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Transcript: BCI Radio Interviews AD Brad Bates

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Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

If you were unable to listen in last night or are unable to otherwise pull up the podcast, we put together a transcript of the Joe's full interview with Brad Bates. Enjoy!

BC Interruption: We're joined by Boston College athletics director, Brad Bates. Brad, thanks so much for joining us.

Brad Bates: It's really a pleasure to be here; I appreciate the opportunity.

BCI: Absolutely. We appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions. Don't want to take up too much of your time so we'll jump right into it.

The number one topic with fans on the site right now is definitely football scheduling this year with having two FCS games, and then next year, the schedule looks like it's not going to have a Power 5 nonconference opponent on it. Was this a deliberate strategy to try and give a rebuilding team a softer schedule, or was it a result of circumstances and ideally you would have wanted to have a Power 5 opponent on the schedule?

BB: This year, you probably are aware, we got in a bind because New Mexico State pulled out of a contracted game for us and they were willing to pay the buyout because they had overscheduled. It's clearly not a situation that we wanted at all. But having said that, it is what it is and we knew what we had going into the season after they notified us and here we are.

Next year, yeah, every year we'd like to have a Power 5 conference school. But to your point, there are a lot of layers to this. And the layers are, first of all, we need to find teams that want to play us. The turnaround in the football program has really caused a lot of teams to pause a little bit. They're not as excited to play us as they might have been three years ago. The second thing is we've got to make the dates work out. We have limited number of dates that the ACC gives us to schedule nonconference games, so we've got to make sure they align with whatever opponents we're trying to line up.

There is some consideration to having a young team and the rebuilding efforts, but that's not the driving force. We really want to challenge our team. We want to put them in a position where they're going to compete for championships. As you know, in 2017 we have to have a Power 5 team as one of the nonconference games. Clearly we're going to satisfy that ACC requirement and we're having those conversations right now.

BCI: For next year, was there outreach to certain Power 5 teams and it just didn't work out?

BB: Yes. Absolutely.

BCI: I assume that maybe some of those might be private conversations, but I guess that's one thing people were curious about.

We had an alum, Philip LoScalzo send us a question. He lives out in the Bay area, and he wants to know if there's a good chance of BC returning to the west coast in the next couple years.

BB: "Good chance" is probably a little too strong. I would say we're having conversations with west coast teams. It's clearly an area where our football program is recruiting harder, so having visibility out west would be a good thing for the program.

BCI: Let's talk about the UConn game, another hotly debated topic. How did that come into being? Was it a long process of both schools really wanting that game for a while, or was it a result of "we really need a game for next year so let's pull some strings and try to make that happen"?

BB: Well, nothing's official yet. There's still some things that have to be worked out if that's going to take place. But having said that, the athletic director at UConn and I have known each other for a long time. It's a conversation we had shortly after I arrived here. He was already at UConn. At the time we weren't ready to venture into that. I wasn't here when we had separated when we moved to the ACC, but I know there are still a lot of existing scars that remain from that period of time.

So really it was more an internal decision for Boston College to decide whether that's a game we wanted to play or not. As we worked through the primary issues we really felt like it would be a great opportunity for Boston College. Clearly, it's going to help us in terms of attendance and interest. It's going to generate publicity. It's certainly good for New England, and it's going to create a lot of visibility and discussion because of the historical rivalry that we've had with them. So we're really excited about the possibility.

BCI: You mentioned earlier that scheduling involves a lot of moving pieces, so you don't really get to snap your fingers and get the schedule you want. But let's pretend for a second that it was like those video games that aren't allowed to exist anymore, and you can just go in and pick the teams. What does that schedule look like to you if you're able to craft what you really want that schedule to look like for the four out of conference games?

BB: Oh, really good question. What we would want to have every year is a Power 5 team. We'd like to have a home and home series with either a Power 5 team or an independent or someone that's going to be attractive to our program competitively as well as to our fans. Then probably have a guarantee team, and let that other ones kind of float depending on what kind of team we anticipate having in any given year. So essentially we'd like to have 7 home games if we can do it, and balance those other four games within there. Does that kind of answer your question?

BCI: Yeah it does. I think that there are some folks that want to see what I would consider to be a suicidal schedule. I don't really advocate for, "let's go on the road and play Bama, and then bring in Texas, etc." and then there is a school of thought which some ACC teams have embraced, and I guess BC kind of to some extent has this year, which is "let's beat up on a bunch of bad teams and get our record over 6 wins and get into a bowl game." I would assume that the desire would be to find a happy medium between those two.

