MAC School Interested In Boals
March 16, 2013
Thad Matta has had several of his assistants move on to head coaching roles over the years and that’s likely to happen again soon.
Recent speculation about the opening at Northwestern – Bill Carmody was fired today after 13 years as head coach – caused one local scribe to mention all three Ohio State aides as candidates. That triumvirate of Jeff Boals, Dave Dickerson and Chris Jent would seem worthy of the attention.
Jent is a former NBA player and assistant who once served as the interim head coach of the Orland Magic. Dickerson was a longtime trusted assistant of Gary Williams at his alma mater of Maryland and also was a head coach at Tulane.
And Boals, who has a strong reputation as a recruiter and position coach, could be the first to move onward and upward.
A former Ohio University forward who shows the same passion on the sideline as he did as a scrappy Bobcat power forward, Boals has been linked to a few openings in recent years.
He was a finalist for the Fresno State job a couple years ago while the Buckeyes were embarking on the postseason as the nation’s No. 1 team. Last year, when former Ohio State assistant John Groce left Ohio U. to take over at Illinois, Boals admitted having interest in the job and seemed to be an ideal candidate.
“Anytime your alma mater pops up, it would definitely be interesting,” Boals told the Cleveland Plain Dealer as the Buckeyes were prepping to play in the 2012 Final Four. “Coach Groce moved on and is well-deserving. The focus is on trying to win a national championship for Ohio State, and hopefully we’re cutting down the nets on Monday and we’ll go from there.”
However, Ohio U. quickly hired veteran coach Jim Christian.
Still, Boals’ name has resurfaced. According to a well-placed source, Ball State athletic director Bill Scholl is very interested in interviewing Boals and is likely to do so in the coming weeks.
Boals has not commented on the overtures but the source said he is aware of them and is flattered.
Ball State announced that six-year head coach Billy Taylor would not be returning after posting a mark of 84-99 in that span including a record of 44-52 in the Mid-American Conference. Taylor led the Cardinals to a break-even (15-15, 8-8) mark this season.
“We will begin a search immediately for our next head coach,” Scholl said. “The expectations of our men’s basketball program include being competitive in the MAC and challenging for conference championships. Our primary concerns are the well-being of our student-athletes and what is best for the future of Ball State basketball.”
Boals, of course, is well-versed in MAC basketball and considered a topflight recruiter of Midwest talent.
The Magnolia, Ohio, native began his coaching career at Ohio University in 1995 and was a full-time assistant at Marshall from 1999-2003. He logged a pair of coaching stints at the University of Charleston (W.Va.), including spending the 2003-04 season as the associate head coach at the Division II school.
Boals also worked at Robert Morris for two seasons before landing at Akron University. He spent three seasons as a member of the Zips staff, his final one as the associate head coach, and also served as the program’s recruiting coordinator.
Boals joined the Ohio State staff officially on April 28, 2009.