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Martin Jarmond’s Previous Head Coaching Hires Should Make Fans Feel Confident About Football

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With the football search beginning, we’re taking a look at how successful Jarmond’s other head coaching hires have been

Boston College Athletic Director Martin Jarmond... Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

As Martin Jarmond begins his search for the next Boston College football coach, we’re taking a look back at the other hires he has made and how they have transformed (or begun to transform) their respective teams!

Women’s Basketball

The biggest of Jarmond’s hires prior to the upcoming football replacement was hiring Joanna Bernabei-McNamee to take over the women’s basketball program from Erik Johnson. Johnson left the program with a 68-115 record.

Coach McNamee is still building the women’s basketball program back up after inheriting a program with years of losing records. While the on court results are still a work in progress, Coach Mac is getting the team reading for the future with great recruiting (the 2020 class is ranked 21st in the country) and she has made some immediate improvements in areas like strength & conditioning and rebounding.

Prior to BC, Coach McNamee had a history of strong recruiting, including 3 top 10 recruiting classes as an assistant at Maryland. She also has a track record of helping her teams to improve as a head coach, including going from 14 wins to 23 wins in her first and second seasons at Pikeville and winning 20+ games in both of her seasons at Albany. She also came to BC with a number of personal accolades as a coach: 2017 Basketball Coaches Association of New York Women’s D1 Coach of the Year, 2016 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association NAIA Regional Coach of the Year, and 2015 Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year.

While we are still waiting to see what she can truly accomplish with the women’s basketball program, the McNamee hire shows that Jarmond is able to identify coaches with the specific skills that will serve their BC team best.

Women’s Soccer

Jason Lowe entered his first season as women’s soccer head coach this year after the surprise departure of Alison Foley. Lowe came to Boston College from Wake Forest, where he was the associate head coach for 2 years and has been on staff since 2014. After his promotion to associate head coach, Lowe helped lead Wake Forest to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. He has also helped to coach and recruit a number of NWSL players. Lowe, who played goalie for Wake Forest’s men’s team, was particularly effective in helping the Demon Deacons to improve their defense and goaltending.

Lowe’s first season at BC was a disappointment, as BC went 8-8-2 overall and 1-8-1 in the ACC, a big dip from 14-5-1 and 6-3-1 in 2018. However, Lowe did have to contend with losing starting goalie Alexis Bryant and BC’s leading offensive player Sam Coffey. Lowe was a good hire on paper, and most of BC’s losses were to ranked teams by 1 goal, so it isn’t fair to write this off as a bad hire yet.

Softball

Amy Kvilhaug will begin her first season as head coach of the BC softball team this spring, following the resignation of Ashey Obrest after an 18-35 overall record and 4-20 ACC record last season. Kvilhaug comes to BC from St. John’s, where she coach for 12 seasons. She led St. John’s to 7 Big East Tournament appearances (including 5 straight in her last 5 years there) and to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 35 years in 2015. Last season, her team smashed a program record with 62 home runs (the previous record was 45). Kvilhaug has 408 career victories as a head coach. She has a proven history of helping her teams to improve and to keep moving upwards, and has had some great recruiting successes. It is too early to say this is a great hire, but Kvilhaug has a strong track record and should be able to help BC get back to winning.

Volleyball

Perhaps the most impressive hire that Jarmond has made so far is Jason Kennedy. In just 2 seasons, Kennedy has taken the BC volleyball program from the bottom of the pack to their first National Invitational Volleyball Championship. He coached the Eagles to 20 wins this season, matching the program best wins record, and led BC to an 11-7 ACC record (the 4th best record in the conference). In BC’s last season before Kennedy’s hire, the Eagles went 7-23 overall and 4-16 in the ACC.

Prior to BC, Kennedy spent 3 seasons with USC, including 2 as associate head coach. He previously served as the technical director for volleyball at USC and has worked in volleyball scouting.

This hire definitely showed that Jarmond is capable of identifying the best person for a coaching job and of going after younger, up and coming coaches.

Fencing / Swimming and Diving / Rowing/ Skiing

Jarmond has also made coaching hires in a number of the smaller olympic sports.

  • Shortly after his hiring at Boston College, Jarmond promoted Mike Stephens to head coach of the swimming & diving team. Stephens is a former BC swimming and diving captain (class of 2012) and he joined the coaching staff shortly after graduating. In 2016, Stephens was named associate head coach and took over as recruiting coordinator. As associate head coach, he lead Taylor Cortens to Second Team All-American honors twice. During the 2018-19 season, his teams went undefeated at home and broke numerous program records.
  • Jarmond promoted Brendan Doris-Pierce, who had previously served as assistant coach and recruiting director, to head coach of the fencing team in 2018. In 2016, Doris-Pierce also coached the national championship men’s sabre team.
  • In 2018, Jarmond also hired Grace Hollowell as the head coach of the rowing program. Hollowell came to BC from Dartmouth, where she was the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
  • Last month, Jarmond hired Chuck Carmone to take over the skiing team. Carmone has 30+ years of coaching experience and has coached alongside US Ski Team coaches.

With all of the hires for major team sports so far, Jarmond has shown that while he is willing to look outside of the box. He is also dedicated to hiring coaches who have proven that they can take a team and improve it, both in terms of overall win/loss records and in terms of important team statistics. He has also hired coaches that, by all accounts, are well liked and respected by their peers. While not every coach has made an immediate impact, and some of them are still question marks, for the most part he has made hires that have the teams moving in the right direction.