BB: Yeah, really well said. The marketing side of me wants to play Ohio State and Florida and USC and Notre Dame every year. The coaching side of me would like to have a softer schedule than that. And so I think you articulated it very well; you want a balance in there.

You want to be in a position, and I think Steve because of his recruiting is on this trajectory, where we're going to be competing for the conference championship. And you want to be in a position where if you're competing for the ACC championship, you also have a shot at the playoffs. And so that's certainly a factor as well.

BCI: How much of a role does the coach have in the scheduling? Or is that more on your plate?

BB: Well, Steve and I talk about the schedule all the time. I certainly want his input and his feelings about games. We also use him and the staff as resources too to sort of evaluate other teams and other opponents. And what I eluded to earlier, I want to know where we're recruiting. If there are areas in the country that we should go play because it's going to give us greater visibility in that area, then let's try to target schools in those regions.

BCI: Closer to home, ticket sales obviously have been way down in football this year. I think there are no two ways about that. I know it's an industry-wide trend that sales are down everywhere, but it seems like it's taken a big hit at BC this year. How concerned are you about that this season and are there certain concrete strategies BC is implementing to try to address it?

BB: Very concerned, for a lot of reasons. Revenue is just one of them, but for recruiting and for giving our team home field advantage. Alumni, when it's rockin', it's rockin'. You're probably aware, we recently hired JM Caparro who came from the Brooklyn Nets. He's going to oversee all our external sales and operations. He's only been here five weeks but he's already had an immediate impact on us. You're going to see a lot of changes both structurally, internally, as well as data mining and target groups that we're going to go after.

Keep in mind that two years from now we host Florida State and Notre Dame, and so we're really on an 18 month plan that we're developing so that we have a waiting list heading into that season, and JM is going to have a strong leadership role in that.

BCI: Both of these are anecdotal, but sometimes anecdotes can be helpful. The Florida State game was the best crowd of the year at 41,000. Pretty good but, you know, not a sellout. I personally had several of my coworkers at the office say "I'd love to come watch the BC game with you, are there tickets available?" "Yeah, I'm sure there are," pulled them up, and the cheapest seats are $60 apiece up in the upper deck. That was an immediate turn-off to a casual fan who doesn't necessarily care about BC enough to pay that much to go.

And then another, it seems that every year with the Duke basketball game or the Syracuse basketball game, BC tries to sell them as a mini plan where you have to buy that and two other games to get to go. I get it, but then it seems like it's always the case that the week before the game those of us who are season ticket holders for football or hockey are getting calls from the ticket office saying "Hey, we'd love to sell you single game seats!" You show up on the day of that game and it's not full, or it's all away fans. Do you feel like some of the pricing strategies might have backfired on BC for some of these games?

BB: Well, we're not perfect, and we're learning as we go. Certainly JM's expertise is going to help us significantly in terms of what we do going forward. You covered a wide range of issues and the quick answer is we value the feedback that our fans give us. Are we making decisions that we think are in the best interest of Boston College at that moment in time? Absolutely. Are we making those decisions based on information and data and feedback that we're getting?  Absolutely. But it's a moving target.

As you said, we need to have different price points for our ticket sales and at the same time, a lot of our tickets, and you know this as well as I do, relative to the professional sports competition, we're a pretty good deal. I think what we need to do is a better job of identifying different demographics that are predisposed to coming to our events and make sure we have price points set that are attractive to them.

BCI: Just to offer a positive point, I feel like that's been done effectively in hockey. I think that 10 or 15 dollars or even 20 dollars for a game like BU or Wisconsin to sit up in the corner, that's a great, attractive price point to a casual hockey fan who wants to bring a couple kids to a game. I see them up in my seats up in the cheap seats, and I see lots of people who probably didn't go to BC, or maybe they did but they're not fanatical about the programs but they feel like it's a good price point to come in to the games. I do think it looks like basketball there's been good deals offered for this season as well, so hopefully that continues for football.

BB: I appreciate that.

BCI: We have a suggestion that came into our inbox from John Lucking from the class of '75: Would it be possible to dedicate a reasonably generous portion of seating for Boston and Newton police and fire and teachers and other public servants to generate some goodwill with the community and bring some people into the games?

