Harvard's Tommy Amaker is one. Cornell's Steve Donahue is another (and perhaps the most popular fan choice, at the moment). Former BC assistants Ed Cooley and Bill Coen are also on the list.
And so is … Bruce Pearl?
Even the most optimistic BC fans in the world (of which, let's be honest, there aren't many) cannot expect that there is a remote chance Pearl will be on the sidelines at Conte Forum next November. Yes, Pearl went to BC. Yes, his first assistant coaching job was with BC. But besides that, there is zero motivation for him to leave his situation in Knoxville for the cold, dreary pastures of Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Ideally, BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo would like to hire someone like Pearl — someone with a personality, someone with tangible enthusiasm, someone who can get the players and the community excited about the program. (And once upon a time, not too long ago, the BC community did have a coach like that. His name was Jeff Jagodzinski.)
But Bruce Pearl isn't coming to BC. For one thing, there is no way he is pulling a Lane Kiffin four months after Lane Kiffin pulled a Lane Kiffin. (And Pat Summitt isn't pulling a Lane Kiffin, either, despite DeFilippo's contention that she could coach "any men's team.")
There is the recruiting issue. Selling a program like Tennessee — an SEC school that consistently competes for the conference title, a school that hasn't missed the NCAA Tournament in four years, a school that plays in an arena that can fill 21,000 seats instead of struggling to fill 8,606 — isn't too difficult. BC certainly has a lot to offer, but the school's academic expectations and the city's overwhelming preference for professional sports, not to mention the climate, make it a tough place to feel like your team is getting the attention it deserves. It's something that none of the players on any of BC's teams (except hockey) can ignore.
That's not a problem Tennessee's players will ever have to face. Understandably, that makes it a more enticing place to play college basketball.
This is not to say that a coach of Bruce Pearl's caliber is too good for BC, as some others have implied over the past couple of days. For the most part, BC has competed in the ACC since joining the league in 2005. In no way is the school undeserving of a proven, quality head coach. That coach, however, is not Pearl. His situation in Knoxville is simply too good to leave behind, especially for a program that needs a bit of a facelift before it can take off again.
And plus, how could Pearl ever think of leaving a community that embraces him so openly?
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