Boston College men’s basketball first-year head coach Earl Grant has turned to a veteran of the college basketball coaching ranks for his most recent hire, as BC Athletics announced the hiring of Jim Molinari on Thursday.
Grant’s priorities were clear in securing his first assistant coach hires on the Heights: young, energetic coaches with extensive connections in the Northeast. Both Anthony Goins and Chris Markwood fit the bill and will help make up for Grant’s lack of previous experience in New England.
With his shot of youthful energy and Northeast recruiting chops secured, Grant looked to Molinari’s breadth of experience for his next hire.
“Jim’s experience is priceless,” Grant said in a statement.
Molinari, who has coached in the college ranks for over 40 years, was an assistant coach at Oklahoma for the past two seasons. The Sooners compiled a 35-23 record over those two years and reached the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
Oklahoma was particularly strong on the defensive end this past season, ranking in the top 20 nationally in terms of defensive efficiency according to kenpom.com ratings. Molinari will have a chance to help revitalize an Eagles defense that struggled to stop anybody last year, as reflected in the same metric.
Prior to his stint in the Big 12 Conference, Molinari served as an assistant coach at Nebraska for five seasons. He has also been a head coach multiple times, most recently at Western Illinois from 2008-2014. The Leathernecks compiled a 79-104 record during Molinari’s tenure, and he was named Summit League Coach of the Year in 2013 for his hand in leading the program to a Summit League regular-season championship.
He was also a head coach for the entirety of the 1990s, first at Northern Illinois and then at Bradley. He holds an overall record of 302-290 in the top job. His first head coaching experience in the Power Five came as the interim head coach at Minnesota during the 2006-07 season.
“He has extensive national ties – whether it’s Illinois, Minnesota, Texas, and beyond,” Grant said in the statement. “Jim will be a wise counsel with his years in the business.”
Molinari’s hire capped off what has been a busy week for BC men’s basketball. Grant secured the commitments of Kanye Jones and Devin McGlockton on Monday, marking the first high school commits that Grant has pulled in since his hiring.
With his roster beginning to take shape and his coaching staff filling up, Grant is making waves in rehabilitating a program in need of a lot of assistance.
Featured Image Courtesy Of Anthony Garro / BC Athletics