BB: Yeah, John, that's a great suggestion. I know we've done some elements of that, particularly with men and women in service, but I'll pass that on to our marketing staff, so thank you.

BCI: In terms of student attendance, the shift to the Gold Pass, and going to the app a couple years ago, how has that impacted the ability to engage students? And are there further tweaks or initiatives coming with that in the future?

BB: That will continue to evolve as we get feedback from the students. But it's been a huge success. We have student focus groups who helped shape the initial introduction of the Gold Pass. It's interesting, we've been in Conte for I think 27 seasons, and the largest student-attended hockey game ever took place that first year of the Gold Pass. I don't remember the team but it wasn't like it was Minnesota or BU or someone like that...

BCI: I think it was Wisconsin.

BB: Was it Wisconsin?

BCI: I think so, I think it was the Friday night game against Wisconsin.

BB: Two years ago?

BCI: I want to say, yeah.

BB: You would probably know. [laughs]

BCI: I tend to remember these sorts of weird things.

BB: So anyway I think it's been a huge success based on the feedback that we've gotten. We had a couple bumps in the road on decisions that we didn't completely consider. For example we had a lot of students studying abroad and we hadn't contemplated how to give them points when they came back in the spring semester. But for the most part I thought that Jamie DiLoretto led a great group of ours to introduce the Gold Pass.

The other area where it's really helped has been in our Olympic sports, particularly those on the Newton Campus. You just see a lot more activity over there with our students scanning in and acquiring points. We've been very, very pleased with it and that's based on the feedback we've received from the students.

BCI: I have to talk about tailgating. I think that's inevitably tied to ticket sales, and I know that when you had your series of town halls that seems like the number one thing that came up on a lot of people's minds, other than just restrictions on tailgating or getting more hours. But it seems like there's been little to no progress on that front. Is BC still trying to improve that situation?

BB: Well, actually, I think we've progressed a fair amount. The regulations that you referred to I think were deregulated in a lot of different areas. The customer service that was talked about, particularly relative to the police officers, we've made huge strides relative to how we approach games now with the mindset as a customer service operation.

We added the Brighton campus tailgating this year, and that's become sort of the hotspot in the first four games this year. The feedback's been very, very positive about that. We've also added some non-vehicular tailgating areas in tents, and the feedback from that's been very, very positive. So much so that we think we're going to expand that concept significantly across campus in the coming years.

So I feel good about the steps we've taken. There have been some things that we haven't been able to get past or approve, and we'll continue to try and get that done.

BCI: A suggestion, and again, I don't know how much of this is based on what you're allowed to do from the cities and how much of it is school policy, but Shawn McGeady, an alum and a reader of the site, mentions one of his frustrations is arriving a minute before the gates open for tailgating and being in a long line with a lot of other cars, and by the time they open it up it's a mad dash to get in and a huge traffic jam. Out of our already two hours that we might get before a game, you spend 20 to 30 minutes of it in that traffic line getting set up. Is there any chance that for people that maybe have a pass that indicates that they have a paid spot, there can be a soft opening where they can come in and park but maybe not crack a beer or fire up the grill until 10am or whatever the official start time is?

BB: That's a great suggestion, Shawn, and it's certainly something we've proposed. To date, we obviously haven't been able to get that approved, but we're looking at any and all options. I think the circling around campus until the green light goes on probably puts more pressure on the neighborhood than it would if we had earlier arrivals and tailgating. What we've done more wisely in the last couple years is we've gathered information so that we can present it to the mayor's office and have an informed proposal that has documentation behind it. It makes for a more rational argument. So hopefully we'll be able to do some things that align with Shawn's suggestion in the future.

BCI: Is it Boston or Newton or both?

BB: It depends on where you're talking about. Some areas are Boston, some areas are Newton.

BCI: Just one other thing on tailgating. It's an expensive proposition unless you've got a good group of people to split up the cost, and it's pretty much, unless I'm missing something, seemingly impossible for people who just come to a single game. Is BC looking at ways to make the full game day experience, including tailgating, affordable and accessible to a non-alum or a casual fan who wants to come check out one game?

BB: Yeah, and this would be very helpful to get feedback from your listeners. Two thirds of our fans don't drive themselves to the games. And so what we're really focusing on in the coming years is the non-vehicular tailgating concept.

