To everyone in attendance at Martin Jarmond's introductory presser as Boston College's new Athletic Director, two things were abundantly clear: This guy has energy, and grand expectations for himself and his new athletic department.
"Our university is among the very best in the world. I see opportunity for BC Athletics and what we can be," Jarmon said in his opening statement. "Our shared commitment will bring us to new heights, and I look forward to doing something special together."
It was his energy and attention to detail that helped make the 37-year old Jarmond the youngest AD in major college athletics, and BC fans are hoping that same energy will usher in a new golden era for Eagle sports. During his time as an administrator at both Michigan State and Ohio State, Jarmond was known as a hands-on fund raiser and schedule maker, as well as someone who wore multiple hats around the Buckeye football program.
He even started fundraising just a few questions into his BC tenure.
When FOX25 sports anchor Tom Leyden, a BC grad himself, asked Jarmond his second question of the day, the young AD quickly jumped in.
"Tom, BC grad? We're going to ask you for money too," Jarmond said to a chorus of laughter.
When he wasn't asking members of the media for money, Jarmond was laying out his vision for a BC athletic department that can compete across the board, though he does see the need for revenue sports like football and men's basketball to create a buzz.
"We want all of our 31 programs to be competitive at high levels," Jarmond said. "I think that's across the board. That doesn't change. Obviously, with those revenue sports, there's more spotlight on them, and you do need them from a revenue standpoint to really do well. So that's something we focus on, but, again, I want our whole athletic program to be competitive and understand what we're trying to accomplish.
To me, you just put your head down and do the work and work the process, understanding that there are some (sports) that get more attention. There are some that you have a little more focus on and how we can help them be successful."
Jarmond also insisted that Boston College needs to create new fans, and reach out to groups who perhaps hadn't considered rooting for the Eagles before. In a pro sports town like Boston, BC has different challenges than Ohio State or Michigan State, but Jarmond believes it can be done with a look at the complete game day experience.
"You have to think about it in the totality, not just when they arrive at the stadium or they're going to their gate. How do we make it easy for them to engage? How do we make it easy for them to purchase what they want to purchase? So you have to look at all those components of the game day experience," Jarmond said.
"Then once they're there, then we have to look at our audience, and we're unique because we have a lot of different constituents. You have students that come to games. You have alumni that come to games. You have friends of the program that come to games. So we have to find that right balance and mix to entertain and attract all those different groups, and it can be done, but you have to be really intentional with that experience of how you approach it."
But, while he did lay out his general ideas about bringing in new fans and creating a "shared vision" for all of BC's teams, the North Carolina native did admit he still had plenty of learning to do.
"Well, I've only been -- this is my third time to Boston, so I don't know. I have to get here and learn a little more," Jarmond said.
Jarmond also said he hasn't given any thought to potential new coaches in any sport, nor has he memorized BC's future football schedules in their entirety. In fact, Jarmond is still obligated to Ohio State until the first week of June, but insists he's already "on the job" for Boston College.
With a difficult transition in front of him, and an entirely new culture to learn, Jarmond says he will simply focus on dealing with people, and putting them in the best positions to succeed.
"It all starts with people, and that's the same no matter where you are," Jarmond said. "So, first and foremost, I have to get here, and I want to learn and understand what we do and who I work with -- our coaches, our staff.
And then once I learn more, I can start to kind of form my plan and how I can help support because, at the end of the day as your Athletic Director, that's my job is to find support. How I can help each of our programs be competitive and win?”
While it may seem that this hire came out of left field, Jarmond says he's been involved with BC's search committee for over a month. Though he may not know The Heights inside and out yet, Jarmond repeatedly referenced the school's upcoming $200 million investment in upgrading the school's athletic facilities, and added that, the more he heard about BC, the more he knew he had to take the job.
"There was a mutual getting to know each other going on," Jarmond said of his initial talks with BC. "I had a great job at Ohio State, so I wasn't really looking to leave, but the more I learned about Boston College and the opportunity of what is going on. This momentum (in) this period, I was like, 'I need to be a part of that.'"