ACC Basketball

Former B.C. Coach is Going Home

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Steve Donahue, who coached Boston College for four years before being fired after the 2013-14 season, is returning to his roots as the head coach at Penn. He was previously an assistant at the Ivy league school from 1990-2000.

Donahue, an assistant under Fran Dunphy at Penn from 1990 until 2000, was part of six Ivy League champions then, including four unbeaten league seasons and a 114-26 Ivy record.

He was eventually hired by Cornell to build a basketball program from scratch and to say he succeeded would be an understatement. In just seven years, he turned the Big Red into winners, earning three-straight 20-win seasons and three straight trips to the Big Dance. In the 2010 Tournament, 12-seeded Cornell upset both Temple and Wisconsin to reach the Sweet 16, where they fell to Kentucky.

That’s when Boston College came calling. Inheriting a decent senior-laden team, the Eagles won 21 games and reached the NIT. The following year, they would need to start fresh as Donahue had to replace his four departing seniors and Reggie Jackson (who left early for the NBA).

Despite some struggles (going 9-22 in year two), folks were excited because a solid recruiting class that featured six freshmen (Ryan Anderson, Patrick Heckmann, Dennis Clifford, Jordan Daniels, Lonnie Jackson and Matt Humphrey) showed a lot of promise.

The following season, Donahue added stud scorer Olivier Hanlan and his young group of kids finished strong, winning six of ten to end the season, improving their season’s win total by seven.

With two potential All-ACC players (Anderson and Hanlan), plus a solid point guard in Joe Rahon, many predicted Boston College to make a huge leap forward in 2013-14.,,maybe not challenge for a league crown, but certainly a return to the NCAA Tournament. Instead, they took a big leap back, winning just eight games all year and by season’s end, half the rotation abandoned the program. Donahue was sent packing soon after, producing a 54-76 record in four seasons, winning just 24 conference games.

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