If there is one thing that we can take away from the informal press conference held by BC’s new athletic director Brad Bates and new head football coach Steve Addazio, it is just that “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
In answering a question about how BC would go about reclaiming the Boston area fan base, Coach Addazio had this to say in his booming, physical education major voice, “WIN. People want to be around winning teams.”
In order to do this – to regain that rich, winning culture of the past – Addazio stressed the importance of building from within the organization and is excited about the brand of football that he hopes to create for BC.
“Saturdays should be fun and full of energy. You only get twelve shots [games] to do what you love, to be in the limelight. They’re precious and we have to play them with passion.”
“I remember driving up from central Connecticut just to come see Boston College play Holy Cross [in football], and to go to L.L. Bean.”
Addazio flashed his humorous side more than once, which was a pleasant change from the unemotional Spaz, whom Addazio mocked when he promised, “I will not be standing on the sidelines,” while assuming the infamous “Spaziani sulk.”
“Wide-open competition at every position. I’m new here, so coming in, these boys have to show me what they’ve got,” he said.
The biggest issue that Addazio and Bates tackled over the course of the night was that of recruiting. Addazio said that his goal for next year was to “have the top recruiting class in the ACC.” He accentuated the need for his players to have “that edge: passion, energy, and toughness.”
Coach Addazio and Mr. Bates both expounded on the relative ease with which they should be able to syphon top recruits from other schools for years to come.
“The elite education, playing in a BCS Conference and in Boston,” Addazio said, “They’re what has given this place its unbelievable tradition.”
“BC has had the most offensive linemen drafted in the first round… I just rattled that off, so don’t quote me on that.” It is jokes like this that make him far more human and enjoyable to listen to than the monotone Spaz.
Bates reiterated the allure of BC, by saying that BC is 31st in the nation in terms of academics. Of those thirty-one schools, fourteen play in the NCAA – including BC. Of these fourteen, only one offers a Jesuit education. “And oh, by the way, we live in this really cool city,” he said.
Addazio is excited about this year’s recruiting class and unworried that none of the members of the 2017 incoming football class are five-star recruits. Citing his role in a number of great recruiting classes, Addazio reminded us that numbers don’t always measure chemistry, heart and future success. Mike and Maurkice Pouncey, both of whom played for Addazio and are now All-Pro NFL linemen, were only three-star recruits.
Coach Addazio went on to say that he also hopes to gain a stranglehold on the talent in Massachusetts and anywhere in a five-hour driving radius. He also plans on plucking talent from down south – given his Florida ties – as well as from the Mid-Atlantic and from the rest of New England.
While “RECRUIT, RECRUIT, RECRUIT,” was one of Addazio’s mantras of the night, he also emphasized the impact we as a fan base can have on the future of this team.
“Mississippi State, what a place, and those cowbells? It is so aggravating and you can’t even think.” Addazio went on to wishfully say there should be “screeching eagle” noisemakers that attendants could pass out to fans at the gate.
To parallel that thought, Brad Bates also touched on the subject of fans and our importance and influence on the outcomes of games. As part of the administration’s “Strategic Plan” for athletic development here at Boston College, Bates hopes to address the issue of fan attendance after Spring Break by continuing to have direct conversation with the student body, as with tonight’s meeting.
“I went to the Beanpot games, what a great student experience that was. We want our students to be that excited about every game, showing up early and not leaving till the end,” said Bates.
In an effort to spike attendance at games, Bates said this in reference to moving the SuperFan sections at Conte for the basketball games:“If we give you those seats on the (basketball) court, we need you there.”
Bates also fielded questions regarding the possibility of a varsity lacrosse team and the restoration of The Plex, but pointed to the incompletion of the “Strategic Plan” as an excuse for not having full details on everything. The man’s only been here for a few months, though, so we can cut him some slack.
This presser shines a ray of hope on things to come for BC athletics. Let’s be honest, just watching this Addazio guy on the sideline will be more entertaining than all of BC’s 2011-2012 football season.
Coach Addazio wants “Alumni to be packed for the Spring Game on April 20.”
As students here at BC, the great personalities of these two is something to be excited about. Their initiative and dedication to success speak volumes of what they could do for the “sleeping giant” that is the BC athletic program.
“You’re going to get the best effort from our entire coaching staff. Our football program is your football program,” Addazio said.