On Monday morning, news broke that Boston College baseball head coach Mike Gambino has been hired by Penn State for the same position after 13 seasons in Chestnut Hill.
This is a huge loss for Birdball after Gambino led BC to a huge breakout season in 2023 that saw them achieve their highest national ranking ever as a program. Gambino also led the Eagles to their first ever regional championship in 2016 and just one series away from their first College World Series appearance since 1967. This news also comes just weeks after Boston College announced it had signed Gambino to a long-term extension.
From Gambino’s perspective, the move makes a lot of sense. Reporting came out last month that BC is losing two of its top assistant coaches due to budgetary constraints within the program. Penn State’s athletics budget dwarfs Boston College’s and they are clearly willing to pony up some money to buy-out Gambino’s contract at BC. With that level of financial support, success on the field seems a lot more likely.
This leaves Birdball in a tough spot. They need to hire a new head coach quickly to fill this gap, as well as fill the new assistant coaching gaps left by recent departures and whoever Gambino takes with him. Their breakout 2023 season may make them seem like a desirable location, but the limited amount of funding that BC seems to dedicate to baseball could prove a big hurdle.
To top everything off, this is totally unsurprising behavior from Penn State Athletic Director Pat Kraft. Since leaving the Heights after just one year as our AD, Kraft tried to poach men’s basketball head coach Earl Grant. He clearly has an affinity for the people here in Chestnut Hill after his short stint.