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Coach Candidate: Loyola-Chicago’s Porter Moser is in high demand, could he end up at BC?

A mid-major head coach with NCAA tournament success and roots in the Midwest

NCAA Basketball: Loyola-Chicago at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Porter Moser of the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers has been floated as a realistic possibility to fill Boston College’s vacant head coaching position within the men’s basketball program. As Loyola-Chicago’s coach for the past decade, he brought the Ramblers from the bottom to the top, including a Final Four appearance in 2018 and two more conference top-2 finishes since then. His experience in rebuilding a program at a mid-major could be a great asset to BC’s men’s basketball program.

Porter Moser has been Loyola-Chicago’s coach since 2011, posting an 180-140 (.563) overall record and a 86-89 (.491) conference record in those 10 years. His postseason successes include a Final Four appearance in 2018, an NIT bid in 2019, and a College Basketball Invitation victory in 2015. Previously, he coached at Illinois State and Arkansas-Little Rock, and was assistant coach at Saint Louis and Texas A&M, among others. His roots lie in Illinois and the greater midwest, as he attended Creighton University.

Why he’d be interested:

Boston College is a Power 6 program and, while in the bottom tier of the P6, it has more resources to succeed than Loyola-Chicago. While Moser had an exciting Cinderella run with his team in 2018, he has not been able to replicate that success again despite his team’s good regular season performances. There is a certain ceiling that he will run into at Loyola-Chicago. Only one team from the Missouri Valley Conference is going to make the NCAA tournament in any given year, so the barometer for success is very high and unforgiving. In a conference like the ACC, multiple squads are going to the Dance every year and Moser has a chance to make it without needing a conference championship. Plus, due to BC’s need for a rebuild, Moser will likely be given a long leash and will be able to build this program in his own vision.

Why it could work:

Moser has built his Loyola-Chicago program from a 10-22 team his first year into a perennial conference contender with a top-2 finish in the past 3 years, with a 4th top-2 finish most likely coming this season. This is the kind of successful, sustained rebuild that Boston College needs. We know Moser is a coach that can take a squad to greater heights than what it should be able to do on paper, so given the resources of Boston College and the ACC, he should be able to expand that success up to an even greater level.

Why it could flop:

Moser’s roots are almost completely in the Midwest. An Illinois native, a Creighton graduate, and a coach in Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas will face a tough recruiting road if he comes East. He will have to hire a staff he’s unfamiliar with if he wants to get into the east coast recruiting scene, or if he hires his own guys then he will be left at a huge geographic disadvantage. And there’s always the risk that a mid-major head coach doesn’t pan out once they reach the P6, like BC has seen with Donahue and Christian in the past.

How likely is this hire?

Unlikely, but definitely possible. Moser is probably towards the top of BC’s list behind obvious home-runs like John Beilein. Should those home-runs fall short, BC will run into two main roadblocks with Moser: Recruitment geography, and the fact that he may not want to leave Loyola-Chicago. The issues with geography were mentioned above, but there also lies a possibility that Moser will not want to uproot his family and leave a program he has built-up for the last 10 years just to start another rebuild in Chestnut Hill. At his age (52) and stage in his career, I think BC would be a definite step-up for him despite the rebuild. But he may not necessarily see it that way.