Multiple sources have confirmed to me that Boston College will hire Martin Jarmond as the eighth athletic director in program history. He replaces Brad Bates, who will depart the University at the end of his contract to become a hiring consultant.
“I am delighted that Martin Jarmond will be the next athletics director at Boston College,” University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., said in a statement. “His work as deputy director of athletics at Ohio State and at Michigan State have given him not only appreciation of the opportunities and challenges of intercollegiate athletics, but also experience in how to respond effectively to them. He is a person with high energy, infectious enthusiasm, and an impressive ability to engage with people and issues.”
The 37-year old Jarmond served as deputy athletic director and chief of staff for The Ohio State University, as the No. 2 to athletic director Gene Smith. As deputy AD, Jarmond served as the lead administrator for football, men's basketball, baseball, men's, and women's golf. He has also been in charge of football scheduling, and served on several executive councils both within Ohio State and nationally, such as the Rose Bowl Advisory Committee and the College Football Playoff Committee.
Between his work at Michigan State and Ohio State, Jarmond has also been a major player in the fundraising world. As associate AD for development at OSU, he raised $120 million in a three-year span during the "But for Ohio State" $2.5 billion campaign. He also raised $126 million during Michigan State's most recent major fundraising campaign.
My reaction? This has the potential to be the most electric hire in the history of the program.
Jarmond is widely considered one of the best young athletics administrators in the business. At age 37, Jarmond will be the youngest AD in the Power Five Conferences. He helps to break down some of BC's reputation for racial bias as the first person of color to ascend to the AD position. BC still lacks any head coaches of color, not to mention not a single football assistant. In addition, there are few minority high-level administrators at BC, and only one senior associate athletic director, Marcus Blossom, that is. However, Jarmond now becomes the public face of the University's athletic department, and is thus one of its most visible administrator.
One of the concerns surrounding Jarmond is that he has no experience in hiring, but this is a myth. He may not have made a direct hire, but according to BC's press release, Jarmond "directed search committees for coaches and administrators." Additionally, Jarmond has led football scheduling for Ohio State, so he knows what he's doing on that front.
Jarmond obviously comes into a tough situation coaches wise. Both Steve Addazio and Jim Christian have been under fire from fans, for fair reason with their performance in the ACC. Jarmond will get to decide if they are the future. We'll see how his direct hires do if it comes to that. (As a side note, I wouldn't be surprised if Addazio's connections helped get Jarmond here.)
I believe Jarmond comes into a great position in terms of facilities. If there's any legacy that Bates left that is good, it is the facilities that are coming up. Jarmond will likely have the freedom to make any tweaks he sees necessary to the indoor practice facility, new Plex, and Brighton Athletic Fields. As a fundraising guru and his commitment to football, basketball, and baseball, I would expect he may want to add his own features to those projects.
Even if this is just a stepping stone for the young Jarmond, and that's not out of a question, BC will likely get at least the same amount of time that it had with Bates; if he does a good job, he may leave, but there's obviously a chance he loves it at BC and can be the next Bill Flynn.
I understand if some people may be concerned about Jarmond's "lack of experience" as a head athletic director. But if you call this lack of experience, then I don't know what you're looking for. He's already nationally recognized as a name to watch, as Sports Business Daily Journal named him as part of its Forty Under 40. In the statement, Jarmond's former bosses at Michigan State and Ohio State, as well as North Carolina AD Bubba Cunningham, praised his abilities. The athletics community loves the guy. If there's any knock on him, it might be a lack of direct hockey experience, but with the current stability of both the men's and women's teams, I am confident that he can learn on the fly since those programs essentially run themselves.
But Jarmond said that "I knew it would take a special place to leave Ohio State. It is clear to me that Boston College is that place." If Jarmond truly believes that, then BC may have hit the grand slam it needs to propel itself into the modern world of college athletics.