So it was recently announced that Boston College Athletic Director Brad Bates will be stepping down in June and BC will need to hire a replacement during what are very challenging times over at the Heights. Legendary Head Coach Jerry York and his hockey program are an isolated bright spot but they play in Hockey East and are not part of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) which is where the BC Football and BC Basketball teams have both had very difficult seasons the past few years and have played poorly against in-conference teams. Brad Bates hired football Head Coach Steve Addazio and basketball Head Coach Jim Christian so one would have to think any new athletic director would want the ability to make changes at these two programs should they not get on the winning track in the very near future. Regardless of existing contracts, if these two featured programs can’t turn things around very quickly the trend of losing top recruits, empty stadiums and lower Flynn Fund donations will all call for changes at the top. With Bates now leaving in June his two head coaching hires may be more vulnerable over the next few seasons. With respect to BC football, Steve Addazio did manage to get top local 2017 running back recruit AJ Dillon to commit to Boston College and he also recently embraced the local recruiting scene by offering Class of 2020 top prospects in Milton Academy running back Kalel Mullings and Millis-Hopedale offensive lineman Kevin Pyne. This is an obvious start but if Addazio really wants to build his recruiting wall around the local area there are many other top local prospects that should already have been offered by BC. These kids all fit the BC model, are from the area and they are all capable of playing at a high level in the ACC. BC sometimes seems to be spending too much time shooting for top national recuits going against schools that are much more attractive to prospects and they really need to get back to finding under the radar type athletic kids who would be a good fit at BC and who can just play ball. With regards to basketball it may take more time for Jim Christian to build relationships with area coaches to identify and get in early on top basketball recruits. Not losing top local players like Jermaine Samuels of Rivers to Villanova is what Christian needs to focus on going forward. Identify top local kids that really want to stay in the New England area, get in early on them and offer more playing time at a program that is turning things around. Addazio and Christian will have to show progress by the end of their 2017-2018 seasons as any new athletic director will be under enormous pressure to have these two programs moving in the right direction. Identifying and retaining top prospects from Massachusetts for both sports will play a key role if BC Football and BC Basketball hope to be competitive in the ACC and be relevant once again as national programs. ITHMA will talk more about possible candidates for the BC Athletic Director job tomorrow as this is a key hire at a very important time.