Boston College athletic director Martin Jarmond is close to completing an agreement to become UCLA’s new AD, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports.
Jarmond emerged this past week as one of the front-runners in UCLA’s search to replace longtime department head Dan Guererro, who announced last fall that he intended to retire in May.
Jarmond was one of two finalists, along with Nevada-Las Vegas AD Desiree Reed-Francois, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times, which also said a decision would likely be made by week’s end. In the ensuing days, Jarmond was seen as UCLA’s top choice.
With athletics in the middle of a turnaround that began when Jarmond was hired three years ago, BC had made an effort to keep Jarmond at The Heights.
Since becoming the youngest AD at a Power 5 conference school in 2017 after climbing the ranks at Ohio State and Michigan, Jarmond has revamped a BC athletic department trying to regain its footing in the competitive Atlantic Coast Conference, making key hires in administration, investing in fan engagement, launching the department’s first strategic initiative, and bringing in three new coaches that gave their respective programs a boost of much-needed energy.
Jarmond added experienced leaders and trusted voices in key roles at BC, hiring former Kennesaw State athletic director Vaughn Williams to serve as senior associate AD for administration, and University of South Florida senior associate athletic director Jocelyn Fisher Gates as senior associate AD and senior woman administrator.
Jarmond made it a priority to meet the needs of BC’s fan base by enhancing the game-day experience, extending the school’s tailgating and alcohol policies.
In 2018, Jarmond made his first coaching hires, bringing in women’s basketball coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee, who was named ACC Coach of the Year in March after leading a team picked to finish 13th in the conference to its best season in 15 years, and volleyball coach Jason Kennedy, who led the Eagles to 20 wins this past season, two years after going 7-23.
Also in 2018, Jarmond launched “Greater Heights,” a campaign with a $150 million fund-raising goal. In January, Jarmond said BC had reached $108 million.
In December, Jarmond parted ways with football coach Steve Addazio after seven seasons and hired Ohio State defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley, whose experience at the highest level of college football as well as the NFL gave the program a jolt. There was speculation that Jarmond would make another change after the men’s basketball team finished with a losing record for the fifth time in the last six years, but he decided to stick with coach Jim Christian as BC navigates the uncertain landscape caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Jarmond came to BC knowing it would be a challenging job for a first-time athletic director, and should the UCLA deal be finalized, he’ll be walking into a department facing difficult circumstances, one that reported a $19 million deficit from 2019, according to a report from the Mercury News.
Julian Benbow can be reached at email@example.com.