Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Report: Donahue to be named head coach later today

Jeff Goodman is reporting that Steven Donahue will be hired later today. I think this would be a solid hire and a good addition to the Boston College family. We will have more as things develop.


EL MIZ said...

Donahue will inherit a program with 6 SRs in the rotation (Trapani, Raji, Sanders, Paris, Southern, and Dunn), 3 JRs (Jackson, Ravenel, Ellmore), and possibly 3 freshmen ready to contribute (Heslip, a PG, and 2 big guys per ESPN: http://insider.espn.go.com/ncb/recruiting/tracker/school?schoolId=103)

Donahue should get this team into the tournament right away with that experience. He also will have a lot of scholarships to use in his first year, so I really think we will know a lot about this guy one year from now in terms of coaching and recruiting.

Like the post yesterday, Donahue will really be an indicment on Gene D as an AD. If he whiffs on this one (I don't think he will, I like this hire), Gene D should be shown the door as well.

@timstwrt said...

I don't necessarily think that this is a bad hire, but I'd like everyone to keep this past week in mind the next time we're looking for a football or basketball coach. For anyone who thinks that this is some dream job, remember that our search consisted of interviewing the head coaches at Fairfield, Northeastern, and Richmond before leanding the big fish, the head coach from Cornell. I'm not saying you need to have big-program pedigree to be a successful coach, but this search was small-time.

BCDisco said...

Yes yes we get it. No one from a big time school will ever want to be head coach of BC football or basketball. Not alot has changed for BC athletics in the past 10 years.

Joe said...

Great post TBS. I find it very strange that we didn't go after anyone at an established program.

Unknown said...

GDF fired the winningest coach in BC history and filled his shoes with a 10-year ivy league coach with a record of 146-138. If Donahue had not won two games in the tourney this year we would be crying for Gene's head now instead of next year at this time.

Bryan said...

Sorry Joel, what's your point? That those wins were "lucky" and shouldn't count? Facts are, he did win those games against pretty tough competition, and seems to be a pretty good fit here. I don't understand why you're seemingly dismissing his recent success just because he got off to a rough start.

Anonymous said...

2000-01 Statistics (7-20, 3-11 Ivy)
2001-02 Statistics (5-22, 2-12 Ivy)
2002-03 Statistics (9-18, 4-10 Ivy)
2003-04 Statistics (11-16, 6-8 Ivy)
2004-05 Statistics (13-14, 8-6 Ivy)
2005-06 Statistics (13-15, 8-6 Ivy)
2006-07 Statistics (16-12, 9-5 Ivy)
2007-08 Statistics (22-6, 14-0 Ivy)
2008-09 Statistics (21-10, 11-3 Ivy)
2009-10 Statistics (29-5, 13-1 Ivy)


This is how you build a program from the bottom up. Cornell was below the bottom of the Ivies. Now Donahue gets some talent to build from a mid tier ACC team. Let's give him a chance, Duke just made The ACC a top league again.

@timstwrt said...

Um, we're not the last-place team in the Ivy League and don't need someone to build us up to making the tournament. We've made the tournament seven times in the last ten years. We need someone to take us to the next level, which many of us aren't convinced can be done by a guy who has a career .514 winning percentage IN THE IVY LEAGUE.

Dan said...

Let's give him a little credit, Cornell didn't exactly luck into those tourney wins, they pounded two higher seeds and eventually got knocked out by a #1.
Coaching success is very much about fit. Big names don't necessarily guarantee success.

Matt said...

oh well -

Ndao is capable of being a two position defender and should be a threat in the BC flex style offense when he learns how to get open. Time will tell if Ndao can reach his potential as an ACC forward.

Let's give this guy a chance!

Galvin said...

Michael, that is the right way to look at it. Thanks for putting that up. True it was a slow process, but he built them, pretty much improving each year. As the Miz has properly stated, we have a chance to field a pretty competitive team next season. That should win Donahue some short term accolades. Let's hope he parlays it into good recruiting. Also, I am excited to watch Reggie in a free flowing motion offense (please stay, please stay, please stay)

Nick P. said...
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Nick P. said...

If anyone good on the team was thinking of transferring, it was probably because they thought Al Skinner was going to be the coach next year. Now that Donahue is in, there's reason to stay.

mod34b said...

