With news breaking today that Boston College Athletic Director Brad Bates stepping down in June, the next logical step is to start talking about his replacement. Of course there will be loads of rumors floating around, and writers who will be pronouncing every possible candidate the next AD. You will hear the usual names with connections like Jim Paquette at Loyola, Ed McClaughlin at VCU and of course Doug Flutie’s name will be thrown there because reasons.
Clearly both the football team and basketball team are not where they need to be. You can argue that they have progressed since last year, but in the grand scheme of things they still aren’t competitive in the ACC, and worse off they are losing fans by the droves. So what should Boston College be looking for in their new athletic director? What are some of those experiences, characteristics that are a must? Let’s examine.
- Experience at a school with a competitive football and basketball program: We saw what happened with Bates, coming from Miami (OH), a MAC school with no real history of winning. BC can’t have that. They need a guy on top who demands excellence, has been around excellence and is ready to bring that to the Heights. This is absolutely crucial that this experience exists in both football and basketball.
- Doesn’t Need To Be A “BC Guy”, But Really Needs To Understand The Culture: No, Boston College does not need a BC guy here to run the athletics department. Doug Flutie isn’t leaving his cush job with NBC to run an athletics department, and Tom Coughlin has a job with the Jaguars. Does the person need to have graduated from BC? No, but it is crucial that the guy/lady coming in, understands some of the challenges that they will be facing whether that is Father Leahy, the neighborhood, admissions, etc. Boston College is unique in some of the challenges they face. And with that,e that leads to...
- CHALLENGE IT: I think Boston College sporting fans are going to blow a gasket if they receive another “BC has a Top 5 APR wwweeeeeeeee” tweet just days after getting disemboweled by Clemson on National television. Yes, academics is very important, and yes I want well rounded athletes, but look around the country we can easily have both. Stanford/Notre Dame/Duke, the list goes on and on of programs that have excellent academic programs AND excellent athletics. This next AD is going to need to be forceful with the powers that be, and challenge this. Help get more students into the program that could make a difference, and use that BC education to help those students further themselves as people. It’s a win/win, but something Boston College uses sparingly.
- Experience with Big Fund Raising Campaigns: Alumni Stadium is old, Conte Forum is getting up there as well. Both need renovations. There is going to need to be a capital fund raising project to do that. I don’t know what the Flynn Fund is up to, but I know from talking to people that they have lost a ton of donors. That is not good. The new athletics director is going to need to address that, and bring fans back to giving and back to the Heights.
- Be The Face Of Boston College: To his credit, Brad Bates did a nice job when he first got here selling the school to everyone and anyone. Then he just sort of disappeared. Look at his last three years, he would show up for big events (game in Ireland etc), and he would be at games, but he wouldn’t be out there for the general population. We need a dynamic new Athletics Director who understands that dancing with the media is a game that has to be played, and even when they are mostly indifferent, it’s a way to sell the school. Get on radio shows to talk about the upcoming games, get on TV to talk about BC athletics, use your social media for more than “Great game last night guys! Maybe next time you’ll win!”
- Bring Back the Excitement: Brad Bates made some safe hires when he went and snagged Jim Christian and Steve Addazio. Neither lit the world on fire before they came to BC and neither have lit the world on fire since being here. If this new AD feels BC needs to go in a different direction then do it. Look at what Virginia Tech did. They had a basketball program in the dumps, and a football program that was stagnant. They hired a new AD, who pushed Frank Beamer into retirement, hired Justin Fuente and hired Buzz Williams for basketball. Could Boston College make a sweeping move like that? Yes they absolutely could. They just need an AD that sees it that way, and knows that if they do they can turn around a struggling athletics department.
What are some of the qualities/job features you want out of the next athletics director?