Until June 2, Martin Jarmond will continue to serve as The Ohio State University’s deputy athletics director and chief of staff. But on Monday, when University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J. introduced Jarmond as the school’s new William V. Campbell Director of Athletics, the 37-year-old already looked the part. Donning a Boston College tie and pocket square, Jarmond addressed a packed Yawkey Athletics Center, filled with media, BC administration, coaches, and alumni.
Before Jarmond took the microphone, Leahy explained what went into the selection process. For close to two months, administrators—most notably vice president of human resources David Trainor—faculty, and trustees interviewed and evaluated prospective candidates.
“Their charge was to identify candidates who were successful, proven leaders in intercollegiate athletics, with experience at the highest level, and who could motivate and inspire,” Leahy said.
Parker Executive Search, which BC employed on March 19, was also involved in the hunt. The firm contacted Jarmond back in March, and the two have been communicating back-and-forth ever since.
Leahy feels that Jarmond meets the above criteria. He alluded to not only Jarmond’s experience as an assistant and associate AD in the Big Ten, but also to his playing days at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. As far as Leahy is concerned, Jarmond’s enthusiasm and energy is what BC athletics needs moving forward.
Jarmond’s appointment was announced on April 20. He will replace Brad Bates, who decided to step down on Feb. 20, effectively ending his six-year tenure.
With the hire, Jarmond is now the youngest AD in the Power Five. But the Raleigh, N.C. native was quick to clarify that, for him, “being young” isn’t anything new. After all, he was named the assistant athletic director for development and director of regional giving at Michigan State University when he was just 26.
“In my professional career, I’ve always been young,” Jarmond said. “To me that doesn’t matter. It’s about people. It’s about respect. It’s about trust.”
In response to a question, concerning potential hirings and firings of his new staff, Jarmond also noted that he has already had experience with letting go coaches. But he made it clear that, at the moment, he has no such intentions to do so at BC until he learns more about his co-workers.
Jarmond repeatedly cited the importance of meeting and developing relationships with people. For Jarmond, this is a starting point. Like any other career, he believes that getting to know the people you are working with is the top priority. Before Jarmond does anything, he plans to learn about all of BC’s 31 varsity programs and their respective coaches.
But that’s merely the beginning of Jarmond’s vision for BC athletics. He centered the majority of his introduction around three core values: passion, alignment, and competitive excellence. Jarmond referred to passion as the fuel that builds momentum. In terms of alignment, he feels that it is necessary for everyone within BC athletics to understand the school’s shared goals, as well as the individual roles that they serve. Jarmond asserted that “competitive excellence”—the final theme—is defined by a relentless commitment to win.
It seems as if Jarmond has taken the advice of Ohio State AD and mentor, Gene Smith. Jarmond revealed that Smith always told him to stick to a plan and follow the process.
When asked why he left his position at Ohio State, Jarmond turned to BC’s high academic standard, the conference it plays in, and the investment that it has made in its athletic programs.
“Our University is among the very best in the world,” Jarmond said. “I see opportunity for BC athletics and what we can be.”
Right now, Jarmond is focused on helping his family make the move and transition to Boston.
He has yet to explore Bates’ $200 million plans to build new baseball, softball, and intramural fields, a field house, and an enhanced student recreational complex. But that’s not to say that he doesn’t know how valuable the investment is. Jarmond pointed out that there is always a benefit to upgrading one’s learning or playing environment. He even jokingly thanked Leahy for the financing.
Four days in, and Jarmond has already been thrown into the line of fire. But he wasn’t expecting anything less.
“Even though I don’t officially start until mid-June, it’s game on right now,” Jarmond said. “And I can’t wait to start.”
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor