Notre Dame officially announced Monday that it has hired Mik Aoki away from Boston College to be its new head coach. Aoki spent the last four years as the head coach at BC, leading the Eagles to regionals in 2009 for the first time since 1967. Before that he served as an assistant under BC coach Pete Hughes. He also spent five years as the head coach at Columbia, and four years as an assistant at Dartmouth, so his familiarity with high academic standards and cold-weather schools goes back even farther than his BC days. It's a great hire for the Irish.
Aoki also has plenty of passion for the Notre Dame job, which he called a "once in a lifetime opportunity" in his introductory press conference.
"Arguably, Notre Dame is the biggest brand name is college athletics, and one of the best academic institutions in the country, and I feel that that model is one that can help us get back to Omaha," Aoki said. "I don't think that the academic requirements are something that prevents us at having success at a very high level. In fact, I think it's something that attracts kids and will help us get back to that level.
"You have an opportunity to get an education from one of the best universities in the world; an opportunity to play in what I think is a very underrated baseball conference; and you have an opportunity to win championships in that baseball conference, which means that that gives you the opportunity to go compete for national championships. And if you can't sell that to a kid, then you need to be in a different line of work."
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