one of the best non-major conference basketball schools in the country. BC should and has been a better job than Harvard but with their new scholarship system where anyone coming from a family making under $160,o00 pays only around 10% of their family income for tuition and completely free for families making under $65,000, Harvard has all of a sudden become a target for under the radar recruits. Riddle me this: given Harvard’s recent successes, why would a smart recruit go to one of the Catholic schools or ride the pine at Duke over getting a Harvard degree and becoming a star for a perennial top 25 program? Technically, Harvard does not permit athletic scholarships but they sure have started to corner the market on the academically-able stars. Nevertheless, coaching at Harvard will always have its limitations and if Amaker wants to eventually coach at a Tier 1 program, BC may be a great stepping stone.
Why Should BC Hire Him?
Unlike Donahue, Amaker has a history of recruiting outside of the ACC. While his time at Michigan was mediocre, he brought Seton Hall to the Sweet Sixteen and recruited for Coach K for a decade. He would bring a national pedigree to BC and would be much more adept at selling BC as a doorway to the NBA than Donahue.
Why Shouldn’t BC Hire Him?
If he has success at BC, he will probably be gone at the drop of a dime. I believe Amaker’s original aim was to have enough success at Michigan that he could eventually become the successor to Coach K at his alma mater. While I have no problem with a coach who doesn’t plan on being at BC for a decade, I don’t think Bates feels the same way. I’m also not sure Amaker would inject the kind of life into this program that is sorely needed. Yes, we need to bring in a coach who is going to win, first and foremost. But we also need someone we can sell to the students. A coach ready to change the culture, similar to what Addazio brought to the football team.
Chances He is the Next Coach at Boston College?
Contrary to earlier reports, I would say the chances are slim. I’m not sure he’d want the job and I’m not sure he’s the right guy for our program right now. We need a game changer and Amaker seems to be more of the same. Not saying he wouldn’t win, I just don’t think he’s the guy that brings our program to the next level and I have reason to believe Brad Bates agrees.