Former Michigan men’s basketball coach John Beilein is one of the most successful leaders the sport has had in recent memory. In wake of the firing of Boston College head coach Jim Christian, he’s being mentioned for that ACC job in recent days.
Christian was let go after a 3-13 start to the 2020-21 season, with a woeful 1-9 ACC record. His BC tenure has been a serious struggle, since landing the job after a successful two-year stint at Ohio. He was just 78-132, with a 26-94 ACC record, and one winning season to his name (19-16 in 2017-18).
Boston College‘s struggles predate Christian’s tenure. The team hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2009, the second-to-last season under longtime head coach Al Skinner. Under Steve Donahue and Christian, the team has won less than 40-percent of its games.
Beilein would be a real coup for Boston College. The former Michigan and West Virginia head coach has a pair of Final Four appearances, two Big Ten Tournament and two Big Ten regular season titles. As noted by Saturday Tradition, Jeff Goodman, Jeff Borzello, and Andy Katz have all mentioned Beilein for the Eagles job, something of a surprise, but an indication that there’s some smoke here.
Names that could be in the mix at Boston College:
Guy they probably can’t afford, but should make a run at: Kevin Willard
Outside the box names: Randy Bennett
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) February 15, 2021
Names that have been floating around for Boston College the last few weeks: Porter Moser, Howard Eisley, John Beilein, Mark Schmidt, Mike Rhoades, Randy Bennett.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) February 15, 2021
One other name of course — for any opening if he wants to coach and that's the big question — is John Beilein. Name the school and he's a fit. But the question is does he want to coach again?
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) February 15, 2021
Beilein’s last coaching venture went extremely poorly. He left Michigan for his first NBA gig, with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he lasted just 54 games, going 14-40, before resigning from the job. That brief tenure was marred by an incident in which he called his players “thugs,” which he poorly attempted to play off by saying he meant to say they were playing like “slugs,” a knock on their poor play.
That is obviously a concern, though Beilein had significantly more success connecting with college players during his lengthy career.
Boston College hasn’t had a coach of his caliber in a long, long time. We’ll see if they can get a deal done.