BC begins search for new football coach

BC begins search for new football coach

CHESTNUT HILL — The day after deciding to part ways with Steve Addazio as head football coach, Boston College athletic director Martin Jarmond answered a series of questions about his decision and what BC is looking for moving ahead.

MARTIN JARMOND: Good morning. Thank you for being here this morning. I want to start off by thanking Coach Steve Addazio for the seven years that he spent here on the Heights. He gave his heart and soul to this program and I appreciate all the efforts and what he has done and the staff has done to help develop our young men. That said, we're moving forward today, excited, and we have an incredible opportunity with Boston College football. I understand that we have young men in our locker room, I spent about an hour with them yesterday, and I was really impressed with just how driven they are, high character guys, want to be great, and it's refreshing, because that's what represents BC. We have an incredible opportunity and I'm excited to find a head coach that's going to lead our young men and go to greater heights and that's what we want. So, with that said I'll open it up for questions.

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Q. When you extended Steve last year after the season were there parameters in that extension that said you have to match these goals or anything like that?
MARTIN JARMOND: No, you don't have specific parameters that way. Whenever a coach, specifically football, has less than four years you really want to make sure that they have that continuity because they're recruiting a four-year class. So, you're in a position where you either need to make a change or either extend and I felt really good about the progress that we were making last year.

Q. Why was the decision made now?
MARTIN JARMOND: We look at the whole body of work. We evaluate throughout the year, but I started talking with Father Leahy at the end of the season and we connected and we just felt like the trajectory that we were on, I didn't feel like we were making the progress competitively that we needed to. We want to be more competitive in conference and nationally, and I just felt with the total body of work that we, that it was time to make a change.

Q. What are the qualities you would want out of a candidate?
MARTIN JARMOND: Integrity is the first one. We want a person of high integrity, we want a leader, someone that understands Boston College. We have a wonderful opportunity here. Our Catholic Jesuit values, men and women for others. It has to be someone that understands us. We're proud of that. We have a rich tradition and history. A lot of guys have done really well that came in this program. We want to build on that. Someone that understands that. A teacher. Someone that's passionate to teach the game but teach the skills that they need for life. Someone that wins. We want to win and we want to be competitive. And we talk about competitive excellence and that's something that we're going to look for.

Q. Rich is going to coach the team through the bowl, at least.
MARTIN JARMOND: Rich Gunnell is going to coach. He's incredibly talented. I'm excited about Rich. He is an Eagle. He's played here. He understands us. He gets it. Man, he's the right person to lead our young men to go get a 7th win. But he will not interview for the job. And I don't know the time frame. Obviously, we have signing day December 18th. Ideally, we would have someone in place by then, but I'm not going to commit to a time. I know not to do that.

Q. Your background's Big Ten. Is that one of the areas you'll be looking?
MARTIN JARMOND: I'll be looking everywhere that we can find a head coach that's going to be great to lead our men. Whether it's Big Ten, whether it's Pac-12, whether it's whatever conference, it doesn't matter.

Q. This is your first big coaching hire here since you've been here. Did you come in with like a list of guys that you had been watching, or how does, how do you approach it as kind of a big move for you?
MARTIN JARMOND: I think with every one of your programs you always try to have a list in mind or characteristics of the job that you feel are really important. You always do that with all of our 31 sports. I think, and specifically with football, you do watch a lot of football, but usually in season you're so focused and locked in on your current team and your current staff and what you can do to help them be successful. So, it's not something that you're looking at all the time. But it's always in the back of your mind, as an AD you want to be prepared in case something happens, a coach leaves, you have to make a change. So, you always have a list or you have people that you're watching. But most importantly it's the characteristics, who is out there that demonstrates the characteristics that really fit where we are and what we need to move forward.

Q. You said signing day is coming up. Could you talk about how, you know it's important not to wait until the end of the season but to do this now.
MARTIN JARMOND: Yes, I think if you make a decision you need to act decisively. I don't think it helps anyone to delay a decision on either side. I don't think it's fair to whoever that coach or that staff is and I don't think it's fair to the institution. When you make your mind up I think you need to act. I wanted to do that as quickly as we could to move forward because I think it's really important to get in the marketplace when you can, when you know you're going to make a change and start that process.

