BC Bulletin Awards 2019-20: Hiring Jeff Hafley Is Our Moment of the Year
Boston College had their share of on field moments this year. But for this award we are going to look at the biggest moment that happened off the field. This is a moment that changed the outlook for one of BC's marquee programs, and injected that team with a new shot of energy. This of course is the hiring of new Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley.
It was December 1st, 2019, the Eagles were flying high after securing a bowl berth after defeating Pittsburgh 26-19 at Heinz Field. However, there was a level of uncertainty around the program. While many assumed a coaching change was upcoming due to inconsistent play, head coach Steve Addazio had just earned a trip to another bowl game with his sixth win of the season. But rumblings started to emerge that AD Martin Jarmond, who the day before was pictured embracing Addazio after the win, was planning on dismissing the head coach. Around 5pm the news broke that indeed the Eagles would be moving in a new direction, and the search for a new coach was under way.
It was a long two weeks search, one where news was kept under lock and key, and leaks were few and far between. There were plenty of names thrown about as potential candidates from experienced coaches like Chip Kelly, to NFL coordinators like Pete Carmichael Jr, to familiar Boston College names like Al Washington and Don Brown. But during those two weeks, there was a name that kept reappearing, Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley.
Fresh off winning the Big Ten on the best defense in the country, Hafley checked all the boxes for the perfect candidate to become the new head coach in Chestnut Hill. He had a bright football mind, he had NFL coaching experience, he knew the New Jersey area, and was well connected with many people who were close to Jarmond at Ohio State.
Then it came, late on Friday December 13th, a mysterious tweet came from the BCEagles twitter account. The tweet consisted of an image of Gasson Hall with white smoke rising from it's top, a nod to the papal conclaves that select the new pope. A new coach had been hired. Quickly thereafter, many of the national writers got the scoop that the hire was indeed Jeff Hafley. BC got their man, a new coach that immediately got the fan base buzzing.
That Saturday, on ESPN's College Gameday, the hiring was officially announced by Rece Davis in a breaking news segment. While the rest of the broadcast was focused on the upcoming Army/Navy rivalry game, for three minutes all attention was on Chestnut Hill. Social media exploded with support from fans and former players who felt BC got the best available coach. One that could take the program to the next level both on the field and on the recruiting path.
Shortly after he was hired, Hafley was introduced at a press conference where he finally spoke to the media and Boston College faithful around the world. He was passionate in his delivery, was moved to tears about his journey, and connected with many fans in a way that no football BC coach had in recent memory. In the midst of his opening remarks, he introduced the program's new motto "get in", that pushed to bring new and old faces back to the program. For the past four months that slogan has been all over everything Boston College football.
We have yet to see what Jeff Hafley will do on the field as the new head coach. But he has brought many fans and alumni back to the program in just a few months on the job. Because of this, the hiring of Jeff Hafley is our "Moment of the Year".
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