TBS -- you said it best: it was a small-time search.

and so to was the search that led to Spaz (can anyone even remember a hot candidate that BC went after to replace Jags? I can't).

So now think about DePaul . . . BC is more desirable in almost every way over DePaul, yet DePaul goes out today at grabs Clemson's coach Purnell. (yeah Purnell had no luck in NCAAs, but he had a nice record at Clemson -- 138-88 in seven seasons at Clemson, and recruited some great talent at Clemson). I wonder who Clemson will now get -- Cooley or Coen, I doubt it. Think about Coen, if he did not get the BC job he is considering a job at Sienna. yes, BC is in the kiddie pool for coaches with Siena. Siena!!!

GDF can't get a big time coach to even consider BC.

So, i think we've got to look at GDF. Does he not believe that BC can dream big? Why can't he sell BC. BC sells big-time to elite high school students -- 30,000 from across the USA applied this year. BC has been and is a hot college, but GDF can't sell the school to coaches other than Dayton, Richmond, Fairfield, Northestern and Cornell.

I do think Donahue was the best choice in this little pool GDF created, but boy did GDF aim low. You know, GDF, if you aim too low you sometimes shoot yourself in the foot. Let's hope that does not occur here GDF.

Ryan said...

The 30,000 kids that applied to BC aren't the kind of kids who play D-1 basketball. Huge difference there. BC's facilities, tradition, fanbase, location in a cold, mainly white area aren't exactly attractive to many recruits. We need to change that, hopefully Donahue can.

Ryan said...

Sorry, I misread, but the reasons I listed are the same ones why a lot of coaches don't see BC as an attractive job. Plus having GDF breathing down your neck doesn't help either.

Zestyed said...

Back in 1980 Duke's AD Tom Butters took a chance with Mike Krzyzewski who was unproven. Coach K was head coach at Army and was 9-17 in his last season there and had a .553 winning percentage. Granted Coach K had a key endorsement from Bobby Knight. But still going from Independent to ACC is similar as Ivy to ACC.

Unknown said...

At least maybe we can beat Harvard now.

EL MIZ said...

I think BC's lack of facilities (apparently "below average" is the best way to describe them) and inability to get fans in the seats is what hurts them.

"location in a cold, mainly white area aren't exactly attractive to many recruits. We need to change that, hopefully Donahue can." -- I highly doubt Donahue can change the demographics of Chestnut Hill or the weather. Gonzaga is in a cold, white area and they are in the Tournament every year. So is UConn, Syracuse, etc. That's just a silly critique of BC, and something that won't change (weather, white ppl in Boston). What needs to change are the facilities and the basketball culture. (IE No "Midnight Madness" event to start the year. Someone will inevitably bring up what Leahy said regarding kids needing to study or be in bed at midnight...which is fine, how about having it at 12 noon on a Sunday? I don't care, but most successfull b-ball programs have some sort of "kick off the year" event and BC doesn't. That's not good.)

Ryan said...

I meant that hopefully Donahue can change that perception, of course he can't change demographics or geography.

blist said...

This lack of facilities is weird - there's a regulation sized basketball gym off the concourse in Conte still, right? Or are coaches miffed that the main court is on the hockey rink?
No way Donahue stays at Cornell - I just read Donahue has 10 (!) seniors graduating from his Cornell team this year, so he must be going to tell it to the old team with class not to re-up in Ithaca.

matthew2 said...


That's awesome.

Maybe that was the main reason we got Donahue.

Ryan said...

Our facilities are subpar in that our practice gym is a joke and no one fills our arena. I forget which coach it was, the Richmond one perhaps?, who stated on of the reason he didn't like BC was the practice facility.

mod34b said...

ryan -- 27% of BC undergrads are diverse and Boston is not "a mainly white area." You've twisted yourself into a PC pretzel: race is not an issue to recruit a coach. Dumb point.

Location? Ever been to Jamaica Queens (where SJU is?) Spokane Wa (Gonzaga), Part of Chicago where Depaul is, Indianapolis (Butler's home)? etc as El Miz notes. Those places all suck compared to Boston.

facilities?.. seems pretty good to me. Nice arena for a college, I think. Lack of fans reflects the product being offered.

