As has been his custom at the end of every season, Harvard men’s basketball coach Tommy Amaker met with the media Monday to discuss his just-completed 27-5 campaign.
Amaker’s seventh season at Harvard was highlighted by a fourth consecutive Ivy League title, a third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, and another win in the second round of the tourney.
“I think it’s important to recognize the greatness of the institution,” said Amaker, who posted his fifth straight 20-win season. “I think the pillar of what we’re doing here is wrapped around the brand of the name Harvard.”
Amaker drew unsolicited attention from Boston College suitors looking to gauge his interest in that coaching vacancy after Steve Donahue was dismissed following an 8-24 season that left him with a 54-76 record in four years at The Heights.
Amaker, who was thought to be the leading candidate at BC, removed himself from consideration when he released a statement Saturday saying he was remaining at Harvard.
“I just thought there was speculation about my future and I would have preferred not to have to do anything, but that’s not always the world we live in,” Amaker said. “I thought it would be helpful and I’m confident and comfortable that we were thoughtful.
“What I said is that I continue to realize that my heart is at Harvard and that’s how I feel and that’s what I wanted to say and I thought that was necessary given the speculation concerning my future.”
Asked if he had been contacted by BC, Amaker replied, “Again, I made that statement about not mentioning or talking about any other position but my own. Hopefully, my statement suffices for anything surrounding my future and my immediate future.
“I know there are ongoing things with many programs and universities, and it’s the right way of handling it for me personally. I just don’t engage in any talk about other places, I just talk about where I am and what we’re doing.”
What made the Ivy League job more desirable than any others out there, including BC’s in the Atlantic Coast Conference?
“As I said, if our heart’s into something or at a certain place, it’s hard to get away from that,” Amaker said. “I think when we talk about Harvard in the past, seven years ago prior to me coming here, we talked about possibilities, and potential, dreams, history.
“We talked about the brand of Harvard and how far and how high and how wide the dreams can go and the arms can reach. And I think we have actually seen that happen for us and how neat and cool that is, to have a bunch of kids who believed in that vision and have achieved many of the things, if not all of the things, we’ve talked about accomplishing here.
“To think we have done that in the window of time we’ve been here . . . those are incredibly meaningful moments to witness and feel incredibly grateful and blessed to be a part of.”