White Smoke from the Presidents’ office at Boston College.
All of the paper work was completed on Thursday when Boston College announced that Ohio State Associate Athletic Director Martin Jarmond was coming to The Heights as the new Director of Athletics.
Jarmond, who will officially be introduced on Monday, wasted little time getting started in his new job, sending out an email to donors asking for support saying he wanted them to be “partners to define the vision for BC athletics.”
Reports, first posed by Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated, came out Tuesday that Jarmond had emerged as the leading contender to replace Brad Bates, whose contract was not renewed.
Jarmond fits almost all of the criteria–fund raising ability, experience at a Power 5 school, familiarity with football and basketball–BC was looking for in its new AD to replace Brad Bates. He is also young (37) and a minority, which is also a positive for a school which has dealt with some diversity questions in its athletic leadership structure.
Other candidates such as former Red Sox executive Mike Dee and Seton Hall AD Pat Lyons were eliminated for a variety of reasons. Sources at BC maintain that the decision on Jarmond as the front runner was made several days ago.
An interesting twist is that one of Jarmond’s duties at Ohio State was football scheduling, which now includes games against Boston College in 2022 and 2023.
Jarmond’s choice, considering his profile, was not a surprise. Sources familiar with the process said that a list given to Boston College President Father William Leahy of the three finalists included at least two associate AD’s from Power 5 conferences. Jarmond, who who worked at Michigan State in a similar capacity, fits that profile almost perfectly, with football and basketball as part of his duties as well as fund raising and facility improvements
Sources at Ohio State said that Jarmond was also in the mix for AD openings in the past several months at Syracuse and Mississippi State,, which is interesting since he stated in the BC release that it would take a special place for him to leave Ohio State. But clearly, he is a rising star.
A word of caution.
What worked at Ohio State and Michigan State in fund raising and operations will not necessarily work at BC for a variety of reasons. Which is not to say it can’t be done, but the challenge of taking BC athletics out of the irrelevant category and re-generating booster enthusiasm will be a huge task.
The next key date for BC should be June 1, which is when BC’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees John Fish will step aside and be replaced by Vice Chair Peter Markell.
What happens after that move in relation to Father Leahy ‘s tenure at BC could also gain more definition.
And there is also this. Jarmond’s role at Ohio State was so extensive that his name has been mentioned as a possible successor to current AD Gene Smith. Whether a move to BC as the head guy is part of a master plan to come back to Ohio State is a feasible question.
For now, however, let the feeling of optimism flow at The Heights.
Jarmond deserves a chance to prove that he can revive BC athletics.