CHESTNUT HILL MA - SEPTEMBER 04: The Boston College Eagles Band plays during a stop in play against the Weber State Wildcats on September 4 2010 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill Massachusetts. Boston College defeated Weber State 38-20. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
You don't know me, but you just accepted my dream job. The least you could do is read this letter.
Talk about good fortune. There are few job opportunities where the first decision you have to make will be the easiest of your career, one that will buy you a lot of goodwill among Boston College students, fans and alumni. Frank Spaziani has done a lot of good for the Eagles football program. There's no disputing this fact. However, it's time to take the program in a different direction this winter. Pushing out the best coach of the last 15 years will be the easiest decision you'll have to make.
Boston is not a "pro sports town." Well it is, but it doesn't have to be used as a talking point to excuse poor revenue sports attendance. With more than 100 colleges and universities in the greater metro area, Boston is arguably the best college town in the country. And BC the only school that can offer a BCS-level college football product. Let's put the kibosh on this excuse once and for all. Know that it will become increasingly important to capitalize on the tremendous potential of the Boston market instead of making excuses with regional rivals making significant moves in college athletics (Boston University to the Patriot League, Patriot League offering 60 football scholarships, UMass moving to Division I-A for football).
Yes, B.C. can be Harvard Monday through Friday and Alabama on Saturday. Or at the very least, a Stanford, Vanderbilt or Northwestern. The ceiling for the football program and the Boston College football game day experience is only what you publicly state it to be.
Give Steve Donahue a chance. Give him all the resources he needs to be successful in the ACC. There are a number of macro factors that may keep the Eagles in the bottom third of the conference for some time -- Syracuse and Pitt joining the league next year, 18-game ACC schedule, programs like Georgia Tech and N.C. State can't be down forever -- but Donahue should be given a longer leash to turn things around, especially considering how bare the cupboard was (though why the cupboard was bare is a discussion for another day).
Leave Jerry York to do his thing, which is winning trophies.
Leave all program coaches to do their thing, making personnel decisions based solely on on-field performance. This post needs an administrator and a visionary leader to take BC Athletics to the next level, not a 10th member of the football staff.
Invest in facilities. New AstroTurf and bricks are cool. What would be even cooler would be an expansion or renovation of Alumni Stadium, which is starting to show its age. Have we broke ground on that new baseball / softball stadium yet?
Play UConn in football and/or basketball, but only if it makes sense for the program (especially for football). Know that there will soon be a delicate balance required in constructing the annual non-conference football schedule, with the team hitting the road five times a year in conference play every other season. Strive for at least seven home games a year as a reward to loyal season ticket holders. You also might want to do something about the 2014 schedule.
Re-evaluate donor-based seating. Work to improve town relationships and the tailgating scene. Understand the effect that dumping football tickets on secondary markets like GroupOn and Living Social has on season ticket holders that paid full price.
Embrace social media and blogs like this one. Don't shy away from this powerful medium because it can't keep a secret. Partner with independent blogs and other media outlets and don't filter all information through just the Herald
and the Globe. Join Twitter. Do more to connect with fans. Maintain an openness and high level of transparency with fans and alumni. It's the quickest way to establish trust and get us to open up our wallets.
Bring back men's varsity lacrosse. Evaluate the school's mix of 31 varsity sports. Determine the optimal mix of varsity sports the school should offer and then aggressively invest in those programs.
And congratulations for accepting the greatest job at the greatest school in the country. Now don't go screw this up. We're counting on you.
Ever to Excel.