The Firing of Al Skinner Has Left a Void in My Life

Boston College head coach Al Skinner was fired last week.

It’s true, I hate to see Al leave the Boston College family. But there’s really nothing I can do about it at this point except hope to God that athletic director Gene DeFilippo brings in a new coach that I can respect and get behind as a fan. That only leaves two people.

Bill Coen

1. Northeastern Coach Bill Coen: For transparency’s sake, I love Coach Coen. I would probably follow him to the ends of the Earth if he told me it was going to win a basketball game. That’s how much faith I have in him as a coach. Having spent four years working for him while he was an assistant at BC, I know how many sleepless nights he spent in the office, going over video, contacting potential recruits, or taking hard a really bad loss. There is no reason, in my opinion (which really doesn’t count for much, however), that Bill Coen should not get this job.

2. Fairfield Coach Ed Cooley: Now, I would also love for Coach Cooley to get this job, but for different reasons. This man has charisma. He could sell Boston College like no other, and that’s great for recruiting. He’s also done a great job at Fairfield, and is coming off a decent year where they almost achieved a NCAA tournament berth. In turn, Coach Cooley also loves Boston College, and according to the Boston Globe this morning, “Cooley’s enthusiasm for BC, where he too was on Skinner’s staff, was so great four years ago that when he took the job at Fairfield, his contract stated that the BC job was the only one he could take without paying a buyout.” I wouldn’t complain if Ed Cooley was given the helm.

Ed Cooley

Now, the problem with my two picks is that DeFilippo just fired the man who mentored Coen and Cooley. But, Gene’s got to see that both of these coaches were pieces of a puzzle that created some great basketball seasons at Boston College, a 20-0 start in 2004-2005, an ACC Championship game in 2006 and a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16, also in 2006. (I was also a piece of this puzzle and feel I deserve a job as full-time manager on either coach’s new staff [shameless plug]).

Good luck to all the candidates, but these are my two picks. I’m anxious to see what a week of interviews will bring to light, and while I hate this time of year because of all the shake-ups, it’s also nice to anticipate the dawn of a new era for Boston College basketball, if things happen the way I hope they will.

READ IT: Andy Katz, who has spent more time at BC than any other sports reporter I can think of, rips into DeFilippo in today’s Daily Word on ESPN.com.

1 Comment

Filed under College Basketball Is My First Love

One response to “The Firing of Al Skinner Has Left a Void in My Life

  1. In case anyone reading this thinks that Kelly is being too enthusiastic about Coen and Cooley — let me assure you that she is not. She may actually be underselling them. Having worked for four years with these coaches (along with Kelly), I can attest to how awesome they both are, for the reasons that Kelly laid out. I will be disappointed if we hire anyone else…

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