Pete Watson To Boston College Shifts The College Landscape

* Pete Watson coaching the Texas men in 2022

Photo Credit: Texas athletics

By Garrett Zatlin - MileSplit Recruiting Correspondent

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By mid-to-late August, you can usually expect most NCAA coaching hires to be finalized. After all, many cross country training camps are already under way.

But in 2022, that coaching chaos has not yet ended.

That's because on Monday, Boston College announced former Texas men's distance coach Pete Watson as the program's next Director of men's and women's Track and Field and Cross Country. The news was first reported by The Stride Report. 

Watson's move to join the Eagles comes as a shock for a variety of reasons.


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The first and most obvious reason is because of how late in the summer this hire was made. Other big-name hirings like Ryan Vanhoy to Cal Poly or Jerry Schumacher to Oregon were made back in June and July.

Watson is also someone who had only just arrived in Austin, Texas. He spent three seasons with the Longhorns after an extended stint with the University of Virginia.

But just when it seemed like he had gotten settled with the Texas men, Watson altered course and ventured to a school and a program and a location that is dramatically.

Watson is also leaving behind an outstanding men's middle- and long-distance roster. In fact, the Longhorn men could have been argued as the best middle-distance group in the country this past year.

Being a top-ranked team on the grass wasn't too bad, either.

And yet, sometimes when the job is right, you go after it. In a professional sense, most can relate to that. 

After all, Watson was only a head coach during the cross country season and an assistant coach on the track. As far as Director roles are concerned, this position seemed like the next logical step in Watson's career. 

Now we have to wonder what's next.

It's unclear what the exact situation is at Boston College in terms of resources, although the cross country and track and field teams don't appear to offer men's scholarships.

Is that something that could change with Watson now overseeing the program?

But what does that investment look like? How will the staff be altered? Will there be an increase in scholarships? And if so, by how much?

The singular hiring of Watson sparks these new questions. And now, the future of Boston College will need to be on the radar of rival ACC coaches, many of whom have dominated distance running recruiting.

Programs like Virginia, NC State, Notre Dame, North Carolina and more recently Wake Forest have been scoring some of the best high school prospects in the country over the last few years.

But now, those coach's jobs could suddenly get a lot harder with one of the south's best distance recruiters now venturing to the northeast. Or maybe it's the other way around: Watson's job will get much harder. 

Of course, Watson's recruiting success with the Eagles will largely depend on the allocated resources he may receive. How will Boston College's Athletic Department be able to help in his quest to build a similar roster to that of Texas? 

And if the program does have men's scholarships available, then will Watson even use that money on high school recruits? Or will some of his former athletes from Texas ultimately transfer to BC to reunite with their former coach?

On the women's side of this roster, the questions are a little different. This is the first time that Watson will be overseeing a women's team.

How much better will the Boston College women be under Watson? How long will it take for those improvements, if any, to show on the track and the grass?

Will recruiting improve from where it's already at? Will the women's program gravitate towards the middle distances or long distances? Can they effectively balance both of those seasons like the Texas men?

And what happens to the Longhorns? 

Pete Watson has undeniably chosen a different path and will have a completely new mission at Boston College -- but his hiring also sparks so many more questions.

While we don't know what will happen next, we do know that a team that has sat at the bottom of the ACC for countless years is suddenly one of the more fascinating programs in the country.