A lot of fans have concerned about whether Donahue, coming from the Ivy League, will be able to successfully recruit in the ACC. Boston College is in a bit of unchartered waters going with a hire from the Ivy League. There is only a very short list of coaches that have made the jump from the Ivy League to a major conference program.
While the list of coaches who have gone from the ranks of the Ivy League to major conference programs is short, most coaches who have made this jump have found success in their post-Ivy League careers.
Here's a look at a few of those coaches.
Fran Dunphy (Penn to Temple)
In 1989, Fran Dunphy - Steve Donahue's former boss - was named the head coach of the Ivy League’s Penn Quakers. Dunphy had tremendous success with Penn, winning 10 Ivy League titles over 17 seasons. That run included a stretch of 48 straight Ivy League wins from 1992-1996. In the 1994 NCAA Tournament, Penn knocked off Nebraska for Dunphy’s only win in the NCAAs. Over his 17 years with Penn, Dunphy accumulated a 310-163 (191-48) record.
Dunphy went on to coach the A-10’s Temple Owls at the start of the 2006-07 season, replacing legendary coach John Chaney. After a modest 12-18 season in his first year, Dunphy has since gotten Temple to 20+ wins in each of the last three seasons. His run of 20+ wins included three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Dunphy’s Owls won the Atlantic 10 tournament this season, finishing the season with a career-best 29 wins.
Post Ivy League Success: High
John Thompson III (Princeton to Georgetown)
John Thompson III was an assistant coach under both Pete Carril and Bill Carmody before taking Princeton's head coaching position in 2000. In four seasons with the Tigers, JT3 compiled a 68-42 record overall and 45-11 in the Ivy League. He led the Tigers to two NCAA Tournament appearances and an NIT appearance.
In 2004, JT3 was hired to the top spot at Georgetown where he brought with him the Princeton offense. Thompson has led Georgetown to the postseason in each of his first six years with the program, including a Sweet 16 appearance (2005-06) in his second season and a Final Four appearance the following season. In six years, Thompson III has posted a record of 138-59 (62-40 Big East) with the Hoyas.
Post Ivy League Success: High
Bill Carmody (Princeton to Northwestern)
Carmody waiting patiently behind Princeton coach Pete Carril for 13 seasons before taking the reins of the Tigers program in 1996. Carmody certainly made up for lost time. In four seasons with Princeton, Carmody posted a 92-25 record and a gaudy 50-6 record in the Ivy League. He led Princeton to back-to-back 14-0 Ivy League seasons, two NCAA tournament appearances and a win in the 1998 NCAA Tournament’s first round. In his third and fourth seasons, Carmody finished second in the Ivy League and Princeton was sent to the NIT. Just like Carril and John Thompson III, Carmody is considered a guru of the Princeton offense.
In 2000, Carmody accepted the head job at Northwestern. In 10 seasons with the Wildcats, Carmody has had moderate success at a program that has historically sucked (and sucked mightily). The last two seasons, Northwestern has made back-to-back NIT appearances and won 20 games for the first time in program history.
Post Ivy League Success: Moderate