Maryland assistant coach Scott Spinelli is currently engaged in “serious talks” to serve in the same capacity at Boston College, Coach Mark Turgeon said Monday afternoon, though the agreement has not been completed.
Turgeon declined to provide specifics on Spinelli’s deal when speaking via telephone, but the new gig would provide an opportunity for the New England native to return home, near his alma mater at Boston University, smack in the middle of his strongest recruiting ties. In the past several seasons with the Terrapins, Spinelli has helped lure forwards Jake Layman and Evan Smotrycz to College Park, and was also instrumental in bringing Pennsylvanian Jared Nickens into the fold for the class of 2014.
After firing Steve Donahue following four underwhelming seasons, Boston College hired Jim Christian from Ohio University. The Eagles are expected to introduce Christian at a news conference Tuesday, so any official announcement about his coaching staff likely would not emerge until after.
That said, it does speak positive volumes that Turgeon called two reporters — the Post and the Baltimore Sun, concurrently — to inform them of the ongoing negotiations, and it stands to reason that Turgeon is in support of this move, though no contract details or reasoning was given. According to a copy of his contract obtained via an open records request, Spinelli made $202,000 during the 2012-13 season. That contract expired on April 30, 2013 and the University of Maryland has thus far refused to respond to a request for Spinelli’s updated contract, presumably another one-year deal.
Spinelli and Turgeon have been together for eight seasons dating back to their time together at Wichita State. The former point guard followed Turgeon to Texas A&M and eventually Maryland. Last offseason, Spinelli was a finalist for the head coaching job at Florida International and has been open about his desire to run his own program at the Division I level.
Spinelli did not return a text message or multiple telephone calls seeking comment. Christian also did not return a telephone message or text message seeking comment, though a Boston College spokesman said he is currently traveling to campus Monday. The two both attended Boston University in the 1980s, with Spinelli enrolling the same season as Christian transferred to Rhode Island.
If Spinelli indeed leaves, Turgeon will need to fill a vacancy on his staff alongside Dustin Clark and Bino Ranson, as well as the director of basketball operations position that has been open since former assistant Dalonte Hill resigned and Clark was promoted.