Your list is just a list of bad excuses.

Erik said...

This is exciting. I can't wait to hear him speak to the press/public to get a feel for his enthusiasm & expectations.

New feel for everything next year. No offense, new sneakers & uniform brand, new coach, new recruits.

I'm excited to move on and put 2009-2010 out of its misery.

@timstwrt said...

DePaul's in Lincoln Park, which is basically the Brookline of Chicago. I don't disagree with your overall point, but you're wrong there.

blist said...

Well I'm an alum who graduated in the 90s, and my Carolina-basketball fanatic relatives always said BC and Boston had a rep that makes it hard to attract black kids to go to school/play there -- the holdover from the busing scandals and the fact the Celtics happened to have 4 of 5 starters pale as alabaster. I don't agree with those broad strokes, but maybe that attitude does linger, at least in the minds of people older than me who happen to be head coaches.

Galvin said...

I don't know Mod, I think Blist is right, the attitude certainly lingers. Many of my non-white friends (usually those who didn't live in Boston) consider Boston to be a racist town. Whether that's right or wrong, that's a hard sell if you're recruiting an African-American player who doesn't want to go to a place with a racist reputation. Granted, we recruit a lot of white players as well - I am not stipulating to anything other than Boston's reputation may be a hindrance more than we would like to admit.

JC said...
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JC said...

I don't mean to be a Negative Nancy but I believe this hire will be unmitigated disaster in the short term.

Cornell's offense (motion) is based around 3 point shooting, running the offense through a big guy (Foote) and to a lesser degree, the ability of their guards to get open jump shots. Cornell’s guards got open because they spread the floor, were good passers and got looks back from Foote when they dumped it down to him. Their big guys were not black holes and averaged a few assists a game. We don’t have a big man with enough stats to make a comparison. Not good.

Our flex offense is vastly different and is designed to get easy shots close to the basket, regardless of personnel. Specifically, it is designed to create shots even when you don’t have a big man on the floor.

Cornell shot 31% better than we did from 3 point land while attempting many more 3s. They had an effective big man who would either draw double teams and pass or go towards the basket and score. Does this sound like us?

I am certainly willing to give Donahue a chance but to think that he will come into BC with the current roster, run the flex, have success and make the tournament next year or even the next is quite a leap. If he runs motion, it will have to be modified significantly to fit our personnel.

I bet the deal is longer than people expect. I saw 5- 7 years being reported. I bet it is on the high side of that range if not longer.

JC said...
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morrina said...

On the facilities issue. Don't most teams practice on their home court, and isn't that an advantage in terms of familiarity and comfort? Not too many top D1 schools share their arenas with a hockey team.

Andrew said...

This whole debate on black athletes is ridiculous. Since when have we had trouble attracting black athletes? Troy Bell, Craig Smith, Sean Williams, Jared Dudley etc. 17 year old kids dont give a crap about the 1960 Boston Celtics and have NO idea what the busing scandal is.

BC's problem is not attracting TOP athletes regardless of skin color. If you are a top recruit why would you come to a program that is largely ignored by the student body and local fans, has no track record of consistenly producing top NBA players and has highly substandard facilities as compared to the rest of the ACC. (Yes blist, we have a regulation size practice court- but have you been to any other ACC schools and seen their facilities?)

Dont get me wrong- I'm not saying BC isn't a desireable destination or that it doesn't have a lot of things going for it. I'm just saying race has nothing to do with it. If we ever want to be the type of program that attracts mcdonalds all americans year after year big changes are needed.

Galvin said...

I am certainly not saying we can't recruit black athletes and I don't believe Ryan was either (and let's not get into a Paul Hornung situation here). The fact that we did recruit African American players such as those you mention hardly eliminates the possibility that others may be put off by a reputation that, for many, still exists. For every player we get, there may be others who do not seriously consider BC as a viable destination. It's not just the bus scandals, that's a straw man argument. And I hope I am wrong about this. Regardless, we won't be able to recruit McDonald's all-americans unless we tap into the AAU circuit and build some fan base excitement.

mod34b said...

