What to make of the Erik Johnson hire
Erik Johnson is the new Women's Basketball Coach. Congratulations to him and welcome back to Boston College. I know very little about Johnson. Based on his resume and his head coaching track record, Johnson was as good a candidate as anyone. It's not like he has big shoes to fill and the program has no where to go but up. But the Johnson hire probably felt very familiar to critics of Gene D. Obviously there are exceptions to these cases, but they do form a pattern.
1. Hiring former BC Assistants that he already knew. Johnson is just the latest. Spaz, Jags, Aoki, and Gambino were all BC assistants under Gene. Donahue was one of the few finalists in the last basketball search that didn't have a BC connection.
I want guys who know BC as head coaches. There are enough quirks to our school and programs that familiarity helps any learning curve. But Gene's reliance on his network means many good candidates don't get consideration. Cynics would also wonder if these coaches are hired because they are willing to kiss Gene's ring.
2. Gene is more willing to share responsibility when it comes to sports other than football. Gene credited Steve Donahue for assisting in the process. When he hired Crawley he also leaned on basketball guys he knew to asses her ability. I know he seeks feedback and recommendations on the football searches, but ultimately he is making the call and taking responsibility for what happens on the football field. In the other sports he either doesn't have the connections or doesn't trust himself to make a solid pick. In general I am glad he asked for Donahue for feedback.
3. Money is not an issue. We always hear how tight the purse strings are at BC, yet here we are handing out another big contract. BC only seems to go cheap when it can be used as a crutch to neutralize candidates that might be a threat to Gene's power.
I know when we make our next football change, Gene will want to hire someone he knows. But if he knows that we know his M.O., maybe there is a chance for him to make a great hire.