Sports, Top Story, Basketball, Men's Basketball

Jim Christian Will Return for 2020-2021 Season

Boston College men’s basketball fans have watched their team suffer losing season after losing season over the last decade or so, dating all the way back to the era of former head coach Steve Donahue. When Jim Christian took over the reigns from Donahue, Eagles fans hoped for a turnaround, but they haven’t had any such luck yet. 

Eagles fans have started to get restless—often calling for a coaching change—but Christian will be sticking around for at least another year, as Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond has elected to keep Christian on the staff for the 2020-21 season.

The news first came from a tweet from Stadium Network’s Jeff Goodman. 

The uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak was reportedly a major factor in the decision, according to Julian Benbow of The Boston Globe.

“There’s uncertainty when we’re going to have students back on campus, there’s uncertainty about graduation, there’s uncertainty about the fall,” Jarmond said in explaining his decision, as reported by Benbow in The Globe. “With so much uncertainty, I just feel it’s important to have stability in your leadership.”

Christian and the Eagles finished this year with a 13-19 record and went 7-13 in the ACC, making the 2019-20 season Christian’s fifth losing season in his six years on the Heights. Christian is 75-119 overall in his tenure and 25-85 in the ACC, good for a .386 overall win percentage. 

“Any time that you have a season that you lose more games than you win, there’s going to be disappointment,” Jarmond said, according to Benbow. “So I certainly understand disappointment. … But my job is to look at the totality of the program and also our athletic program and the University and really weigh all the factors and make an informed decision. So with everything that we’re facing right now in our landscape, this is the right course of action for us.”

In his time with BC, Christian’s team’s only winning season was the 2017-18 season, when the Eagles went 19-16 but still underperformed in the ACC at 7-11. That team notably featured Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson, two of the three Eagles currently active in the NBA. After that season, Christian earned a contract extension until the 2021-22 season.

Christian met in person with Jarmond early on Monday to discuss Christian’s future with the program, according to Benbow. Benbow specified that the two maintained social distance throughout the meeting. 

“There is so much uncertainty right now with everything,” Jarmond said, according to Benbow. “You need to be steady and you need to have calm in uncertain times.”

Even with the retaining of Christian, Jairus Hamilton and Chris Herron Jr. are both currently in the transfer portal. If they decide to leave, they will become two of the 11 players recruited by Christian to transfer out of BC. 

Featured Image by Leo Wang / Heights Staff

March 23, 2020

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