Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

At Boston College, speculation is now over with Steve Donahue

March 20, 2014 Columns No Comments

A few years ago, it would be just about impossible to imagine that Boston College would be searching for a new head coach for the second time in four years. Save for a blip on the radar screen, the program was in a period of success the likes of which has never been seen at The Heights. But here we are.

What many had speculated for a couple of months became official on Tuesday, as the school parted ways with Steve Donahue. There was some promise during his tenure, but the past season was a disaster that no one saw coming. Fresh off two seasons where wins were hard to come by but growth wasn’t after they basically started over in his second year, the Eagles went 8-24 this season, including a 4-14 mark in ACC play. Donahue over-scheduled, and the Eagles never recovered from a slow start that included several tough losses.

With a junior-laden team that had gone through growing pains together for two seasons, with a nice run late last season, the thought was that this team could be an NCAA Tournament team. At the very least, being on the bubble would be expected. The non-conference slate was dotted with road and neutral site games, and this team was not ready for it. By the time ACC play rolled around, the confidence was shot, and more close losses followed.

Donahue is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, and the same can be said for all on his staff. He and his staff put in plenty of hard work. You can tell this season wore on him as the losses mounted. The Eagles seemed to plateau with this group, as if they got near their ceiling last season. That’s not to say they can’t bounce back next season, but now there will be an adjustment with a new coach, so it’s far from a given.

The biggest criticism of Donahue and his staff is that they simply didn’t recruit enough talent. Olivier Hanlan and Ryan Anderson are certainly ACC-caliber players, and Garland Owens appears to be on that level as well. With others, it’s debatable. While they made some efforts to recruit the talent in the area, the general feeling is that they could have done better. New England is loaded with prep schools, but many of the players at each are not from here, and by the time they get to a school here have already been recruited by other schools. So while the bottom line shows they haven’t exactly loaded up on players from the region, the story isn’t as simple as that.

Where BC goes from here is interesting to think about. You will hear Tommy Amaker mentioned plenty, but whether or not he wants the job is an open question. He can win every year at Harvard, which at this stage of his career is appealing as he’s been at high-major schools and hasn’t had the sustained success he’s had at Harvard. In addition, at BC he would coach against his alma mater and mentor in Mike Krzyzewski. From that perspective, BC would appear to have an uphill battle if he is their top target.

For a while, many were clamoring for BC to go for alum Bruce Pearl, despite his show-cause that expires in August. That seemed like a long shot all along, and now we know it won’t happen as Pearl is the new head coach at Auburn.

One name that could be an interesting one is St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt. He’s an alum and from Attleboro, Mass., so it’s very possible he will be interested. He has won at a school where getting talent is tough, as the Bonnies don’t have a lot of natural advantages in terms of recruiting base and with their academic requirements.

The next head coach will immediately have to hit the recruiting trail, because next season’s team will be very senior-heavy. The new staff will need to get a big haul of players for the fall of 2015, and will effectively be starting over in year two much like Donahue was. Of course, this assumes that the coaching change doesn’t result in any player attrition, and whether or not that happens remains to be seen.

Donahue will end up at another school before long and will coach and represent the school with great class just like he did at The Heights. In the meantime, Boston College is looking for their next coach, a position that few would have predicted several years ago.

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about big road wins for a few teams, including a couple of bluebloods that looked destined for losses, as well as an unsettled Big Ten beyond one team, an SEC where you shouldn’t pay attention to bracketologists, and the problems with a proposed earlier start to the college basketball season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 11, 2018

January 11, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about several big pieces of news away from game play, one of which puts a lot in perspective. We also talk about the lack of dominant teams and how this has shown up in the results, especially this past weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 4, 2018

January 4, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with a big game in the Big East, then move on to the sudden lack of undefeated teams, a big injury in the ACC, and a powerhouse that looks vulnerable in a stacked conference they have long ruled.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.