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Boston College Basketball: An Open Letter to Jim Christian

We support you and our Eagles, regardless of how we feel about the decision to hire you.


Dear Mr. Christian,

Congratulations on being named the 12th head basketball coach at Boston College. For what it's worth, as a proud alumnus of BC and devoted fan of its basketball program, I support you.

While I do not endorse the decision to offer you this position and question process that led to this moment, I wish you nothing but success as you steward the program. It is my enduring hope that you will restore our proud basketball tradition, do so in a manner that represents the core values BC professes, care for our student athletes, and even lead our basketball team to previously unreached heights.

You said during today's introductory teleconference that you are "humbled to take over a position with history at Boston College." I very much appreciate that sentiment. Your list of predecessors includes Bob Cousy, Tom Davis, Gary Williams, Jim O'Brien, and Al Skinner; we would be thrilled to one day list your name among those legendary leaders in BC's history.

Should you find success at BC, I hope you will, like Skinner (for whom you played during his time as an assistant at URI), decide to stay at BC rather than chase another job (and, whatever the circumstances of your eventual departure, I hope BC will treat you better than it did Skinner on your way out). Given your remarks just yesterday on Ohio radio regarding your former position and school (from which your wife graduated), I'm skeptical that you view BC as anything other than a stepping stone. That, however, is ultimately something upon which I will judge our Athletic Director's decision, not you. All I can ask of you, Mr. Christian, is that you leave Boston College men's basketball in a better state than where you found it.

To that end, it might help to assemble a staff including people familiar with BC and well regarded by the community (Danya Abrams?), with recruiting ties to the area (a fertile basketball ground we have failed to harvest for too long), and major conference experience (preferably ACC). Your career winning percentage indicates that you are a fine basketball coach, but can you build a program from square one?

I'm sorry that the reception to the announcement of your hire wasn't... warm. You'll have to forgive us as we've been mired in losing for too long. If you're looking for ways to embrace BC fans, you can start by updating your twitter account, which has yet to catch up to your resume. Your new colleague, Steve Addazio, may have some helpful advice as to how to leverage new (and old) media to drive excitement around the program.

Clearly, the road ahead is uphill and with obstacles, but I hope you rise to the occasion. If you'd like our help, tell us what you need. In the challenges ahead, I wish you nothing but success and good luck.

Go Eagles. Ever to Excel.


Michael Sheehan