Updated Thu, Apr 3, 2014 7:34 pm
Two years ago, Jim Christian became the head coach of the Ohio Bobcats, replacing John Groce after a Sweet 16 run. Fast-forward to Thursday, Christian departed Athens, Ohio, for Boston College to fill the Eagles’ vacant head coaching position.
Christian’s departure came as a shock to many, including Christian, who said in a teleconference held at 4 p.m. Thursday that he “wasn’t out looking for another job.”
“I really thought that my job at Ohio was going to be my last stop, but you never know when an opportunity is going to knock," Christian said.
The details of Christian’s contract agreement with Boston College have not been released, but the buyout of his contract at Ohio University is $500,000. Christian’s total annual compensation for Ohio was $425,000, with a base salary of $325,000.
He will replace Steve Donahue, who was fired after an 8-24 (4-14 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) season with the Eagles. Christian led the Bobcats to an NIT appearance in 2013 and a trip to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament quarterfinals this season. Ohio went 49-22 in his two seasons as coach.
Christian will officially be introduced as the Boston College head coach next Tuesday.
The effects of him leaving have already been felt, as four-star recruit Tariq Owens asked for the release of his Letter of Intent on Wednesday.
Owens, a 6-foot-9 forward, is ranked in the top 100 by Scout.com. He is ranked as the No. 21 power forward in the Class of 2014 and 99th best overall prospect.
WOUB contacted Owens on Wednesday, and he said the reasoning behind him asking for the release of his Letter of Intent was Christian leaving the program.
Ohio Athletics Director Jim Schaus announced that he will begin an immediate national search for Ohio’s 18th head coach.
“Ohio University is a special place with a strong basketball tradition of success,” Schaus said. “I am extremely confident that we will attract a high level coach soon who will help us continue to build our program to the highest level of excellence.
With the coaching search in full swing, there have been some rumors swirling around the Ohio head coaching position.
Coaches and athletic directors annually gather at the National Association of Basketball Convention, where Schaus will have an opportunity to search for coaching candidates at the Final Four in North Texas.