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Boston College Basketball Coaching Search: Who Is Jim Christian?

All-time winningest #MACtion coach, that's who.


Boston College men's basketball coaching search, day 15.

Most of the chatter over the last 24 hours has surrounded Ohio Bobcats coach Jim Christian, who appears to have emerged as a legit candidate for the vacant Boston College job. Christian reportedly met with BC over the last few days -- likely over the weekend -- and may be in Boston today.

Both Jim Schaus, Ohio's Director of Athletics, and Christian issued a "no comment" on Tuesday.

"There is no comment at this time," said Tom Symonds, Ohio Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations.

"I'm not going to comment on that job or any job (opening)." he said. "If you start to do that, then you have to comment on every job that comes up. I love, love my job here. I will say this: I have not - in any way, shape or form - actively pursued any other jobs."

Christian was in Athens as late as Tuesday morning while sources inside Ohio's Athletics Department said no official offer had been extended as of Tuesday morning.

The Bobcats head coach is the highest paid coach in the MAC, inking a 5-year deal worth $425,000 annually in April 2012. There is a buyout clause in his contract that puts him on the hook for $500,000 should he leave for another opportunity before May 1. That figure drops to $250,000 between May 1 and April 30, 2015.

Not for nothing, the second-year Bobcats coach has just three losing seasons in 12 as a head coach -- all with TCU from 2008-09 to 2010-11 -- and eight 20+ win seasons. Christian won at least 20 games in every one of his six seasons at the helm at Kent State, including two NCAA Tournament and three NIT appearances, before taking the head coaching job at TCU.

While in Fort Worth, Christian had three straight losing seasons before breaking through in year four with a 18-15, 7-7 MWC record and an appearance in the CBI.

After four seasons at TCU, Christian left for the Ohio head coaching job, citing better institutional support for a move back to the MAC. Christian just completed his second season in Athens and has compiled a 49-21 record in two seasons, including an NIT and CBI appearance.

The one knock on Christian's candidacy is that he walked into very favorable situations at both Kent State and Ohio. Kent State went 30-6 under Stan Heath in the year before Christian took over, reaching the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. Christian took a squad built by Gary Waters and Stan Heath and kept riding that momentum into six 20+ win seasons. Christian walked into a similar situation at Ohio, where he took over for John Groce, who parlayed a Sweet Sixteen appearance into the Illinois job. Groce took the Bobcats from 15-17 to 29-8 in four seasons before bolting for Champaign.

In the one spot where he faced some adversity and had to build a winner from scratch, Christian bolts after four seasons in Fort Worth, citing "lack of institutional support." Is he the type of coach willing to take on a serious rebuild job in the ACC?

Christian's ties to the Northeast go back his college ball at Boston University (1983-85) and later Rhode Island (1986-88). He served as an assistant at Western Kentucky (x2), Saint Francis, Miami, Pittsburgh and Kent State before taking over the Golden Flashes program in 2002. While Christian and Bates share #MACtion, ESPN's Jeff Goodman suggests that the connection may be between former South Carolina coach Eddie Fogler and Christian.

Michael Vega also ran with the Christian / Dooley article in today's Globe.

Despite reports stating that Florida Gulf Coast's Jim Dooley was linked to the BC job, Dooley says he hasn't spoken to BC and doesn't even have an agent.

"I don't know anything about that," said Dooley after meeting with rising senior point guard Brett Comer. "I'm here, I'm the coach here and that's all we're worried about."

In other coaching carousel news ...

-- Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin ended any flirtation with Marquette when the school announced that they would be modifying his contract. Shortly thereafter, Marquette announced the hire of Duke associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski as their next men's basketball coach. The Woj hire is in line with the program's previous two coaching hires -- gambling on longtime assistants with little to no head coaching experience.

-- Here is your feel-good, Amaker stays at Harvard post of the day, via the Herald.

"I made that statement about not mentioning or talking about any other position other than my own," Amaker said. "That's the right way of handling that for me, personally. I just don't engage in other talk about other places. I just talk about where I am and what we are doing."

-- Over at Cal, former coach Mike Montgomery was quick to suggest that associate coach Travis DeCuire should be next in line to take over the Golden Bears program. DeCuire is set to interview with AD Sandy Barbour this weekend, according to Yahoo! Sports. Other rumored candidates for the position include Ben Howland, UC-Irving coach Russell Turner, Arizona associate head coach Joe Pasternack and St. Mary's Randy Bennett.

-- All relatively quiet on the Wake Forest head coaching search. Tulsa head coach Danny Manning is the first coach to publicly confirm that he's been contacted by the school. Wake Forest AD Ron Wellman, much like Bates, will not comment on any candidates until he's ready to make a hire.

-- Remaining Division I head coaching job openings -- Appalachian State, Boston College, California, Coppin State, Delaware State, Florida Atlantic, Houston, Jacksonville, Manhattan (?), Marquette, Marshall, Montana State, Southeastern Louisiana, Tennessee State, Wake Forest, Washington State