Tommy Amaker will stay at Harvard; joins Jim Calhoun as non-candidate for BC coaching job
By Joel Alderman
Last week there was speculation by the media that Jim Calhoun or Tommy Amaker was in line to fill the vacant basketball coaching position at Boston College. Shortly afterwards, Calhoun, the retired University of Connecticut coach, made it clear that he has never even been in contact with BC.
The status of Amaker, however, was not clarified until now (March 29th). Harvard just released a statement that he will stay in Cambridge.
In Amaker’s words, as printed on the Harvard sports website, he said:
“After considerable deliberation, I continue to realize my heart is at Harvard. To teach, lead and serve at this amazing institution, and in this special community, is truly meaningful to me.”
The former star at Duke has been with the Crimson for seven seasons, and the last four have included one tie for the Ivy title and three outright championships. Harvard’s Ivy League record under Amaker is 67-31. Significantly, and unlike Calhoun, who flatly denied any contact, Amaker did not say whether he had been approached by BC or had received any feelers. But for whatever reason, he did feel the need to declare his intentions.
Although Harvard will lose Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry, who made valuable contributions this season after missing a year because of their involvement in a very un-Harvard like cheating scandal, don’t feel sorry for Mr. Amaker. The Crimson will return the Ivy League’s Player of the Year, Wesley Saunders, who scored 22 points in the tournament game against Michigan State. Others coming back include valuable point guard Stylani Chambers and rugged Steve Moundou-Missi.
In addition, Amaker will have 6-8 center Kenyatta Smith, who, except for two minutes this season was out with a broken foot, and 6-9 forward Zena Edosomwan, who could break through in only 11 games as a freshman. An incoming freshman, is 6-9 Chris Egi from Florida. If nothing else, the Crimson won’t be lacking in size.
Boston College has already gone in a different direction. According to ESPN.com, the Eagles have interviewed St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt, a 1985 graduate of BC and a native of nearby North Attleborough, Mass. Smith is under contract with the Bonnies through the 2018-2019 season. Apparently that was no deterrent for Boston College to get to the interview process.
Jim Calhoun, although never in the mix at BC, has not completely ruled out the possibility of coaching elsewhere, and he has left the door open if an offer to his liking comes along.
But Tommy Amaker’s door is now closed!