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Boston College Athletics: New Athletic Director Hire Martin Jarmond Meets the Press

Conte Forum Kelley Rink

New Athletic Director hire Martin Jarmond met the media Monday afternoon. Here is the transcript from the press conference, courtesy of Boston College Athletics.

A video of the press conference can be found here.

JACK DUNN: I'm Jack Dunn, Associate Vice President of University Communications at Boston College. On behalf of the BC community, I'd like to welcome you here to the Yawkey Athletics Center for the introduction of our new Director of Athletics.

The format for this conference is simple. I'll introduce the president, Father Leahy, who will introduce Martin. Afterwards, Martin will take questions from the podium. We'll ask two of our interns to pass out microphones. And we ask you, as members of the media, to introduce yourself and state your affiliation, as the conference is being livestreamed. Then afterwards, Martin will take one-on-one interviews, probably right here in the front. And we have plenty of time reserved for that.

On behalf of BC, welcome. I present to you the president of Boston College, Father William Leahy of the Society of Jesus.


WILLIAM P. LEAHY, S.J.: I want to thank you for your presence at this event and for joining in welcoming Martin Jarmond and his family to Boston College and the wider community.

I am particularly grateful to Dave Trainor, Vice President for Human Resources, who chaired the search committee, and to the administrators, faculty, and trustees who were part of the interview process.

Their charge was to identify candidates who were successful, proven leaders in intercollegiate athletics with experience at the highest level and who could motivate and inspire, also whose vision and approach as Director of Athletics at Boston College would link athletics, academics, excellence, and integrity, and who could contribute to BC's mission as a top tier university committed to its distinctive educational and religious heritage, one shaped by Jesuit Catholic beliefs and values.

I think Martin Jarmond meets those criteria in impressive ways. He knows firsthand the pressures and joys of intercollegiate sports as a former basketball player at UNC-Wilmington and as an administrator in increasingly responsible positions at Michigan State and Ohio State. He appreciates the opportunities and challenges of leading our athletics program. He also works hard, engages easily with people, clearly cares about others, and has great energy and enthusiasm.

With him today are his wife Jessica, his daughter Scarlett, his parents. And I ask that you join me in welcoming all of them, but especially Martin, to Boston College and the greater Boston community.

Martin, it's all yours.


MARTIN JARMOND: Thank you. Thank you. I'm sorry (laughter). That was Scarlett. Thank you, Father, for that.

Good afternoon. I am excited and humbled to stand before you today. Before I get into a few of my comments, I would like to recognize several people. Let me start by recognizing my beautiful wife Jessica and our daughter Scarlett, who just left. You're my inspiration and my drive, and we are a team. I thank you both for your love and support.

My parents made the trip up from Raleigh, North Carolina, Virginia and Matt Jarmond. Thank you for all you have done for me in instilling the values that I saw you both live each and every day. You've been the best role models a son could ask for. So thank you.

My father-in-law, Jerry Johnson, and my sister-in-law, Katie Beard, thank you for being here for us and for all of your encouragement.

I'd also like to thank one of my college teammates and roommates, Scott Lancaster, for being here. He is a diehard UNC fan, but I think that's going to change now, Scott.

I'd also like to thank Father Leahy, the Board of Trustees, and university community members who I got to know during this past month. Also, I would like to thank all of the great people that have touched this athletics program. There are too many to recognize now, but I appreciate all that you have contributed to BC Athletics.

And finally, I want to acknowledge Ohio State, and in particular, Gene Smith. His mentorship and friendship has been invaluable to me.

Let me share a little bit about my vision for Boston College athletics. Our goal is twofold: To help develop the academic, athletic, spiritual, and social dimensions of our student-athletes, and to win. We have a wonderful opportunity and calling to lead, inspire, and inform our young men and women each and every day. It is our shared responsibility as teachers, mentors, and coaches to give our student-athletes the best chance to be successful when they leave The Heights.

