Boston College has hired Jim Christian as its next head coach, the school announced Thursday afternoon. Christian just finished his second year at Ohio, where he’s gone 49-21 in the past two years
Christian has 12 years of experience as a head coach. He began his career at Kent State, where he inherited a program coming off a Sweet 16 appearance and went 137-59 in six years. He then went to TCU, where he was 56-73 and never fully rebuilt the program in four years. He’s reached the NCAA Tournament twice in his 12 years, both at Kent State in 2006 and 2008.
“Jim Christian brings three remarkable traits to Boston College basketball,” Boston College athletic director Brad Bates said. “First, he sincerely cares about his student-athletes and will be a catalyst for their development as basketball players, scholars, servers and leaders while creating a family culture that brings pride to the BC community. Second, his energy is contagious and his passion inspiring, which will resonate throughout our program. Finally, he is a proven winner with an outstanding winning percentage and three conference championships. We are very excited to have Jim Christian leading Boston College basketball and look forward to an extraordinary future.”
Before becoming a head coach, he was an assistant coach for 12 years. His most prominent assistant stops were with Herb Sendek at Miami (Ohio) and at Pittsburgh for three seasons.
Christian earned a salary of $425,000 annually at Ohio. His buyout is $500,000.
Before Christian got into coaching, he was a star point guard at Rhode Island. There, he helped the Rams to a Sweet 16 appearance in 1988. Before transferring to Rhode Island, he played two years at Boston under coach Rick Pitino.
Christian will replace Steve Donahue, who was fired after four years as the Eagles’ head coach. He faces a difficult rebuilding project, as Boston College went 8-24 and 4-14 in the ACC this season. In addition, star players Olivier Hanlan, Joe Rahon and Ryan Anderson are all considering leaving the program this summer.
Christian’s track record as a recruiter is weak. His best recruit in four classes at TCU was a three-star prospect. The best recruit he’s ever signed is four-star forward Tariq Owens, who is requesting a release from his Letter of Intent at Ohio. He’s only signed three high school prospects who were rated better than two-star talents in his entire coaching career.
Christian was interviewed by Bates within the last week. The Eagles targeted Christian after missing on Harvard coach Tommy Amaker, Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins and St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt.