And the first domino falls..............  

Posted by Walter

ESPN is reporting that NC State will hire current Boston College head coach Tom O'Brien to fill their vacant head coaching position.

If true, one has to speculate as to the shrewdness of the move for both NC State and O'Brien. In O'Brien, the Wolfpack will get a military man that will no doubt instill the discipline that this talented program had been lacking under Chuck Amato. The flip side, of course, is that O'Brien has been labeled, and accurately so, as being a mediocre recruiter of top talent and unable to win big games (most recently evidenced by losses at Wake Forest and Miami this season). From O'Brien's standpoint, he will be leaving a job where 9-3 is considered a success, and the pressure will be on for him to compete for BCS bowl berths every season. Further, he inherits a roster that won only three games this season, leaving a nine win squad that returns virtually everyone. O'Brien is the antithesis of Chuck Amato (who was a terrible coach but a fantastic recruiter-see Williams, Mario; Rivers, Phillip; Lawson, Manny; Holt, Torry).

From the Eagles' perspective, this has to come as both a surprise and disappointment. Tom O'Brien was a perfect fit in Chestnut Hill and he will be very hard to replace. That said, with BC's recent success in the ACC, perhaps Boston College AD Gene DeFellipo will opt to hire a more creative/dynamic coach with the hopes of making a serious BCS run next year and in the future. This could be a blessing in disguis if BC uses O'Brien's departure to hire the coach that can take this program to a level O'Brien was never able to ascend to.

Early candidates for the BC opening in my view are:

  • Frank Spaziani - Longtime BC defensive coordinator.
  • Paul Johnson - Like O'Brien a military man (current head coach at Navy).
  • Steve Kragthorpe - Not getting a ton of interest from other major programs and could fall right into BC's lap. He'd inherit a veteran team in 2007 that may be BC's most talented in 20 years, so it would be an ideal situation for him.
My pick if I were the Boston College AD............Kragthorpe, do you even need to ask?


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