My experience as a student-athlete and then as an administrator in the Big Ten for the past 15 years has taught me that the most successful teams have a vision, a shared vision, and they develop themes that support that vision. Three themes that we will emphasize in this athletic program are passion, alignment, and competitive excellence.

First, passion. Passion is contagious. It spreads, and it is the fuel that builds momentum. We need passion and energy among all our staff and coaches in all that we do.

Second is alignment. As an athletics department, university, and a BC community at large, we all must understand our shared goals and the roles each of us play that is required to win. It's easy to be aligned when things are going well, not so much when challenging times occur. We will sometimes experience both; yet we must stay aligned.

And finally, competitive excellence. Winning requires vision, preparation, focus, and commitment. Our vision is for consistent, competitive excellence in all that we do. We need be to the most prepared team. We need to be focused on the process. The details do matter. And we need a relentless commitment to what it takes to win.

I shared my philosophy and goals for BC Athletics. Now let me share a little bit about who I am. First and foremost, I am a husband and a father. I believe in integrity, humility, and the pursuit of excellence. These are the foundations from which I lead and I will serve.

I've been blessed to work with, be around the very best of the best, and it is for those reasons that I am humbled and honored to serve Boston College as your athletics director. Our university is among the very best in the world. I see opportunity for BC Athletics and what we can be. Our shared commitment will bring us to new heights, and I look forward to doing something special together. We will do the work. Go Eagles. Thank you.


Q. Martin, welcome. Tom Leyden, BC alum, 1994.

MARTIN JARMOND: I like you already, Tom.

Q. This is going to be the number one question I think you're going to get. How do you take what you've learned from big schools like Michigan State and Ohio State that have successful programs in football and basketball and quickly apply them to what you're going to do here at BC?

MARTIN JARMOND: Great question. It all starts with people, and that's the same no matter where you are. So first and foremost, I have to get here, and I want to learn and understand what we do and who I work with -- our coaches, our staff. So you've got to come in and understand and get an appreciation for everything that's going on.

And then once I learn more, I can start to kind of form my plan and how I can help support because, at the end of the day as your Athletic Director, that's my job is to find support, how I can help each of our programs be competitive and win.

So you start with people, and that's where we got to begin, and then as I learn more and I kind of formulate where I can be of help and what we need to invest in and how we need to do things, then I can implement a couple things.

Q. Just a quick one. BC presents a unique -- it's a unique environment and unique atmosphere and a unique set of challenges in the ACC, where it's ultra-competitive. How did you weigh sort of the things that you have to encounter as you took the job?

MARTIN JARMOND: You know, I saw opportunity with BC Athletics. First and foremost, it's a high academic institution, and that was very attractive for me. You know, it doesn't get any better academically anywhere in the country than Boston College.

Second, you're in the ACC. I want to compete against the best, and the ACC is the top, if not one of the top conferences. I grew up in North Carolina. I grew up following the ACC. I know about the ACC. So that was attractive.

And then once you kind of learn more, the investment that BC Athletics is making with $200 million investment, that was critical. That was huge. That's really something that administratively makes an attractive opportunity. So I saw the possibility and what we can be and what we can continue to build, and that was important for me. That's why I'm here because I think that we can take this and keep going and keep the momentum and build.

Q. Let's face it, Ohio State, it's a sports factory. You guys produce football, basketball as a religion over there. Come to Boston College, where there's more, let's say, roadblocks. You have pro sports teams. You have a big city. How do you plan to raise the money and capital for new stadiums, new athletics centers, when you're almost the fifth game in town here, unfortunately?

MARTIN JARMOND: Well, just like I said earlier, it's about people, and whether you're raising money here or whatever university, it's about connecting with people and providing a vision that inspires and people can get behind, and that's what I intend to do. That's why I'm here because I see what this can be, and I see the vision, and I'm hoping that, as I get here and learn more, I can have a better understanding of what we need and what we need to do to move forward.