The University of Mississippi has an area called The Grove which is one of the most popular tailgating areas in the country. We've experimented with that concept in certain areas with the Gate E hospitality tent. We had one on O'Neill Plaza a couple years ago. At the base of the stairs we have some 10 by 10 attended areas and so far those have gone extremely well. We envision a time where you're going to have, for example, potentially all of O'Neill Plaza filled with 10 by 10s or major hospitality tents, where people can preorder food and beverages, they show up and it's already waiting for them and all you have to do is figure out how to get here.

So, any feedback that your fans and our fans can provide us on those concepts, we would really, really value because those are things that we're discussing right now that we'll take to the cities in the next couple years.

BCI: People that are listening, be sure to get those comments and suggestions in.

I'm fortunate enough to have a friend who has a tailgate spot so we're able to share some space, but I know that when I have friends from home that might want to check out a game, unless they're coming with my spot they have no idea where they're going to go and how they're going to make it work for them. So it's good to know that there's stuff in the hopper for that. Looking forward to seeing how that develops.

In terms of the on-field performance of the teams, are there written performance standards for the head coaches for the different teams? How are they evaluated when you look back at the performance each season?

BB: We certainly have metrics that take in a variety of variables. Competitive success is obviously a very big one. Retention and graduation are obviously significant. So it ranges across all of these performance variables. Every one should be contributing to student development because that's really why we're here. We're taking this essentially athletic curriculum, and sure we're developing better athletes so we can compete and win, but at the same time we're doing that in ways where we're instilling a set of skills and experiences and knowledge that our student athletes, once they graduate, to prepare them to make any endeavor they engage better than they find it. So it puts them in positions of leadership.

Across that, to your specific point about performance, absolutely, with our coaches we're talking almost daily. We talk about rebuilding years, we talk about competitive championship years, we talk about how their recruiting is going, we talk about their staff and expectations for their staff's performances. All of that encompasses our regular conversation with our staffs. Our sports administrators are involved in those conversations as well. And through that comes an assessment of how we're doing.

BCI: The two big revenue sports, football and basketball, are both in the midst of a rebuild -- at difference levels of the rebuild I think -- do you have certain expectations in both of those sports in terms of steps in the next two years as you're evaluating those coaches? And in their performance, do you want to see a certain level of accomplishment or a level of improvement within the next year or two?

BB: Well, our goal in both those sports is ultimately to get into a position where we're competing for championships. Both coaches would tell you that. I think the short term for both programs is to get to the postseason. You get to the postseason, you've got a shot. So right now, that's everything that Jim and Steve are trying for. Obviously Jerry's already there, Eric Johnson's trying to get there... but that's our expectation; that's what we're trying to achieve.

BCI: Was there a certain performance metric that was hit with Coach Addazio that led BC to determine that this is someone we need to lock him up with an extension?

BB: Yeah, the on-field performance, obviously taking a team that won two games a year before to two consecutive bowl games combined with his recruiting and the types of students he's bringing to campus, that put us in a position where we really wanted to make sure that Steve was going to be here for a long time. His values align with the institution, he's got very high standards and expectations for his student athletes on and off the field, he's a very, very good coach, he's surrounded himself with character staff, and it's really been a pleasure seeing him grow that program.

BCI: You can answer this in a couple words or less - has this year shaken the confidence at all or do you still feel like the program's on the right track?

BB: Oh I still think the program's on the right track. We knew the first three years were going to be challenges, particularly this one for a variety of reasons. But I'm very, very excited about the future of the program.

BCI: Here's a topic that nobody likes to discuss, but with hockey, is there a succession plan in place following the coach's tenure or is that something that we haven't thought about yet?

BB: Well, succession plan, what does that mean, are we going to name a coach in waiting or anything like that? Probably not. Am I just blocking that out and hoping it never happens, of course not. When you're an athletic director you have to anticipate worst case scenarios. You have to anticipate the future. So it's a big part of the types of activities that we plan on and hopefully are prepared for.

BCI: Would BC consider a non-Alum coach for that position or is that the standard? Every BC hockey coach in the modern era has been an alum.

BB: Is that true?

BCI: Yeah, since going back to Coach Snooks Kelley

BB: There was a series in the 90s, were all of them BC alums?

BCI: Mike Milbury wasn't, but he never coached a a game... [laughs]

BB: That's true, that's true, I forgot about that... and there was someone else that was in there...