Q. (No microphone.)
MARTIN JARMOND: We have a capital campaign now called Greater Heights. We talk about greater heights. We want to achieve more. You saw that last year where we were in the top-25, one of our strategic goals in our strategic plan is to be a top-25 football program. That's a goal that I feel strongly about. You saw that last year when we got back into the top-25, we were competitive. And so, that, I think, is really important to understand what we can be. And we have got a great rich tradition and history. We have done it before. Sometimes you got to look at your past to see what you can do. And I know we can do that. I think we have a lot of talent, I think we have potential, and I think we got to maximize that. So, I'm excited it. This is not something that's a rebuild. This is a retool to go for greater heights and that's what this is about.

Q. (No microphone.)
MARTIN JARMOND: No, we're not taking a step back. This is all about moving forward. Again, this is a solid foundation. If you look at our team, we have a lot coming back, a lot of talent coming back. This is a launch pad now. I really, I don't really get into the how many wins. I know that's important to fans, but I look at momentum. I look at energy. I look at progress. Are we progressing? If you're not progressing, then you're either stalling or you're moving back. And we want to move forward. And so that's kind of, when you look at everything, I want a program that's constantly moving forward, pushing it, progressing, and that's what we want to do.

Q. Are you in negotiations with bowls right now? Have you been in contact the bowls and where you might be going?
MARTIN JARMOND: No. You've had a couple conversations, like, there were two bowl representatives at the Pitt game that I met and talked to a little bit. But during this process, now, it's just kind of a feeling out. They might send you questions about, what's your attendance, maybe, or how many alumni do you have in that area. So we have started that process. We're excited about that. But it really just got started because we, when we got our sixth win on Saturday.
 
Interim Head Coach Rich Gunnell
RICH GUNNELL: First of all, I would like to thank Martin for giving me this opportunity to lead our team for this bowl prep and for this bowl game coming up. I really appreciate his confidence in me and what he sees in me, even though I may not see it in myself. But just listening from him and starting to build my confidence and trying to be the leader I want to be as I move forward in this coaching career. I also definitely want to thank coach Addazio because he's kind of shaped me into the coach I am today. I learned a lot from him and I'm very grateful for him and grateful for the opportunity he gave me to come back to my alma mater where I put a lot of work in as a player. But he gave me an opportunity to come back and be able to be a coach and coach the position I played. With that being said, I guess I'll leave everything for questions right you now.

Q. One of the benefits of bowl eligibility is those 15 extra days of practice. Coach Addazio in the past has always used it for team building, getting the young kids working and then start game planning. Are you going to follow that same approach?
RICH GUNNELL: I will. And I did the same thing as a player and Coach Addazio did the same thing and that's what we're going to do. Like Martin alluded to, we have a lot of talent coming back and you want to continue to develop that talent moving forward. And that's my job is to keep these guys together, keep them focused at the task at hand and that's just to win this bowl game. That's the only thing I'm focused on right now.

Q. You heard Martin talk about where BC can go and where it's been. You saw that when you were here. Is that something you can bring to the team as a message to --
RICH GUNNELL: Yeah. As a prideful, proud BC man, I'm just going to continue to preach what we're all about. That's toughness and faith and all those good things and high character guys. And just moving forward I'm just focused on this winning this game. That's the most important thing to me right now, keeping these kids together. We got great kids in that locker room. And just making sure that they're all on the same page with what we're trying to accomplish and that's winning this bowl game.

Q. In terms of bowl prep, how much have you shifted from the last game until now?
RICH GUNNELL: That process has started, meeting with the kids, constantly. We'll be on the road. But having another meeting with them today, just letting them know, again, the main goal is to win this game. And, again, we got great kids and that's who we are as BC. We have always got great kids, kids we are recruiting, kids that are in the program. They're willing to stick together and fight, and fight for this win, because that's what they care about. They care about winning too. Regardless ever what's going on they play for each other because it's about the kids and the coaches that's helped build that relationship and developing them these last few years. And they're going to do it together. And that's going to be my main message to them is just stick together throughout this thing right now.

Q. What did you learn most from Steve Addazio?
RICH GUNNELL: Just how to approach this thing and how to approach kids and how each player is different in how you coach them differently. Some kids need a pat on the back, some kids need a kick in the butt, you know what I mean? Just different things of how to take different angles to get best the out of your players. That's what I've learned from him. Get your guys to play as hard as they can. The X's and O's will come but getting your guys to play a hundred miles an hour with their hair on fire, that's what I got from him.

Q. Martin said you're not going to interview for the head coaching job?
RICH GUNNELL: No, I don't really want to get into that, I'm sorry.