Morrina -- do the Celtics share their game space with Bruins? yes, they do; do the Knicks (and SJU) share with Rangers etc., etc. The dual use of Conte for hoops and hockey is not an issue.

It is amazing (and pathetic) how so many people here want to find excuse after excuse for BC.

(and TBS oops on the dePaul location point, misisnformed on that one)

Andrew -- does Butler have an NBA track record? that did not stop them.

Andrew said...

Galvin- I see your point I still think the reason we have trouble attracting top athletes has nothing to do with historical race relations in Boston and more to do with the issues that I mentioned. In my opinion, athletes are more concerned with how they are going to get to the next level and get paid rather than generalizations about a region/city.

Mod34- I'm not saying we need an NBA track record to succeed but there is a much higher correlation between NBA caliber talent and college level success.

John said...

BTW - The Boston Celtics were the very first professional team to start an all African-American lineup in 1964. Bill Russell, Satch Sanders, Sam Jones, K.C. Jones and Willie Naulls.

JERZeagle said...

i mean i don't know why the majority of people here keep centering on the face that it is essential to recruit black players to the school. Look at the championship game last night... 6 out of the 10 starters were white. I just want a guy to run a program that checks out on all cylinders. attendance, enthusiasm, and a system in which the players recruited can excel.

Andrew said...

well said JERZeagle...

Basically what I was trying to say when I wrote "BC's problem is not attracting TOP athletes regardless of skin color."

John said...

Jared Dudley recruited BC - he knew he could help us and that he would play right away. He wanted to play in a high visability league, have fun and eventually realize his dream of playing pro ball.

African American players will come to BC because they like the school, the city, and/or in order to compete in the ACC.

JDShagger said...

I believe we can attract top-notch student athletes to this basketball team - hopefully Donahue is the person to assemble a strong team of assistants to help him do it.

We need some enthusiasm!!!!!

We need a new AD also - what a weinie. Of course Father Leahy hasn't got a clue, so flippy is okay for awhile.

BCMike said...

Looks like Andy is still a little upset.


Galvin said...

Fair enough Andrew. The last thing I will say regarding this subject is that at no point did I say it was essential to recruit black players, or even hint that. I am not sure if anyone else expressly stated as such either. On the contrary, there are many successful players of all spectrums. However, the fact remains that we are likely going to recruit players who happen to be African American at some point. Not a good post by me, let's get back to discussing Donahue's offense. I'm excited!

mod34b said...

Katz is an interesting writer, but he writes BS like this (undoubtedly to keep these guys as future sources)

"Boston College has been snubbed by Dayton's Brian Gregory, Richmond's Chris Mooney and Bruce Pearl of Tennessee, who is a BC alum."

Pearl did not snub BC; Mooney dropped out b/c he was clearly not getting the job and Gregory did
not even interview for the job.

Writers need to muck rake to keep readers, I guess.

Andrew said...

Galvin- I didn't intend to suggest you were racist or anything. I just disagreed that athlete's perception of this city has affected recruiting. (Agree to disagree I guess)

I would argue that it essential to recruit black athletes. However unlike Paul Hornung I do NOT believe this means lowering our admissions standards.

Anyways, lets hope Donahue can sell this school to the best possible athletes (regardless of race) and take this program to the next level.

JC said...

matthew2...I was surprised by the numbers, too. They shot 42% from 3 we shot 32% from 3

morrina said...

Marketing campaign in full swing...

"Prior to the official announcement tomorrow, I wanted you to be among the very first to know that Steve Donahue, who coached Cornell to an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance this past year, will be named the next men’s basketball coach at Boston College. The press conference will stream live on our website (www.bceagles.com) at 4p.m., Wednesday, April 7. Please join me in welcoming him to our BC Family.

Thank you for your continued support of Boston College and BC Athletics!"


