Brian: Steve Donahue is in as the next head coach of the Eagles men’s basketball team. BC's new coach will be formally introduced as the next coach at a 4 PM press conference today. We have had about a day to think about the hire. Your reaction?
Jeff: I'm excited about the hire. Had a former Skinner assistant gotten the job, I think there would've been a lot of questions left unanswered by fans. But Gene DeFilippo said he wanted to go in a different direction and this hire accomplishes exactly that. As I have said before, Donahue is also a guy who would've ended up at another power conference school had BC not signed him this season. The former BC assistants that interviewed are probably not going to be moving up to a BCS conference school in the next season or two.
Brian: Reggie Jackson told the Herald that the current players aren’t going to make a decision about their future until they get a feel for Donahue. Your initial gut reaction? Do you think we’ll see any players leaving the program as a result of this hire?
Jeff: I would be shocked if any of the seniors left because no other schools are going to be too interested in letting them transfer in for just one season. Maybe Jackson or some other might ultimately transfer. I'm not expecting it, but if they do that's just one of the small growing pains from trying to develop a new successful basketball program.
Brian: After the hire was announced and Donahue met with his team, reactions from the Cornell AD and players was a mixture of heartbreak and well-wishes. Both Cornell's Athletic Director and guard Louis Dale were quoted as saying they are now BC fans:
"Anytime somebody leaves like that, it's hard to swallow. But you, at the same time, were such a fan of Coach Donahue that we're BC fans now. We want to see him do well. – Cornell guard Louis Dale
"I told the folks at BC that they made a great hire. Our university really wanted to keep Steve. I'm a little heartbroken, but we turn the page and become a BC fan forever. We're appreciative that we had a decade with Steve Donahue." - Cornell athletic director Andy Noel
Do you think this is significant? Does the fact that Donahue and BC have the respect and well-wishes of his former program make it easier for him to have success on the Heights? Your thoughts?
Jeff: BC always talks about wanting student-athletes to be leaders in their community and successful off the court as well as on it. It's a lot easier to say that when you handle a potentially messy situation like this correctly. Clearly DeFilippo went through the proper channels to talk to and hire Donahue which does not always happen. Long term it probably makes no difference, but in the short term it is nice that everyone gets along and Donahue can get right into focusing on recruiting and keeping his new team together.
Brian: The hire of Donahue leaves Northeastern’s Bill Coen available for the opening at Siena. Does he get the Siena offer? Or should he stay put at Northeastern?
Jeff: He should not stay put at Northeastern if ANY other offers come available. Northeastern was the perfect stepping stone from being an assistant at BC but that is all it is, a stepping stone. It is the furthest thing from a destination job. I would imagine Northeastern has one of the lowest attendances in the NCAA for their home games.