This morning, Blake James met with the press for the first time as the Boston College athletic director. James, who previously was the AD at both Miami and Maine, was announced as BC’s new head of athletics yesterday.
Father Leahy introduced James. who gave a brief speech and then answered questions from the press. The entire presser lasted for just about 12 minutes.
Leahy began by stating that when interviewing candidates, he and the selection committee were looking to “identify people who were successful proven leaders”, “who could mentor players, coaches, and staff”, who “would link athletics, academics, excellence, and integrity”, and who would “respond to current issues in intercollegiate sports.”
Throughout his own introduction to the BC community, James mentioned his faith numerous times, and stated that he is “guided by [his] core values and [his] faith.”
In regards to his plans for BC, James highlighted the importance of academics and said that BC “will compete for championships with integrity.” He quickly wrapped up his introduction saying that “actions speak louder than words and we have a lot of work to do.”
When asked what he admires about BC, James answered that “BC knows who they are - they do it the right way, they win the right way.” Throughout the press conference, he placed a lot of emphasis on BC’s values and the idea of winning “the right way” or “with integrity.”
James also addressed the fact that his is the third BC athletic director press conference that media have attended over the past 5 year. He encouraged fans to look at his record, noting that he was at Miami for 9 years. James described himself as “very loyal” and said he told Father Leahy in an interview that he plans on staying at BC through retirement.
The other BC specific question he was asked related to NILs, to which James replied that he doesn’t have an answer yet, but that he thinks BC needs to approach NILs in a way that aligns with the university’s values as a whole.
James also spoke to his previous ACC tenure, sharing that he has a lot of respect for his ACC colleagues that that he believes he has heard from all of his previous ACC colleagues to congratulate him for returning to the conference.
There isn’t much to take away from such a short press conference, since on day 1 James obviously hasn’t had the time to really start setting up plans for the future of BC athletics. However, I do think it is somewhat noteworthy that he did not mention any BC coaches or teams by name in terms of either teams whose success he is committed to maintaining/modeling other teams after, or in terms of teams he is committed to improving (only the Celtics got a shoutout).