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UCLA targeting Boston College’s Martin Jarmond as its new athletic director

UCLA is focusing on hiring Boston College athletic director Martin Jarmond as its next athletic director.
(Steven Senne / Associated Press)

UCLA’s search for a new athletic director is centering on Boston College’s Martin Jarmond after another finalist, Nevada Las Vegas’ Desiree Reed-Francois, withdrew from consideration on Friday.

While the Bruins were believed to be in negotiations with Jarmond over a possible deal, Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel reported that Boston College was making a bid to keep its athletic director, who has not been on the job for three full years.

The elimination of Reed-Francois as a candidate also potentially kept in play Penn’s M. Grace Calhoun, who was among the short list of prospects that UCLA had been considering.

Should the Bruins agree to a deal with Jarmond as the replacement for Dan Guerrero, he would become the school’s first black athletic director in its 101-year history after previously becoming the youngest athletic director in the Power Five conferences.

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Jarmond, who turns 40 in November, assumed the Boston College job in June 2017 at age 37 after 15 years as an administrator in the Big Ten Conference, where he worked at both Ohio State and Michigan State and developed a reputation as an adept fundraiser.

That experience could help him solve a huge financial dilemma at UCLA, where the athletic department ran an $18.9-million deficit for the 2019 fiscal year, requiring an interest-bearing loan from the university. The Bruins are expected to go much deeper into the red in 2020 because of reduced revenue and donations related to the COVID-19 pandemic that is endangering the 2020-21 sports calendar.

Jarmond, a former two-time captain of the basketball team at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, has quickly risen through the athletic administration ranks after obtaining his business degree and master’s in sports administration from Ohio University. He was assistant athletic director for development and regional giving at Michigan State, where he worked for six years before going to Ohio State in 2009.

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Jarmond was the lead administrator for football and men’s basketball with the Buckeyes, where he also handled football scheduling and served on the Rose Bowl advisory committee and the College Football Playoff selection committee. Before moving to Boston College in 2017, he made SportsBusiness Daily Journal’s Forty Under 40 list for his contributions to college sports.

At Boston College, Jarmond hired football coach Jeff Hafley, a former Ohio State co-defensive coordinator and NFL assistant coach, in December, sparking excitement among a long-suffering fan base. The Boston College men’s basketball team advanced to the National Invitation Tournament in the first season after Jarmond’s arrival but finished with losing records in each of the last two seasons.

Jarmond’s fundraising efforts centered on a $150-million capital campaign that was launched in 2018 as the largest of any athletic department in Athletic Coast Conference history. By last January, the campaign had reportedly raised $108 million.

Former UCLA football coach Pepper Rodgers, who worked with some of the sports’s best players during a career spanning six decades, dies at age 88.

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At UCLA, Jarmond could inherit a football program in turmoil and a men’s basketball team on the rise. While the football team has gone 7-17 in two seasons under coach Chip Kelly, the men’s basketball team completed its first season under coach Mick Cronin by winning 11 of its last 14 games to finish 19-12.

Guerrero’s 18-year tenure at UCLA has been marked by wild success in almost every measure besides the school’s two marquee sports. The Bruins never went to a Rose Bowl — or any other major bowl game — under Guerrero and failed to add to their record haul of 11 national championships in men’s basketball, even though they did appear in three consecutive Final Fours under former coach Ben Howland.

“The legacy topic is not for me to even talk about,” Guerrero told The Times earlier this year. “That will be determined by other individuals and not by myself.”


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