Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Keeping it in the family

It is natural to turn to your alumni and long-time employees when looking to fill a critical role like AD. The hope is that familiarity makes any transition smooth and that the passion for the school guides your program to new heights. All colleges consider this during major hires. Because we are replacing an AD who never really fit in, it seems even more obvious that BC should go with "BC guy/gal" right now. I don't think BC has some sort of quirky or impenetrable culture that only an insider can understand. But I do think this time around we should strongly consider someone with real ties to BC. Our coaches and fundraisers have a credibility issue with our fan base. If one of our own takes over, some of that skepticism will die down.

Here are a few candidates with BC ties who might be considered this time around.

Jim Paquette -- Athletic Director at Loyola

If anyone could hit the ground running with fund-raising, it would be Paquette. The Providence grad already served a decade as Gene's primary fundraiser and has led a number of big projects while at Loyola. He knows the administrators. He knows the big donors. He knows what has worked and hasn't worked at BC. Paquette can be the face of the Department and will understands the BC culture. There are only two issues related to Paquette's candidacy: his association with Gene and his lack of experience running a Department with Football. The association with Gene is something he can easily talk around in the interview process. He just has to explain how his vision for BC would take the best aspects of Defilippo era yet avoid his old boss's pitfalls. In my experience, Jim is not as much of a lightning rod as Gene, so I don't think he will rub anyone the wrong way. But he also has more personality than someone like Bates. As for Football experience, while he doesn't deal with it at Loyola, he certainly dealt with it at BC. He doesn't need to have Xs & Os expertise. He just needs to set expectations for the program, get the resources the program needs and find the right coach to lead that program. 

Bottom Line: I think Paquette would be the safest hire. But in this process he needs to prove that he is the type of leader who can not just return BC to its 2000s success, but take BC to that next level.

Ed McLaughlin -- Athletic Director at Virginia Commonwealth

McLaughlin is a 1995 BC grad but has built his career away from BC. Yet every step has been a step towards a place like BC. He worked for Hockey East. He worked in the area at Merrimack. He was the AD at a Catholic school (Niagra) and has now been at a mid-major power like VCU. While he has never raised money at a Power 5 school, I think his familiarity with BC and work at private schools can help any transition. Like Paquette, McLaughlin is not at a football school. But VCU basketball comes with some of the pressure and expectation that an AD faces at a football school. 

Bottom Line: McLaughlin can sell his love and ties to BC but doesn't carry the baggage of having worked at BC. Of the people tied to the school, his fresh perspective offers the biggest upside.

Chris Iacoi --  Sr. Associate Athletic Director, Chief Financial Officer at UCLA

Iacoi is the youngest among this "family" group. He graduated from BC in 2001 and worked for the school for a dozen years. Like Paquette, Iacoi was part of the success during the 2000s. However, unlike Paquette, he has never run his own department. While he has been part of critical business decisions, marketing deals and financial operations, he has never led a major fundraising campaign.  

Bottom Line: Iacoi's rise is impressive, but he would never sniff this job if not for his BC's degrees and previous work at the school. He is a likely candidate down the road, but I don't think now is Chris's time.

Vaughn Williams -- Athletic Director at Kennesaw State

Williams also worked at BC during the first half of Gene's tenure. He played football and graduated from UMass and also has a Masters degree from BC. Between his time at BC and Kennesaw, Williams worked at UConn. I know many BC fans are not aware of Kennesaw State, but as a Georgia resident, let me tell you how impressive their rise has been. Since he's been there, KSU has started a FCS Football team and has plans to make the jump to FBS. They also have some of the most elaborate and expensive Lacrosse facilities in the southeast. Williams wasn't involved with fundraising a BC, but has done enough of it at KSU to think he could adjust to our alumni and fans.

Bottom Line: Vaughn should be interviewed. It would be a big leap from KSU to BC, but he has enough of the boxes checked to at least get a chance to sell his vision for the Athletic Department.

Current Staffers

You could make some case for many of the current Athletic Department staffers like Jaime Seguin, Steve Novak, John Kane, Jill Hegarty, and Tom Peters. Many of them are BC grads and long-time loyal staffers. However, promoting from within would send the wrong message to our frustrated fans.

