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Coaching Candidate: Could BC alum Howard Eisley be the Eagles’ next coach?

A BC alum with mostly NBA coaching experience

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Minnesota Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan’s Assistant Coach Howard Eisley is a name that keeps popping up in Boston College’s search for a men’s basketball head coach. As a BC alum who has become an assistant coach at a major program with years of NBA coaching experience to boot, he would be an exciting choice to lead the Boston College men’s basketball program.

Eisley has been jumping between assistant coaching jobs for the last 10 years or so. He spent 2010-14 with the Los Angeles Clippers as an assistant, 2014-16 with the Washington Wizards as an assistant, 2016-2019 with the New York Knicks as an assistant, and has been employed by the University of Michigan as an assistant since 2019. Before that, he played at Boston College from 1990-1994, was drafted 30th overall in the NBA draft, and played in the NBA for 13 years as a journeyman. His roots are in Detroit and the Michigan area, where he was high school teammates with future NBA players Jalen Rose and Voshon Lenard.

Why he’d be interested:

Eisley is a graduate of Boston College and it is always alluring for coaching prospects to come back to coach their alma mater. While he is working now where his original roots are in Michigan, a Boston College head coaching position would be a significant step-up from an assistant position at Michigan. Unless he has very serious ties to Michigan that we are unaware of, he would almost certainly accept the Boston College job if it was offered to him at a fair rate.

Why it could work:

Eisley is a younger face with professional experience that could be a draw for young talent. He knows what it takes to make it in the NBA, and is a recent-enough player that he can relate to the young guys and get them to play hard for him. Not only that, but he has been part of this Michigan coaching staff that has over a 70% win rate and is ranked in the top 5 of the country right now. Admittedly, it is difficult to tell how much of an impact Eisley has had on this team or any of his previous teams, as few articles have been written on him specifically, but he certainly would not get these jobs if he was not good at them. Michigan is a big-time program that takes their hires very seriously.

Why it could flop:

Howard Eisley has no head coaching experience and very little recruiting experience. A BC alum with NBA and P6 coaching experience is appealing, but is 11 years as an assistant (only 2 in the NCAA) enough experience to take the reins at BC? Boston College may be better served to look at coaches with more head coaching experience rather than a young guy with little experience at the college level. Then again, Steve Donahue and Jim Christian had years of head coaching experience at the college level and failed to pan out anyway. So maybe it is worth it for BC to go in another direction.

How likely is this hire?

Eisley is probably a 2nd-tier candidate for Boston College. They’ll be looking at coaches like John Beilein, Mark Schmidt, and Porter Moser first. But those guys will not necessarily be willing to take the BC job, so a candidate like Eisley is a likely fallback in that scenario who almost certainly will take the job if offered.