SPOKANE, Wash.—Twenty-four hours before the biggest game of his season, Harvard men’s basketball coach Tommy Amaker dismissed any discussion of his name in connection with the recently vacated Boston College head coaching job.
The Eagles announced on Tuesday that they would fire Steve Donahue after four uninspiring seasons (and zero NCAA Tournament appearances) under the former Cornell coach. Immediately, the Boston Globe reported that Amaker was the leading candidate for the position. As a former ACC player and assistant coach, Amaker has ties to the conference dating back three decades.
With his team’s NCAA Tournament opener against Cincinnati just a day away, Amaker refused to take questions on the issue during Wednesday’s media availability session in Spokane.
“There’s nothing for me to address, to comment on,” Amaker said. “I certainly feel like what we have in front of us is the most important [thing]…. We’re focused on Cincinnati, we’re focused on our workouts today, and that’s how we should leave it.”
This is not the first time that Amaker has been connected with a job opening. In 2011, Miami officials flew to Boston to try to convince Amaker to fill their university’s vacant head coaching position. The Harvard coach declined to take his talents to South Beach, however, and promptly led the Crimson to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
“Obviously this has happened before with the job across the river [but] I think Coach feels at home at Harvard,” senior Kyle Casey said. “Hopefully we just take care of business in the tournament, and we’ll let that handle itself.”
Many players, including sophomore Siyani Chambers and co-captain Brandyn Curry, said that they were unaware of the rumors. Amaker said that he had not addressed the rumors with the team because of the focus on Cincinnati and not anything external.
“He’s a terrific coach, so of course people are going to want him,” Curry said. “It comes as no shock, but we don’t pay attention to any of that.”
—Staff writer David Freed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.