There was a major development in the ACC Sunday as word broke that Fayetteville native and BC AD Martin Jarmond would leave Boston College for UCLA.
It’s interesting on a number of levels.
First, UCLA AD Dan Guerrero, who is retiring, has done some good things with the Bruins but has also come under heavy criticism for his football and basketball hires (he appears to have gotten basketball right, or at least better, with last year’s hire of Mick Cronin).
Everything is different now as we’ve heard a lot lately, but not this: UCLA is a better job than is Boston College. You can’t blame Jarmond for that move although he may not be ready for the intense scrutiny that comes with that job. He’s still quite young to have risen that far (he’s just 40).
All that said, our main interest here is what Boston College does.
BC is in a tough spot. It needs to improve facilities to compete in the ACC, but with the pandemic, that’s not likely to happen right away. A major decision looms on Jim Christian too. While the coach is respected, he hasn't had much success there, partly because facilities are inferior and that probably can’t be rectified anytime soon due to the pandemic).
What it’s going to take is a leader not just with vision but also imagination. We’re not sure who that would be exactly but there are two very highly regarded former AD’s, both currently out of work and tarnished, but both undeniably successful before they were forced out: Mark Hollis, formerly of Michigan State and Tom Jurich, formerly of Louisville.
Hollis was wildy imaginative, coming up with ideas like the Carrier Classic and the Cold War. He’s a tremendous marketer.
As for Jurich, he helped build the Louisville athletic department into a juggernaut.
Hollis stepped down at Michigan State after the Larry Nasser scandal and Jurich was forced out at Louisville after the final Rick Pitino scandal erupted.
Either guy might be a tough sell but realistically, it would be hard for BC to do much better, assuming either is still interested in being an AD.
That’s us. Here are Pete Thamel’s suggestions.