Friday, September 30, 2022

Ex-Miami Eddie Blake James lands in BC, promises to stay

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BOSTON — Boston College has hired its third athletic director since 2017, and it promises to be around for a while.

Former Miami Eddie Blake James is taking over at Chestnut Hill after predecessors Martin Germond and Pat Kraft used the school as a stepping stone for high-profile programs. James said Thursday after being introduced by BC President Rev. William Leahy that his family plans to “spend many years in the Heights, immersing themselves in the community.”

“I’m sure all the people who were here before said the same thing: They’re gonna be here, they’re gonna stay here,” said James, who was in Miami nine years ago when he was forced out in November. was. ,

“There were so many opportunities, if I wanted to leave, to take advantage of them,” he said. “As I said to Father Lehi: I plan to be here for retirement.”

Boston College has a decorated history in hockey—and, most recently, women’s lacrosse—but its revenue sports have struggled to compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference since the school left the Big East in 2005.

The football team has not won more than seven games since 2009, the same year the basketball team last made it to the NCAA Tournament. Since joining the ACC, the Eagles are their fifth football coach and fourth in basketball.

Continuity has not been much better in Eddie’s office, which is on its fourth leader since ending Jean DeFilippo’s 15-year term in 2012.

Former Michigan football walk-on Brad Bates, who was Eddie in Miami, Ohio, lasted less than five years—in which neither the football nor the basketball team won an ACC game.

Jarmond replaced him and stayed for three years, hiring football coach Jeff Halfley, but leaving for UCLA before Halfley could coach a game. Kraft came to Chestnut Hill from Temple and promised that the Eagles would compete for the ACC Championship at the Revenue Games (they didn’t); He defected to Penn State less than two years later.

James spent 17 years in Miami – the last eight as AD – before being ousted in November, two days after the Hurricanes, an eight-point lead for the 3-6 Florida State team in football. The Miami football team has not won the ACC title since joining the conference in 2004, winning its fifth and last national championship in 2001.

“I know it can be a wild and rocky ride,” said James, who returns to New England after previous stops in Maine and Providence.

BC has never won an NCAA championship in football or basketball, and the Eagles have fought for attention in a city where professional sports teams have won 12 titles since 2001. But BC has 31 varsity sports and about 700 athletes, compared to 400 in 17. Games in Miami.

James also served as chairman of the NCAA Division I Council, the NCAA Board of Directors and Board of Governors, the NCAA Football Oversight Committee, the ACC Names, Image and Likeness Committee, its Football Committee, and was chairman of the conference’s athletics committee. director

“He understands the issues facing college sports today,” Leahy said, “as well as appreciates the challenges and opportunities of athletics at Boston College.”

James said the NIL is one of the issues he hopes to wrestle with during his tenure in BC.

“None of us would have predicted where we are today three years ago, and it is difficult to predict where we will be in the future,” he said. “But I think my experience, both at the national level and at the convention level, really gives me a lot of respect and a great voice in pursuing this.”

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