BCI: There was a long time with Ceglarski, Cedorchuk, I'm not sure if he was an alum, I think he was... [Ed. Note: Cedorchuk was indeed a BC alum; he played at Boston College from 1966 to 1969] But pretty much every coach. And that's something people talk about a lot when they talk about who the next coach is going to be. A lot of people block it off, "well who are the BC alums that are possible?"

BB: If all else is equal, you absolutely would like to have an alum coaching that position. It just makes more sense. There's more alignment with the institution, there's less of a learning curve, there's a passion and emotion attached to it... But you have got get the best coach possible for that moment in time. But again, all else being equal, you definitely would like to have an alum.

BCI: Alright so we'll turn the page, as we start to wrap up here, to facilities. What's the status on the master plan for athletics facilities? Obviously there are a lot of factors that go into being able to roll that type of thing out, but it's been in the works, it feels like, since before your tenure.

BB: We're hoping to make an announcement sometime soon. And when it's in the best interests of the university to make that public, then we'll go public with it.

What I would say though is don't assume that we're sitting here and nothing's taking place, just because we haven't gone public with the strategic plan that would include the facilities. We are charging ahead, going 100 miles an hour towards these internal goals that we set a year and a half ago. But there will be a point in time when It makes more sense and we'll have a public announcement.

BCI: This might not be a question if you can answer, and if so that's okay, but are the hurdles at this point more administrative or financial?

BB: I would say neither. It's much more that when you're going to make significant decisions impacting the future of an entire athletic department, you need to be very deliberate in making those decisions and carefully analyze and evaluate the impact of those decision. It's just been making sure that we have as much information as possible to make the best decisions for Boston College athletics.

BCI: The head football coach has personally spoken out in the media about his frustration last winter for not having an indoor football practice facility. Did that increase the urgency to get that done or is that something that's a very high level goal for the school right now?

BB: I don't know that that changes the sense of urgency one way or another. My third month here, you may remember, the bubble collapsed, and from that moment on we've really been talking about the potential of having a field house.

So no, I don't think that him mentioning something publicly increased our sense of urgency on doing it. We've always had a sense of urgency, but there are certain processes you have to go through and that's what we're working our way through right now.

BCI: Again, hypothetical, but in 5 or 6 years do you think BC has one up and running, or at least ground broken?

BB: I guess I'd defer to when we have the public statement that'll be forthcoming. I sure hope so

BCI: Jim Hutchinson who is a BC fan - he's not an alum but a devoted fan - wants to know if there are plans to modernize or update Alumni Stadium either by adding some more seat backs or just some more modern amenities to spruce it up a little bit.

BB: Good question, Jim, and that'll be part of what our announcement will entail. So essentially it's to your point of the facilities master plan, and built into that is not only deferred maintenance and a schedule for that but also what the improvements and renovations are for any of our facilities.

BCI: Interesting factoid that someone mentioned to me yesterday, one of the other BCI writers, is that Conte Forum is now the same age that McCue Forum and the Roberts Center were when they were torn down, or they will be next year. I know that the master plan is forthcoming, but 20 years out, do you think that Conte will still be a viable home for the programs or are replacement plans being considered?

BB: Viable, yes, I think it's a little tired. I think there are some improvements we can make, and those are things we're talking about internally.

BCI: Do you think that the university both has invested and will continue to invest in its facilities to an adequate level to compete for ACC championships?

BB: Oh, absolutely.

BCI: The reason why I ask that is because the only team that's won one since I've gotten here is soccer, and they do have a beautiful facility over there in Newton. Is the goal to get every facility up to that level to be able to compete, be it baseball, softball, or obviously football? Do you think that it's possible to spend and compete facilities-wise with your Clemsons of the world and your NC States?

BB: We're never going to be NC State nor Clemson. That's not our mission. That's not who we are. And we don't need to be that. We don't need to look like those schools.

Now, do we need quality athletic classrooms? Absolutely. Do we need venues that will be attractive to our fans and give them an enjoyable experience? We absolutely do. But we have some inherent assets at Boston College that other schools in our league will never have. The quality of our education, no one's going to be able to compete - well, not no one, but you know what I'm saying. We have an unbelievable degree. No one else has the city of Boston. There are certain attributes that we can continue to exploit and use as a recruiting tool as well as an attractiveness to our fan base and our constituents.

Yes, we need to continue to improve, we need to have facilities that are going to attract top students to our institution and coaches to our institution, but at the same time serve our fans and our constituents in ways that give them meaningful experiences.

