The last few days BC has been all over the local and national media scene after letting go of Spaz. The move has brought a lot of question on what type of coach will make BC a contender for a BCS berth and the ACC title again?
Over the last eleven years (since ’01 with TOB), BC has been a baby-step away from going to a major bowl. 2004 the team experienced the Diamond Ferri Fiasco and missed out on the Fiesta Bowl. In ’07 and ’08, under Jags, the team came up just short against Va Tech in the ACC Championship. The introduction of Spaz was expected to be the start of a long tenure of a “BC guy” who was going to use his vaunted defense to make that BCS Bowl that the alumni base has been clamoring for. Unfortunately this never came to be and today we are exploring what’s next.
As names from all over the college and pro ranks are floated out as possible candidates I am tired of hearing the buzz-words that Boston is a “pro-town” and BC is not a “destination job” for one simple reason- both of these arguments are currently absolutely factual. In fact, they’ve been correct for the past ten years when BC had the longest Bowl Streak in the country and were contending for Big East and ACC Championships during many seasons.
The candidate who is perfect for this job is the man who identifies the strengths that the school has and understands how to exploit them while also effectively navigating his way around the limitations (Academic Standards, etc.).
The past three years there have really been two HC’s in the National Spotlight that have impressed me, and the coach hired by Brad Bates need to emulate them.
Jim Harbaugh and Pat Fitzgerald are two coaches that turned Stanford and Northwestern into major players in their conferences.
Stanford and Northwestern are two schools that have equal, if not stricter, academic requirements as BC. Both these schools also happen to be located the “pro-towns”.
Despite this, Harbaugh was able to recruit Andrew Luck and go to a BCS games. Fitzgerald on the other hand has now carried his team to five straight bowl games and was in contention for the Big 10 title for much of this season.
In the case of Harbaugh, after finding such great success with Stanford, the NFL came calling. Not surprisingly he answered. Despite using Stanford as a “stepping stone”, chaos did not ensue after he left. Harbaugh implemented a solid core of coordinators and coaches during his tenure and David Shaw capably took over.
All David Shaw did after being named HC was take the school back to the Fiesta Bowl. Next, after losing Andrew Luck to the NFL, his team responded by taking down #2 USC and #1 Oregon during the regular season- dashing both teams National Championship hopes.
Both these schools have all the same excuses that BC has when sportswriters try to explain why they won’t be successful. Despite this, both institutions found coaches who were dedicated to the students and were willing to work hard to bring their team success.
The Athletic Department needs to take a long look at the hiring blue-print that these two teams employed when filling BC’s coaching vacancy. If they are able to find someone who is as dedicated to the institution and to winning as the three coaches mentioned above are BC will be back in BCS discussions very soon.
N.B. Earlier this week I was pretty down on BC turning to a MAC candidate for a variety of reasons. One thing to think about if you are also in that camp is Pat Fitzgerald was the LB coach at Idaho before coming to Northwestern. Jim Harbaugh was the coach at FCS University of San Diego. Before coming to Stanford he had to 11-1 seasons and won the teams FCS division. What all this really says is that if BC ends up not making the big Diaco or Golden hiring, one of these MAC guys may just be a coach who simply needs a shot to win at a BCS Conference School.