Over the next few days, we'll take a look at the possible candidates for the now vacant Boston College men's basketball head coaching job.
Next up, here's a look at current Richmond head coach Chris Mooney.
Main Selling Point. Was one of 15 finalists for national coach of the year in 2010 and is likely to be rumored for many more openings in the next year if BC does not hire him first. Richmond was a #7 seed in the NCAA tournament this year, their first appearance since 2004.
Head Coach, Beaver College (1997-2000)
Assistant, Air Force (2000-2004)
Head Coach, Air Force (2004-2005) (18-12)
Head Coach, Richmond (2005-present) (83-79)
Chris Mooney is not part of the Rhode Island pipeline or Al Skinner coaching tree. Chris Mooney is one of the talented young coaches in the NCAA that will be coaching a major conference team, perhaps within the ACC sometime in the near future. BC fans might be left saying "What if?" at some point down the line. Mooney has six seasons of head coaching experience and has been to the postseason 4 times despite not playing in one of the major conferences. Chris Mooney played his college ball at Princeton so there is no questioning whether or not he is intelligent or whether he'll understand the academic standards Boston College sets for our student athletes. While at Richmond, Mooney recruited the 2010 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Kevin Anderson.
This season, Richmond finished 26-9 (13-3 Atlantic 10), good for a third place place regular season finish. The Spiders were a 7 seed in the NCAA tournament but lost to St. Mary's in the first round
At Air Force, Mooney led the Falcons to an 18-12 record, which was amazingly their second best recond in school history. Clearly he helped himself in that one season by being an instrumental recruiter and assistant coach for four seasons leading up to that.
But what about those three pillars of job qualifications?
Qualification 1: Exciting Brand of Basketball. Mooney's teams are most noted for not turning the ball over. This is a statistic that would have helped the Eagles greatly this past season but is not always an indicator of excitement. While at Air Force though, home attendance improved every season Mooney was either an assistant or head coach.
Qualification 2: Relate to Student Body, Staff, Alumni, and Fans. Going back to his Air Force days, Mooney was clearly able to relate with students and alums and therefore able to increase attendance at home games. Is Air Force the same as BC, though? No. So we'll see ...
Qualification 3: Solid Recruiter. As mentioned earlier, Mooney was able to recruit Kevin Anderson to Richmond who was named the conference's player of the year this past season as a junior. At Air Force, you could also see he was successful at recruiting as the program improved steadily while he was there, including have all five starters being named to the All-Mountain West teams in 2004-05.
The motivation of whether or not Mooney wants the BC job may not be as clear as it is with Cooley and Donohue. But if you were coaching in the A-10 right now and had a chance to head to Boston College and the ACC you would probably be pretty pumped about the opportunity.
ESPN's Andy Katz gives Mooney a ringing endorsement, saying that he "is one of the great young minds in the game."
Thoughts? How about Chris Mooney as the next head coach of the Eagles?