Imagine having a dream job that paid you a six-figure yearly salary, and you didn't even need to do all of the work to keep it. Sounds like a good situation, doesn't it?
Al Skinner apparently thought so, because that's exactly the type of job that he was holding down in the final years of his coaching career at Boston College.
Towards the end, Skinner appeared less-than-enthusiastic about his job, and that infected the team and their style of play. The word was that Skinner was barely involved with the recruiting process, and barely made visits to high school.
And for all of that "hard work," Skinner was compensated with nearly one million dollars per year, at least in 2007. Take a look for yourself on Boston.com.
At BC, basketball coach Al Skinner received $868,876 in compensation during the 2007 tax year: $689,521 in salary and $179,355 in benefits.
Thankfully, Steve Donahue came riding in on a white horse to save Boston College's men's basketball program.
Donahue is the quintessential coach in my opinion, and a tremendous replacement for Skinner at that. He's passionate, committed, and most of all, he loves the game of basketball.
After growing up having watched countless professional and collegiate basketball games with his late father, Jack, and playing basketball in high school and at Ursinus college, Donahue worked his way up the coaching ladder.
Donahue has served as an assistant coach at Springfield High (1984-1987) and Monsignor Bonner High School (1987-1988) before working as an assistant at Philadelphia (1988-1990) and Penn (1990-200).
During that timespan, Donahue worked under some of the best coaches in college basketball, including Herb MaGee and Fran O'Hanlon.
He finally got a chance to shine as a head coach at Cornell in 2000, and compiled a 146-138 record at Cornell. Donahue struggled early in his Cornell career, but took the Big Red to new heights in the final three years.
Cornell posted an impressive 72-21 record since the start of the 2007-08 season. The Big Red finished first in the Ivy League each of the last three seasons and made appearances in the NCAA tournament.
Donahue's Cornell career was highlighted by a 29-5 record and an appearance in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament.
But for me, it all comes back to the passion. Having watched Al Skinner's basketball team for the majority of my life, I have noticed a consistent theme: a lack of effort,
During Skinner's tenure as the Eagles' head coach, Boston College always seemed to play with a lack of purpose. They wouldn't appear excited when playing, and wouldn't move around a lot on the offensive end to get open looks.
Now, that can lead to success, but only when you have talented players in the roster, especially outside shooters. That was the case when Troy Bell, Jared Dudley and Tyrese Rice were at Conte Forum.
Unfortunately for Skinner, it simply can't work for a team that doesn't have a lot of talent. We saw that last season, as Boston College lacked truly talented players. And what was the result under Skinner's system? A 15-16 record.
Gene DeFilippo, Boston College's Athletic Director, made the right call last April when he canned Skinner.
While Skinner had enjoyed success earlier in his career (247-165 record, seven NCAA tournament appearances at BC) , it was simply time for him to go. Skinner obviously didn't care about the success of the team, but instead cared solely about his cushy job and oversized pay check.
With Donahue now at the helm, Boston College can begin to rebuild and grow in a positive direction.
Donahue's success this season may be limited by a limited amount of talent on the Eagles' roster. However, being a solid coach, Donahue should have success recruiting and turn Boston College into one of the ACC's better teams.