Bottom Line: I don't think BC will promote from within. 


Shabby1011 said...

Good post ATL.

I missed Vaughn Williams. Didn't realize he had BC ties. He looks like a very good candidate, wish he had more experience at a Football School. That being said he should definitely be in the mix. Maybe he brings back Al!

Also maybe he or someone like him with good experience is brought back as a high level #2 man. I think BC has to look at all options. I think they need a strong leader with a very strong department around him. High level experienced administrators.

I am very conscience of the real world element when speaking of firing/hiring coaches. Most AD's, administrators, coaches work very hard, spend hundreds of off peak hours working, travel away from their family etc. They do the best they can and have families they care for at home. Many at BC in athletics have done a lot for BC and have worked very hard on behalf of the school.

However the past 6 or so years has just been unacceptable at every level. Our major sports have fallen to a laughingstock in the country. Our fan attendance is horrific. Our alumni relations/pulse is horrific. Compared to other ACC schools the pride and culture currently in the Athletic department is just frankly unacceptable. The new AD needs to, in time, change the entire department. Conte Forum needs a breath of fresh air, ideas, energy and people. My issue with Paquette, Williams or even McGlaughlin is they may feel loyalty to keep people they have known in their jobs. That cannot happen and I think is a strike against them. Ultimately the entire Athletic department needs to be changed. Administrators, Flynn Fund and some coaches.

I do think it is crucial to have someone who either understands BC or at least this area. I think Jackson at Nova is the ultimate candidate. He is from Boston, he worked for the Patriots, he Fundraised at USC! One of the 5 top Football schools in the country. He knows what it takes to win and how to do it. Under his watch Nova won the National Championship and he has been able to keep Wright at Nova and not leave for NBA. To me he is close to BC with his Boston ties but not close to people at the school. I have no idea if he would even want to come home and leave Nova but if he has any interest BC has to go all out for him IMHO.

mod34b said...

Keeping it in the family......


It is an option, but BC should not limit the search to these types of guys.

Iacoi worked for bates and had a role in BB's terrible work OUT!

Vaughn Williams has been to many school and never stuck.. a journeyman..... I'd say leave him be..

McL look s good.

Paq too.

guy from Villanova seems good too.

I'd like to see some guy with real executive experience.... like ND's Jack Swarbrick..

eagle1331 said...

I think we need to look at schools with similar so called "issues" as BC, but similar athletic offerings, that have outperformed us as of late. A place like Stanford should be an Athletic Department we target. They have high academic standards and fantastic programs, and stay out of trouble. Notre Dame, Villanova, UCLA, and Cal. To a degree, Duke and Clemson should be looked at too. The new AD needs to get BC's "restrictions," but know how to navigate them, and see them not as limitations, but opportunities to provide a different experience to student athletes and fans.

Napolean Bonaparte said...

Have not looked hard at any of the candidates yet - but wouldn't you want to look first at people who have a demonstrated track record of making excellent coaching hires and administering an athletics department that is considered "successful" by most reasonable criteria starting first with the overall competitiveness of the major athletic programs under their wing? I realize that there are a lot of other criteria relating to fund raising, managing budgets, development of facilities, rules compliance, marketing, etc. - but the first thing we need is somebody who has an eye for talent, sets high expectations for himself and his coaches and who has limited (albeit reasonable) patience for losing.

knucklehead said...

They need someone who can hire good coaches. Money is not really a problem. Realistically we are not paying a new coach 3 million+. The new Ad ought to be able to hire good coaches at 2-3 and work promotion deals locally and with footwear companies to get the coach another $500k.

I don't care if they hire Marty Walsh. The AD needs to be able hire coaches.

We don't have a fund raising problem we have a problem winning games. Coaches are hired to win games.

knucklehead said...

Napoleon complex is thinking along the same lines.

Geezer eagle said...

Every now and then Knucklehead has a cogent argument. This is one of those times.

Napolean Bonaparte said...

For what its worth:





mod34b said...

hiring-firing-monitoring-managing coaches is very important, but only part of the job. Perhaps more important is fund raising and managing the building of facilities.

the new person needs executive skills in all departments, and needs some salesmanship skills and media management skills too

I liked the old RU AD who was run out of town...Tim Pernetti.. worth a look too.

