BC AD: 'Fully immersed' in coaching search

November, 26, 2012
11/26/12
9:34
PM ET
Brad Bates is wasting no time.

A day after relieving Frank Spaziani of his duties as Boston College head coach, Bates took his message first to the Internet and then to the airwaves.

The new athletic director, hired away from Miami (Ohio) in October to replace the retired Gene DeFilippo, reassured his followers on Twitter on Monday afternoon that the coaching search is underway.

“I'm already fully immersed in the search for your next football coach,” he tweeted. “I appreciate all the positive input. I'll keep you posted throughout.”

Monday night, Bates called in to the “D.A. Show” on 98.5 The Sports Hub to discuss the coaching search with host Damon Amendolara.

When asked during the 10-minute spot if he would be OK with a hiring a coach who might be a short-term solution, Bates said: “If all else was equal, you would clearly want continuity in your program. At the same time, I can’t predict the future.”

Then Bates said he believes BC can be a destination for the right coach.

“We’re gonna create a situation here that’s gonna be, in our opinion, a destination-type situation,” he said. “A place that gives a coach every opportunity to have a high level of success and achieve that vision of excellence that we strive for in our football program.”

After that comment Bates was asked if he really believes that a top-flight coach could view BC as a destination, and the athletic director said he did.

“Coaches that are gonna be excited about BC, that can sell the product of Boston College, are people who are gonna be aligned with the values of the institution,” he said. “So when you have a situation professionally where you can strive toward your vision of the program, where you can work with highly intelligent and talented students in a community that really is a family, then yes, I think if you can find that person then the tenure is going to be longer than one might expect.”

During the interview Bates reiterated that the final decision on Spaziani’s status wasn’t made until this past weekend, and that wins and losses clearly play a role in any coach’s evaluation.

“If you believe that winning contributes to student development -- and I clearly do -- then [you believe] competitive success helps students really acquire a winning attitude,” he said. “They gain a wealth of knowledge and experiences and skills that will serve them the rest of their lives.”

The new AD said he doesn’t think Boston College’s academic standards, which are higher than those of some of its competitors, should be viewed as a negative in this process.

“In fact I think it’s an asset to us,” Bates said. “Clearly in our past we have a history and tradition of great success even when we had high academic traditions. I personally believe that the academics and the prestige of the degree clearly distinguishes us in ways that will appeal to students who really care about their education.”

On Sunday, Bates told reporters that he would not be considering any of the current Eagles assistants for the head-coaching position. On Monday, he said that past BC ties would just be a bonus in a candidate.

“I think the quick answer is of course, but it’s not a prerequisite to the ultimate decision,” he said.

“I think past experience and knowledge of BC is advantageous, but ultimately we need someone who is going to come in here, sustain the high retention and graduation rates of this institution, represent us as an ambassador to the entire community and to our alumni base and fans, and win. And do it with an energy and enthusiasm that makes all of our alumni proud.”

As of Monday, the Eagles have 16 verbal commitments in the Class of 2013. Bates was asked whether those agreements would be honored by the new staff.

“BC is about ethics,” he said, “and when those commitments were offered, when those scholarships were offered and those students shook hands and called those other schools and told them, ‘I’m going to BC’ and closed those doors -- Yes we’re gonna honor those scholarships. That’s just the ethical thing to do and that’s the way BC works.”

While Bates wasn’t asked about potential candidates on Monday night, several names already have been connected to the vacancy by various reports. The possible candidates reportedly include Cleveland Browns quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple, Harvard coach Tim Murphy, Kent State coach Darrell Hazell, Miami coach Al Golden and Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco.

Asked for a timeline, Bates said he wanted to move quickly -- but that he would not be hasty.

“We’re gonna move as quickly as we possibly can, but this is a very, very important hire,” he said. “This is a key leadership role in our department, and one of the most recognized names at the entire university. And so we’re going to be very deliberate in making sure we get the exact right person for what this program needs right now.”

Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.


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