Again, I have a process. I'm a process guy. I put my head down, and I work the details, and I work the plan, and I put my head up, and hopefully, that's when you see the results.

So, again, it doesn't really matter to me where you are. It's about people. It's about connecting with people and understanding where we're trying to go and who we're trying to be, and that's a process, and we'll work that.

Q. You kind of answered a little bit, but just talk about what is your transition plan right now?

MARTIN JARMOND: Great question. Right now I'm going to be at Ohio State through June 1st or 2nd, whatever that Friday is. We're going to try to move -- I'm on a couple of national committees that I have some things I have to do. I'll probably start officially at BC probably mid-June. But as you know, when things like this happen, you're already on. So I've had some great conversations with some of our alumni and supporters and professional players. It's been good.

So even though I don't officially start till mid-June, it's game on right now, and I can't wait to start.

Q. Martin, this kind of was alluded to a little bit ago. BC just lacks a little bit of buzz in the grand scheme of the Boston sports landscape. Why do you feel that is, and how do you feel to change it?

MARTIN JARMOND: Well, I've only been -- this is my third time to Boston, so I don't know. I have to get here and learn a little more. Obviously, the pro sports here in Boston are winning, and that's great. But there are also regular sports fans too. So I think you've got to understand the landscape and how do we capture that sports fan and put a product on the field that everybody wants to see and be a part of.

So I have to learn a little more, but I know that we can do that.

Q. Quick question. You come from Ohio State and Michigan State. Obviously, the revenue sports are great there, they both have pretty thoroughly successful athletic programs throughout, Olympic sports and things like that. How do you strike that balance? Because the revenue sports do drive the bus, so to speak, but you want to have a complete athletic program. What's kind of your philosophy on that?

MARTIN JARMOND: Just like I said earlier, we're about competitive excellence. We want all of our 31 programs to be competitive at high levels. I think that's across the board. That doesn't change. Obviously, with those revenue sports, there's more spotlight on them, and you do need them from a revenue standpoint to really do well. So that's something we focus on, but, again, I want our whole athletic program to be competitive and understand what we're trying to accomplish.

To me, you just put your head down and do the work and work the process, understanding that there are some that get more attention, there are some that you have a little more focus on and how we can help them be successful. So you got to pay attention to both.

Q. I was talking to Gene Smith the other day. And he was talking about, obviously, you're 37, young, spry. He was 29 when he became AD originally. I was curious what those conversations were like being young in this field?

MARTIN JARMOND: Yeah. First of all, professionally, in my professional career, I've always been young. That's something that people don't know. I was an assistant AD at Michigan State at 26, one of the youngest in the country. I've always been young. To me, that doesn't matter. It's about people. It's about respect. It's about trust. That's what I work hard to build. People understand that I'm here to help them.

Gene has been great. He talked to me a lot about just be yourself. Don't try to be someone you're not. Don't get too frustrated because you have frustrations in this job, just like we all do, but understand that you work the plan and work the process and move forward. He's been very good about just kind of sticking to the plan and being yourself.

Q. You mentioned challenges. What are one or two of the biggest challenges you've considered that you'll be facing in the first couple of months that you begin?

MARTIN JARMOND: Well, the biggest challenge is just transition for me and my family personally. I think -- I've got to learn. I don't know a lot right now, and I've got to learn a lot and get up to speed as soon as possible. So the biggest challenge is really learning the team that I'm working with, the coaches, understanding what our challenges are from the coaches. And we have a lot of coaches, and I'm still not here yet.

So that's the biggest challenge right now is just accelerating that process of learning and understanding and assessing so then I can move forward and we can work. That's probably the biggest challenge.

Q. Martin, back to me, Tom Leyden.

MARTIN JARMOND: Tom, BC grad. We're going to ask you for money too.

Q. It's already happened. Don't worry about it.

We all know that wins are going to drive the popularity of the teams and get more fans in the seats, but based on what you've experienced, what are the components of a really good game day experience that you think have to happen here at BC to get the alumni back in the stadium and supporting the athletic department?