(cue the stupid K/H RU comments)

knucklehead said...

The comments are usually cogent. You just don't like most of them. You like that one because it is simple.

Unknown said...

Knucks is simple minded.

knucklehead said...

Pfff. Mod, fundraising and facilities are the result of success on the field or success in business coming back to the university. Wins = $ at BC. It isn't Baylor or Oregon where having all the flashy green shit and hookers brings in the players. At BC the coach and to a certain extent the education are the most important thing.

The inmates don't run the asylum at BC.

STC said...

Paquette could be interesting, having had prior experience at BC and running his own department at a basketball/lacrosse/UA school. His experience having run a department where lacrosse is a major school sport is the most interesting to me.

BC should be a lacrosse school. The sport is getting bigger and bigger every year at the local level. In my area, upstate NY, kids are choosing lacrosse over baseball.

His major con, as pointed out, is that he is a GDF disciple. That is probably a deal breaker.

Guido said...

The advantage of an outsider being hired has its advantages - Number 1, the entire athletic office should be evaluated , current procedures scrutinized , personnel evaluated , what are these staffers responsible for etc. ??? Just my opinion , but there is NO CREATIVITY evident in this operation and I truly believe that a number of staff are just collecting a paycheck. The whole operation has become "STALE". Number 2 , let the new hire also determine the feasibility of maintaining all the current sports programs - in my humble opinion , there are too many !!! When a current member is promoted , the tendency is : DO NOT ROCK THE BOAT !!!! I am probably one of the few that feel that investing in baseball and softball facilities may be ill advised - Many $$$$ spent and a great deal of land consumed. Parking is scarce now and we are going to reduce our footprint ??? Does not make sense to me !!! Still favor the lacrosse program being re - instated. Whatever , at least a hire from outside may be able to evaluate with an open mind .

bceagle91 said...

To knucklehead's point, the new AD will have to be able to hire coaches who aren't just competent at X's and O's, but can actually recruit ACC level talent. I think this is where Bates's hires have fared especially poorly. Nick Saban and John Wooden would have trouble winning with the talent we have now.

Geezer eagle said...

Knucklehead, you are a nasty SOB,but you are a BC SOB. so go for it my brother.

mod34b said...

knuckle, puts the cart before the horse and then wonders why the cart won't move. yet remain passionate. To borrow from MacBeth, Knuckle's tales, are those "Told by a knucklehead, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing."

knucklehead said...

Anyone who wants to hire someone from Rutgers, VCU, Kennesaw St or Loyola is oblivious to reality.

Mod pulling Shakespearian quotes off the internet to sound well rounded is the funniest thing I have ever read on here.

notfadeaway said...

This list is uninspiring

JBQ said...

@notfadeaway is absolutely right. The best candidate even if on an interim basis would have been Tom Coughlin. The next best thing is to get his input. You need someone with charisma. BB had the charisma but results were flat. Actually, Gladchuk in his day and time was excellent across the board. There is no magic bean and no magic bullet to identify success. You just have to do your research and then "throw the dice". As a coach, Jags was a most pleasant surprise. Frank Leahy was beyond compare. There are only two D-1 Catholic schools who play football. Actually, make that 1.5 Catholic schools since the Irish School has fallen off the left coast. With all of the goodness and all of the enthusiasm generated by the "Ever to Excel" mystique, let's get this done. Actually, I thought that BJK was going to lead a one man Les Miserables march on the Heights. There is no doubt that he is still simmering. Mod and GeoEagle have the fire. Time to get out the torches and do the Joan of Arc tango. Actually, Dropkick Murphy's says all that needs to be said.

Unknown said...

For my money Coughlin would have been great, but it seems like it wasn't in the cards for whatever reason. At this point why not try Iacoi? He seems like a young guy with a focus on the business side. He attended BC and worked here for over a decade under different regimes. He'll understand the administration, alumni, and working at UCLA correlates to working at a place in a pro sports town with a focus on academics. Keep Barry and Jerry as long as you can in an advisory role to 'steer the sip'. Those are my two cents.