Donahue was named NABC District Coach of the Year in 2007-08 and 2009-10 and was a finalist for National Coach of the Year.
Guided program to its first-ever Sweet 16 appearance in 2010, becoming the first Ivy team to win a pair of NCAA tournament games since the field expanded to 64/65 teams in 1985.
Directed program to three straight Ivy League titles and NCAA tournament appearances (2008, 2009, 2010).
Earned the Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award, which honors a Division I men’s basketball coach who through his actions on and off the court makes an outstanding contribution to the sport of college basketball (2010).
Finalist for the Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year and the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award (2010).
Donahue was named Ivy League Coach of the Year in 2005-06, 2007-08, and 2009-10 by CollegeInsider.com.
Team was ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time in 59 years, reaching a high of No. 22 (2010).
His teams have gone 88-32 over the last four years (47-9 Ivy League).
Cornell has the best Ivy record over the last five seasons (55-15).
Helped increase the fan base with his constant exposure in the community. Average attendance increased by nearly 3,500 per game the past five seasons, including 13 sellouts the past four years. (Just four sellouts in the previous 12 years). Student attendance is up nearly 10 times over the past five seasons.
Coached and/or recruited seven of the top 15 scorers in school history. Three additional players established school freshman scoring records, with all three winning Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
At Cornell, has coached or recruited two AP All-Americans, eight NABC All-District players, two Ivy League Players of the Year, four Ivy League Rookies of the Year, nine first-team All-Ivy selections, eight second-team All-Ivy picks, four honorable mention All-Ivy picks and two Ivy League Defensive Players of the Year.
Has also coached three Academic All-Americans and six Academic All-District selections.
Has the experience of coaching on nine NCAA tournament teams.
Served at Court Coach for U.S.A. Basketball’s Under-18 National Team in 2008.
Set a school and Ivy record for wins in a season (29 in 2009).
The Big Red matched or increased its win total in both overall and Ivy League play in six straight years, then made the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and 2010.
Set single season school records for points, field goals, 3-pointers made, 3-point percentage, free-throw percentage, assists, blocked shots and steals.
His team won on the road…more than anyone else. The squad’s 18 wins away from home in 2010 was the most in the country.
Donahue’s team led the nation in 3-point percentage in 2010 (.439).

JDShagger said...

Any news on Spring Football?

chicagofire1871 said...

Improving a program has many elements to it. The majority involve hiring the "right" people, which involves a lot of subjective decisions, and ultimately some luck. What BC CAN do that is objective is to increase the budget for football/basketball and improve the facilities.

If we are going to compete in a major athletic conference, and essentially be the de facto minor league for the NFL and NBA, then our facilities should be top notch. Conte and Alumni need to be all seater stadiums. Is anyone else had the pleasure of getting kneed in the back all game long? Improving the facilities improves the game day experience. This is something BC can control today.

mod34b said...

BC is posting some slick graphics on Facebook too.

All right, maybe they are getting it now..... Please and excite the fans!

Good Luck Mr. Donahue! We know you will do a great job!

mod34b said...
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ORDEagle said...

Comeon guys - let's get a little real. There are maybe 10 to 15 programs in the country who can recruit a "top" coach away from an already good program. Otherwise you go to assistants or smaller successful coaches. Really, who should GDF have gone after?

You want to talk about coaching moves that are tough to explain - Clemson an ACC program with lots of money and great facilities, a winning record and the ability to recruit almost anyone - just lost their coach to a school that while it has some history on its side, is the worst in the Big East and hasn't been relevant in a long time. If Skinner had left to go to DePaul what would you guys have said about GDF then?

Donahue can coach. He is excited to be at BC. Let's see if he can recruit ACC level talent or more importantly unearth not quite ACC level recruits (per the ratings) and turn them into all ACC players. Becuase that's who goes to BC.

blockparty said...

as long as he wins. thats all we want.

mmason said...

Wouldn't you love to hear what Jared Dudley thinks about all this?...Oh yeah.

eagleboston said...

Geez, it's a good thing many of you were not the Duke AD over 25 years ago. You would have rejected Coach K.

Now, I'm not saying Donahue is a Coach K, but I think he is highly capable of taking over this team. I've followed college sports for most of my 43 years and I can remember a lot of very successful coaches being blasted at the time of hire. Kirk Ferentz is one that comes to mind and he has done extremely well at Iowa.

Dan said...

Today is a good day to be a BC fan.

1. Frozen Four in 2 days.

2. New B-ball coach

3. Report out of Spring ball that sings the praises of Rettig, Coleman, KPL and Freese. Herzlich is hitting some people, defenseive lineman look good, scrimmage saturday!