A season with many high-profile lows has come to an end, but there were also some positive moments and accomplishments to celebrate as well. Over the next few weeks, we’ll reflect on the good and the bad of the 2015-16 Boston College Athletics season with the BCI Awards and the annual GIF of the Year tournament.
2015-16 Coach of the Year: Mike Gambino, baseball
There were a few decent choices for Coach of the Year this season.
Jerry York picked up two votes from the BCI panel for picking up his 1,000th win this season, and for piloting yet another young BC team in to the Frozen Four. Katie King Crowley wasn’t a first choice but got shoutouts on a number of ballots for bringing BC women’s hockey to the national championship game for the first time.
While they weren’t mentioned on the ballots, Ed Kelly deserves a shoutout for seeing new life injected in to the men’s soccer program, which had stagnated in recent years before surging back to the Elite 8 this season; and Ashley Obrest did a tremendous job piloting BC softball to its best season of the ACC era.
But one choice stood out above the rest, receiving 6 of the 8 votes from the staff panel: Mike Gambino.
We’d be lying if we said contributors at BCI weren’t among the chorus howling for Gambino’s ouster a few years ago when Birdball was stuck in a seemingly endless downward spiral. But not only did Gambino restock the roster with legitimate talent, he helped instill in the team and in the program an unbelievable sense of teamwork, unity, belief, and purpose.
Dan Rubin covered the baseball team day in and day out this year, and said this with his vote:
. It's not just about wins and losses. Each time Gambino was at the microphone, he made sure to treat people the right way. It's the little things; he gives students the right to ask first questions even in a national press conference or teleconference. There's a genuine love for BC there, and I think it shines through with the way he treats his players and handles things publicly. Making the national tournament and going to the Super Regionals is great, but he really wants BC to be at the top consistently. That he built that program while fostering and making sure coaches, players, and the fight against ALS gets the publicity is what goes beyond all of this.
Gambino has received far more prestigious plaudits than this mere website shoutout this season, including recently being named the ABCA Northeast Coach of the Year. But we’re happy to add this to the list: Gambino’s exploits stood out among BC coaches this season.
We look forward to seeing if the program can build on this momentum.