Exactly one week after his team battled for a spot in the Sweet Sixteen, Harvard men’s basketball coach Tommy Amaker released a statement declaring that he will remain with the Crimson for the 2014-2015 season.
The announcement came 11 days after Amaker’s name was linked with the job opening at Boston College, following the Eagles’ firing of Steve Donahue.
Through four media availability sessions in Spokane, Wash., where his squad competed in the second and third rounds of the NCAA Tournament, Amaker elected not to dwell on questions regarding the BC rumors.
“There’s nothing for me to address, to comment on,” said Amaker last Wednesday, the afternoon before the Crimson took on the Cincinnati Bearcats.
Ten days later and three thousand miles farther east, Amaker finally had something to “comment on.”
"After thoughtful deliberation, I continue to realize my heart is at Harvard," stated Amaker in Harvard Athletics’ official press release. “To teach, lead and serve at this amazing institution, and in this special community, is truly meaningful to me."
The 2014-2015 campaign will mark Amaker’s eighth as the coach of the Crimson.
This past season, Amaker led his team to a program-best 13-1 Ivy League record, amassing 27 wins on the year—another program-high. In its most recent contest against Michigan State in the third round of the Big Dance, Harvard came back from a 16-point second half deficit to take the lead, 62-60, with only seven minutes separating the team from the Sweet Sixteen.
The late run was in part a result of a lineup change made by Amaker. The coach decided to go small, with only one true forward playing in the post. The strategy worked, and it took the Crimson just over six minutes to go from a 16-point deficit to a tie-game.
While Harvard ended up falling, 80-73, to the Spartans, the contest marked the team’s fifth March Madness game in three years. Prior to 2012, the Crimson had not taken part in the Big Dance since 1946.
In the press release on Saturday, Harvard's Nichols Family Director of Athletics Bob Scalise voiced his confidence in Amaker moving forward.
"Tommy is a great leader, a great coach and a great educator," Scalise said. "He is an inspiration to many in the Harvard community. We are excited he will continue to lead our men's basketball program."
—Staff writer Juliet Spies-Gans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.