BCI: Couple things to wrap up. Jim Hutchinson again asks, is there specific outreach and marketing being targeted toward local new England non-alumni fans right now and how much of a priority is it for BC to engage those folks?

BB: Jim, that's a great question, and with JM here I think you're going to see a lot more data mining of those groups. And as I said earlier, it's a great intellectual challenge. We need to identify demographics of people who are predisposed to coming to our games and engage them. And it's really just work from that sales point. Sales is work. So there's got to be some intelligence going into identifying who those groups are, but at the same time, it's engaging them and giving them a "Wow" experience so they'll continue to come back.

BCI: Kind of a fun question: Christopher Skillman from the class of 2001 asks: It's been 15 years since BC last updated its logo for the athletics program, are there any plans for a logo overhaul in the future?

BB: I'd be interested to know if Christopher would like to change it or not! That's always a volatile issue. Maybe your fan base can give us some feedback on that. If they feel it's tired and we out to start looking at that, or if they are traditionalists and kind of love that 15 year logo.

BCI: I personally come down half and half. I am a traditionalist. I don't like seeing big changes in brands for teams. But I also think that it looks very 90s, the current logo. I think that maybe a little refresh to bring in some of the elements of 70s and 80s logos might not be the worst idea.

BB: Do some retro!

BCI: Yeah, I think that's "in" right now

BB: We're not having those discussions right now, but if we get enough feedback, we'd definitely look at it.

BCI: Some big picture things to chew on as we close out. Do you think that major conference realignment is over or are there more big dominoes to fall?

BB: I don't see a lot of change in the near future, but I wouldn't have anticipated the Big 12 being on the brink of blowing up a few years ago, either. I see a level of stability, though, particularly with football, because football's been driving the conversation. Right now I don't see any major changes. There might be a school or two that finds its way into a conference, but that conference has got to be open to it.

The Big 12 was obviously talking about it last year without the championship game, so if it's going to happen, it's probably going to be from a conference like that seeking to expand a little bit.

BCI: And do you think that when all is said and done and the dominoes have all fallen in terms of who gets into these playoff positions, if it expands or even if it stays the same size, that BC's position in that top tier is secure?

BB: Oh yeah, absolutely. Being in the ACC is just remarkable for us. We're in a Power 5 conference. We're in a conference that has some really good academic institutions so our missions are similar. And you win an ACC championship, you've got a shot at the whole thing.

BCI: What are you most proud of from your first three years?

BB: I don't know that I think in terms of what I'm proud of. I would say that it's more "this is a team, let's set lofty goals for ourselves that are benchmarked by our history and our tradition, all the people that went before us, and strive every day to realize those." Obviously we're here because we want to maximize the development of our students, and that is probably at the forefront of everything that we think about. And I believe that winning is a major factor in developing students. So competitive success is something that we are obviously very much focused on.

BCI: So when you look into the future when your tenure wraps up here be it 5, 10, 20, however many years, and you look back, what do you want to have accomplished in that period of time?

BB: Again it's not about me, it's more about what Boston College wants to achieve and what our athletic department is striving to obtain. But ultimately if everyone's proud of Boston College, proud to be an Eagle, and if people are excited about the program, there is an integrity, students are graduating and making a difference in the world, and they're wearing championship jewelry, those are the factors that will make all of us proud, and that's what we're trying got do.

BCI: Last thing, I'll give you a little open-ended opportunity to offer some encouragement to people who are feeling down right now. I don't know what BC's record is going to be when this airs on Tuesday, it could be 4-4 or it could be 3-5, but as you evaluate the program and where they're at, what words would you offer to people that are maybe on the ledge right now?

BB: Well, I don't know that you need to be out on the ledge. What Steve has done here in his first two years has just been phenomenal. Have we lost a couple games that we needed to win or should have won? I think Steve would be the first that would say yes. But everything I see in the program and what he's doing and his leadership, the trajectory of this program is nothing but up.

We want to finish strong. Every team left on our schedule can beat us, and we can beat every team left on our schedule. So we'll see what happens in the next few weeks. But if we can keep the momentum going this year... it's not even an if. The next two years, we're going to be really, really good. And so this year is key in terms of building that foundation and giving all those young players on our team some experience. But be excited and support the team and support these students, and let's go Eagles.

BCI: Thank you, I really appreciate it.

BB: I really enjoyed it, thank you very much!