MARTIN JARMOND: The game day experience, you have to envision the customer from their home to when they get to Conte or Alumni. You have to look at the whole process and understand the challenges that they're going to go through. So it has to be from, when I leave, is there traffic? How do I navigate? When I park, where is parking? Parking is usually a challenge. You have to think through that. So every component of the game day experience starts when our customers, our fans are at home. We have to think through, how do we make it easy for them to come? How do we make it easy for them to come and engage with us?

That's something I will evaluate. I'm very hands on when it comes to the customer experience. So you have to think about it in the totality, not just when they arrive at the stadium or they're going to their gate. How do we make it easy for them to engage? How do we make it easy for them to purchase what they want to purchase? So you have to look at all those components of the game day experience.

Then once they're there, then we have to look at our audience, and we're unique because we have a lot of different constituents. You have students that come to games. You have alumni that come to games. You have friends of the program that come to games. So we have to find that right balance and mix to entertain and attract all those different groups, and it can be done, but you have to be really intentional with that experience of how you approach it.

Q. Martin, you mentioned you're really excited about the facilities and all the construction coming. What excites you about those plans, and where do you see improvement in BC facilities going forward?

MARTIN JARMOND: What's exciting is $200 million. Thank you, Father. That's very exciting. I have not looked at the plans specifically. I'm going to get into that actually. That's one of the first things that I'm going to try to get sent to me so I can kind of learn what's going on. But any time you see a commitment and an investment, it's exciting. That's a new day, and it's a new experience for our student-athletes.

At the end of the day, that's why we're here is for our student-athletes and put them in the best position to be successful. So any time you impact their learning environment -- because that's where our student-athletes learn, right? That's where they grow. That's where they develop. That's where our coaches teach. Any time that you improve that, it's great because it improves that experience. That's exciting. That was one of the biggest things that I was excited about.

Q. Both women's and men's basketball programs haven't had a winning season since almost 2010. They've usually been forgotten about at Boston College. There might be coaching changes. You've never had to hire or fire a coach. Do you have people in mind already? I know it's a transition process, as you sit here, but I'm guessing there's already people you're looking at, maybe from the outside, to bring in to maybe help some of these athletic programs.

MARTIN JARMOND: I stand before you today with no particular plan for any kind of program. I'm just here today to tell you how excited I am to join Boston College Athletics and really get in and learn where I can help. I have not thought about that at all.

Then as far as me ever hiring or firing, I have done that. You just don't know that, but I have. But that's not something that you typically put on a resume.

But I don't have any plans for anything. I'm just excited to get here and see how I can support and help.

JACK DUNN: We have time for one more question.

MARTIN JARMOND: Somebody's got to give one more.

Q. So you were really specialized in football scheduling at Ohio State. Is there any -- what's your philosophy with football scheduling? Is there anything you'd like to see different at Boston College?

MARTIN JARMOND: Great question. I'm going to answer that two ways. One, I don't know the future football schedules for Boston College right now. So I can't speak to what I would do or I'm going to do.

I think philosophically, when it comes to football scheduling, it depends on where you are and where your program is. In my current job right now at Ohio State, there's a scheduling philosophy to where you want to compete and have a chance at the end of the year to play for a National Championship. So you kind of schedule a top 10 type opponent, a top 30, and then you kind of look for that third one. The Big Ten has nine conference games. So philosophically, that's the approach.

I think also too philosophically, from scheduling, you have to establish winning, right? Because our kids want -- you know, you recruit winning programs. So you have to schedule in a way and find that balance between offering attractive opponents to come where you are, but also scheduling a way that we have a chance to be successful so we can get to a Bowl game, so we can have that winning culture. So I think there's a balance based on where you are and where the program is. We will be looking at that, and that's kind of philosophically where I am with scheduling.

Thank you for being here also. Staff, everybody, thank you for being here as well.