With Martin Jarmond officially making the move to UCLA a day earlier, Boston College took the first step in its search for a new director of athletics Wednesday by naming JM Caparro the interim AD.
A senior associate AD for external affairs at BC since 2015, Caparro previously worked eight years for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. At BC, he oversees ticket sales and service, multimedia rights, marketing, and ticket operations while also acting as sport administrator for men’s basketball, lacrosse, volleyball, skiing, and fencing.
The athletic program is in the rather unexpected position of having to search for a new department head for the second time in four years. Jarmond’s tenure at BC was brief but stabilizing for a program that had gone through a stagnant period for nearly a decade.
When Jarmond was hired in June 2017, BC was in need of someone who had the ability to raise money as well as shape a successful football program. Jarmond checked both boxes; he launched a $150 million Greater Heights capital campaign in 2018 and then last December, he hired Ohio State defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley as head football coach.
As BC begins its search for his permanent replacement, fund raising will likely still be a priority but the focus will shift to navigating the uncertainty of college sports during the coronavirus pandemic as well as the glaring need to stabilize a men’s basketball program that has endured eight losing seasons in the past nine years.
When Jarmond arrived three years ago, he inherited a football program that had reached bowl games in three of the four previous seasons, was regularly sending players to the NFL, and had star back AJ Dillon emerging as one of the most explosive players in the country. Those components made the Eagles attractive enough for ESPN to host its “College GameDay” program at The Heights in 2018 against Clemson.
Jarmond’s successor will take the helm of a department on more solid footing but in a landscape full of unknowns.
College campuses and sports have been suspended since March with little idea of when they will return and what they will look like when they do. BC president William P. Leahy announced Tuesday that the school intends to reopen in the fall with the condition that it will continue to monitor the situation.
Schools across the country are expected to take a hit financially because of the pandemic and BC is no different. The Eagles' next athletic director will have to brace for difficult decisions upon arrival.
If BC chooses to stay within the department, Jarmond’s two top aides, Vaughn Williams and Jocelyn Fisher Gates, could be candidates. But an internal hire is unlikely, according to multiple sources.
Virginia Commonwealth athletic director Ed McLaughlin is a potential candidate whose track record fits many of BC’s immediate needs. In his eight years at VCU, the Rams have had success in the Atlantic 10, winning 16 team championships. The men’s basketball program has reached the NCAA tournament six times during his tenure.
A ’95 BC grad from Natick, he has hired two men’s basketball coaches during his time in Richmond, replacing Shaka Smart with Will Wade in 2015 and then welcoming back former VCU associate head coach Mike Rhoades when Wade left for LSU in 2017. He also launched a three-year project to build a $25 million basketball facility, an upgrade for which BC basketball has been asking for years.
Temple athletic director Patrick Kraft, Tulane’s Troy Dannen, and Villanova’s Mark Jackson, a Xaverian Brothers graduate who attended Colby, have emerged as other names to monitor. Jackson was a coaching assistant with the Patriots from 1998-2000.
Julian Benbow can be reached at email@example.com.