April 3, 2014
"We had a very deliberate, meticulous process and it led us to the conclusion of Jim Christian as our head coach. He emerged pretty early on as a strong candidate and certainly separated himself in the home stretch. I was very pleased with the patience and feedback that our current team members gave us throughout the process, and their constant communication. I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to work with Jim and bring him in as our leader of the basketball program."
"I am obviously tremendously excited and humbled to be able to take over a program with the tradition and history of Boston College. If you look at the great coaches and success that they have had before me, it is a situation where you wake up every day and you just can't wait to get to work. I can't wait to get up there, meet our players and spend as much time getting to know them as I possibly can; and just go attack the things that we want. Again, I am just truly excited and grateful for the opportunity that Brad Bates and Father Leahy have given me and I am going to make them proud."
On what made Christian decide to take the job at Boston College:
Christian: "I always look at programs historically and not just where they're at right now. I think if you look at Boston College historically and the things they have accomplished, it excites you. Any coach wants to have his chance to compete against the very best. Obviously the ACC is the very best. For me, growing up in New York, going to school in Boston and graduating from Rhode Island, it is just kind of in my roots. These things come down to fits and you have to find a job that you think is just a great fit for you. There is no doubt in my mind that Boston College is a tremendous fit."
On what led him to believe BC was a right fit:
Christian: "The coaching fraternity is pretty close so you talk to as many people as you can about the program; the history of it, the returning personnel and again, just what I think the program can become. That is what excites you. Throughout my whole career that is the type of situation I have wanted. A situation where you can grow or become successful and maintain that success, and I think that has been proven at Boston College."
On how he feels about recruiting in the area:
Christian: "It is obviously exciting. I think recruiting is a lot about what the school has to sell with Boston College's academic reputation and the city itself. I have coached schools in the Northeast, so I've recruited that area constantly. Again, I think the other part of it that is really important is my staff. My staff is going to determine what areas we are concentrating on. I think people will see that. I understand the importance of how basketball works in the Northeast and the type of programs you have to be attached to and my staff will take that shape. I think the other part of recruiting is Boston College has had so much success nationally. If you look at some of its best players, they have come from other parts of the country so I think you have to go in all directions. With being in the ACC, a lot of people want to hear what your program is about and that is exciting. Priority number one is going to be our current players and priority number two is our future players. Right after we hang up the phone I am going to start working on it."
On staff decisions:
Christian: "I have not (made any decisions). I think all of those things have to be weighed out. My top assistant here is going to go for the head coach position at Ohio University and I recommended him for it. The rest of the spots are things that I am going to figure out. I know the type of people that I want and the things that I am trying to do, and now it is just a matter of identifying the best people that I can get. I've gotten tremendous support from Brad and the administration on hiring the best people I can to get the job done. That just excites me because there is a strong commitment level from Brad and the entire administration towards Boston College basketball."
On his brand of basketball and if it is compatible with the ACC:
Christian: "I think there are a lot of different ways that basketball is played in the ACC. I think you just have to be versatile. You have to be able to guard and I think that is the one thing that my teams have been pretty consistent with. You have to be able to be tough and always be able to guard. Looking at the current roster, one area that they had to improve in is on the defensive end of the floor."
On keeping this group together:
Christian: "The second that Brad offered me this opportunity, every single guy in that locker room became one of my players. We have six seniors on this team on scholarship, which is a great number. When you are a senior going into your final year, you want the new coach to understand you're trying to win. I am going to do everything I can to make them better. Every single guy on this returning team is going to be the foundation of the culture that we are trying to create to win basketball games. I mean that sincerely."
On the promises he was given to succeed:
Christian: "I think the best tools and resources you can get are open ears. What Brad and I discussed is that he wants me to come in and get a full look at all the different things in the program, and where do we see things that need to be improved and let's go get those done. You have to see everything that is going on then we can identify what are major priorities. We are getting into all that and that is what is exciting. Brad and I are partnered up in this along with the rest of the administration. In reality that is how it has to work. It has to be a great partnership with all parties."
Brad Bates on the reaction of team:
Bates: "It is hard to categorize it but I would say relief. You know, for two weeks they have been waiting to see who their new coach will be, and you will have to ask them specifically, but I think they were excited that this process is over and now they know who their head coach is. I think they are also very anxious to get to know their new coach."
On how the whole process came together:
Bates: "Immediately after we went public with the coaching change, we did a needs-assessment of the program. We talked to all the people that live and breathe Boston College basketball, starting with the student support staff and everyone that was around the program. From that, we developed a coaching profile and did a lot of research and made a lot of calls. We started putting names on the board that fit that coaching profile then we began contacting coaches of interest. Some were contacting us and from there we narrowed the list down, had the first round of interviews, narrowed the list down a little more, had a second round of interviews and made a decision."
On talking to his players at Ohio:
Christian: "Yes I talked to them. We had a meeting at 3:15 today. The one thing that I did do with our players before the process began to escalate; I took each player into my office individually and let them know. I think sometimes coaches aren't as transparent with their players but I care a great deal about these guys so they knew what I was going up for with no commitment on getting the job. I did let them know that I was going to speak with Boston College and I asked them to keep it as quiet as possible and they did a great job with that. I think it is so important to be transparent with your players because you spend so much time in the locker room talking about trust."
On when Christian shot to the top of BC's list:
Bates: "I had the benefit of watching Jim when we both worked in the MAC, so he has always been on my list as someone that I had a high regard for. During the process, he not only validated my impressions of him but he far surpassed them. In terms of characteristics, this sport is about recruiting and coaching. You have to get talented athletes that fit your institution and you have to develop them and coach them. Boston College has core values that you need in your coaches. We are about integrity. There has to be a development of our intellectual young men. You need a coach and a staff that can flat out recruit and develop those kids with their coaching. Beyond that, we want to win. We wanted someone with championships and postseason appearances. Someone with New England roots was important. Someone with energy and passion and at the end of the day someone who is in this for the right reasons and who genuinely cares about his students. He was obviously right up there in the first round of interviews and after the second round he shot right up to the top."