Veteran college basketball coach Jim Molinari will join Earl Grant‘s staff at Boston College.
Molinari spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach at Oklahoma, serving as a key member of Lon Kruger’s staff that advanced to the round of 32 in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. During his time in Norman, he was instrumental in establishing the Sooners’ defensive culture, ranking as one of the nation’s top teams in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom.com. Prior to his time with Oklahoma, Molinari served as an assistant coach at Nebraska for five seasons.
“Jim’s experience is priceless,” Grant said. “He has been a head coach with multiple NCAA tournament teams. He has been a major part of programs who succeeded in a rebuilding process. He has extensive national ties – whether it’s Illinois, Minnesota, Texas, and beyond. Jim will be a wise counsel with his years in the business.”
Molinari brings over three decades of college coaching experience to the Heights, including 20 seasons as a head coach at the Division I level. As a head coach at Northern Illinois (1989-91), Bradley (1991-02), Minnesota (2006-07) and Western Illinois (2008-14), Molinari compiled over 300 victories, three conference titles and nine postseason appearances. He was named Conference Coach of the Year on three occasions. As an assistant, Molinari has reached the NCAA Tournament on 11 occasions.
During the 2011-12 campaign, Molinari led Western Illinois to its first postseason appearance as a Division I program by reaching the CBI. The following season, he guided the Leathernecks to the Summit League’s regular season title with a 22-9 record, the program’s most wins at the Division I level. He was named the 2013 Summit League Coach of the Year and NABC District 12 Coach of the Year.
From 2004-07, Molinari spent three seasons at Minnesota, including the 2006-07 season as the interim head coach.In 2005, Street & Smith’s named Molinari the “best assistant in the Big Ten Conference.” After serving as an assistant at Ball State in 2007-08, he accepted the head coach position at Western Illinois.
Molinari served 11 seasons as the head coach at Bradley (1991-2002), leading the Braves to the 1996 NCAA Tournament and five NIT appearances. Bradley won 20 or more games on three occasions and amassed a total record of 174-152 (.534). He was named the Missouri Valley Coach of the Year in 1996.
Prior to Bradley, Molinari enjoyed a highly successful two-year stint as head coach at Northern Illinois (1989-91). The Huskies went 42-17 (.712) under his direction and won the 1991 Mid-Continent Conference crown with a 25-6 record. The 25 wins were a school record.
He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at DePaul (1979-89), including the first five seasons working under Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Ray Meyer. While on staff, DePaul reached the NCAA Tournament on nine occasions, including three trips to the Sweet 16.
In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Molinari is a veteran of national selection committees for international competition. He led the 1997 USA Basketball men’s team to a gold medal at the World University Games played in Trapani, Italy. For two years in-between collegiate coaching positions, Molinari was an NBA scout for the Toronto Raptors (2002-03) and Miami Heat (2003-04).
As a player, Molinari began his career at Kansas State (1973-74) before transferring to Illinois Wesleyan, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English in 1977. He then earned a Juris Doctor from DePaul in 1980.