Al Skinner, Boston College Part Ways: What's Next for Both Sides?

Paul SeaverCorrespondent IMarch 30, 2010

CHESTNUT HILL, MA - FEBRUARY 17: Head coach Al Skinner of the Boston College Eagles directs his players in the first half against the Virginia Cavaliers on February 17, 2008 at Alumni Stadium in in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

After 13 seasons, the Boston College Eagles and their head basketball coach, Al Skinner, have mutually agreed to part ways.

The agreement comes just a few days after Skinner met with St. John's officials about their current head coaching job, a position that has now been filled by ESPN analyst Steve Lavin.

Skinner is recognized as Boston College's all-time winningest coach and has guided the Eagles to the NCAA Tournament seven of the last 10 seasons.

From its days in the Big East through its transition into the ACC, it seems Skinner has not been able to acquire the big-time recruits, but he has, without a doubt, helped many players become successful, including the likes of Troy Bell, Jared Dudley, and Craig Smith, just to name a few.

With the move now being official, the next step has to be wondering what each side will look to do next.


Al Skinner Quick Thoughts

Skinner has been a strictly "Northeast" guy for much of his playing and coaching career. A graduate of UMass, Skinner is a Long Island native and played professionally for the New York Nets of the ABA.

Skinner's coaching career began in the mid 1980s with short positions as an assistant coach at both Marist and Rhode Island. At the beginning of the 1988-89 season, Skinner was named head coach at URI, replacing Tom Penders, who has recently stepped down as the head coach at Houston.

Following three 20-win seasons at Rhode Island, along with two trips to the NCAA Tournament, Skinner became the head coach at Boston College, where he has enjoyed much success.

After 13 years, Skinner now will look elsewhere.

However, I am sure there is no rush for Skinner to land a new job right away. Boston College will pay Skinner for the remaining three years of his contract as part of their agreement.


Boston College Quick Thoughts

For the past few days, it has seemed that Boston College would be looking for a new coach should Skinner take the position at St. John's. Now, however, they are definitely in search of someone to fill the position, and Skinner won't be calling St. John's home.

First thought is, it would probably be unlikely that BC would hire their new coach internally, especially since Skinner was so keen on bringing his staff to New York City when interviewing with St. John's. However, thinking locally might be something Boston College is interested in.

Harvard's Tommy Amaker has beaten Boston College each of the past two seasons, and his name has to come up on an early short list of possible replacements.

Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo spent the weekend looking for permission to speak with Richmond head coach Chris Mooney, as well as Cornell head coach Steve Donahue. Both coaches took their respective schools to the NCAA Tournament this past season, while Donahue earned Cornell's first ever NCAA Tournament victories as part of a Sweet 16 run.

In my opinion, other local possibilities may include Northeastern's Bill Coen, who guided the Huskies to the NIT this past season, and URI's Jim Baron, who has the Rams playing in the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.

Thinking outside the box for a bit, Tennessee Volunteer head coach Bruce Pearl was born in Massachusetts and happens to be a Boston College alum. However, after Tennessee's first trip to the Elite Eight, it would take more than a large sum of money and a miracle to get Pearl out of Tennessee, but I don't think Eagles fans would mind having his passion and energy leading the way.

On a realistic note, Al Skinner had a great run at Boston College, including seven 20-plus-win seasons, and although his tenure ended on a disappointing note this past season (15-16 overall), Eagles fans should wish him nothing but the best of luck in the future.