The formal announcement took a few days, but Boston College coach Jim Christian made the long-rumored Preston Murphy hire official on Friday.
"We are thrilled to bring Preston back to Boston College," Christian said. "His ability to recruit and his familiarity with Eagle basketball will be a huge asset to what we are trying to accomplish here. Preston is a bright, young coach who will impact every facet of the program, and who will help develop this team into one that the university can be proud of both on and off the court."
Murphy returns to the Heights after serving four years as the assistant coach at his alma mater Rhode Island under Jim Baron and Dan Hurley. Prior to his stint in Kingston, Murphy served as Skinner's Director of Basketball Operations from 2006-2010; a four-year stretch where the Eagles compiled a 72-57 record, including NCAA Tournament berths in 2007 and 2009.
The Saginaw, Michigan native was a standout guard for the Rams from 1995-99. His class won 86 games and made a postseason appearance in all four years (three NCAA Tournaments, including the school's only Elite Eight appearance in 1998, and an NIT berth).
Maryland's Scott Spinelli may have the most experience on the staff, but Murphy is arguably Christian's strongest addition. BC lands a young assistant with a reputation as a strong recruiter in both the Northeast and his native Michigan; one that is very familiar with the program from his time as both a player and as the Eagles' director of basketball operations. The tie-in to the Skinner era is gravy.
There's a strong possibility that P-Murph may jump back to Rhode Island when that head coaching job opens up, but BC will cross that bridge when they get there. Even if BC loses Murphy in a few years, bringing in an energetic and young assistant coach that can make an immediate impact on the recruiting trail -- one with strong ties to the AAU circuit in New England -- is exactly the shot-in-the-arm this program needs to bounce back.
On paper, this staff should work. I know many fans, myself included, were initially underwhelmed by the Christian hire but the first-year Eagles head coach has done a great job of bringing in assistants that address the one glaring weakness on his own coaching resume (namely, Northeast recruiting ties). Now the staff needs to go out and find a few impact players that can fill the holes left by the departures of Ryan Anderson and Joe Rahon.
For more #hotsportstakes on Coach Murphy, check out Rhody Rampage.