Steve Donahue was a hot coaching property even before he led Cornell to the NCAA Sweet 16 last spring. That improbable postseason run -- and the Ivy League record 29 wins his Big Red recorded in 2010 -- was merely the culmination of a brilliant 10-year building job in Ithaca.
It was inevitable bigger schools would come calling. But Donahue insisted he wouldn't have left Cornell for just anywhere.
"We all know ourselves best," he said. "I wanted something that really fit my strengths. There are few -- if any -- jobs in America that provided everything I believe in. Boston College is one that did. When I think about the history of the program, it's humbling that I get the opportunity to lead this basketball program."
Three-point shooting is just one of the obstacles Donahue faces heading into his first year at Boston College. The Eagles will also lack size and depth. Can the new coach figure out how to compete with a small, thin, but very experienced core group?
That's hard to project. Donahue didn't turn the downtrodden Cornell program around overnight. His first two teams in Ithaca were 7-20 and 5-22. But his last five teams dominated the Ivy League, going 55-15 in the academically oriented conference over his last five years.
"When I went to Cornell, I had to adapt to the kids I could get there," he said. "It made me a better coach. We're looking for kids with a high skill level and a high basketball IQ more than pure athleticism. We want great kids who know how to shoot the ball and understand how to play the game."
Donahue will get his players in place. His early recruiting is going well -- vital for a program that has added little talent in the last two years.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Blue Ribbon Yearbook Previews Donahue and B.C.
Blue Ribbon Yearbook's preview of Boston College is now available on ESPN.com. Below is an excerpt as it references Cornell and Steve Donahue: