Jeff Hafley leaving Ohio State as Boston College Head Coach


An August conversation with an Ohio State administrator regarding new defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley ended with this statement from the person who observes OSU football practice every day:

"This guy is a superstar. I hope we can keep him for two years before he leaves."

So much for that.

Boston College announced shortly after 9:30 a.m. Saturday that Hafley was the choice to succeed Steve Addazio as head coach.

Hafley, in tandem with Greg Mattison, transformed OSU's defense this season from a unit that routinely gave up big plays and big point totals in 2018 to a unit that finished among the Top 10 in the nation in virtually every category this season.

The makover came with virtually the exact same players, certainly without any impact freshmen, and all the while, Hafley deflected the credit from himself to the players.

How he did it was not exotic.

The change came via stressing better technique, zone coverage schemes that allowed for a mistake by a player being covered by another in the same vicinity, and by making the players believe in the talent that earned them an Ohio State scholarship.

Now it will be interesting to see whether Hafley attempts to take with him to Chestnut Hill OSU linebackers coach Al Washington, who played at BC and who also received an interview for the head coaching job from the Eagles athletic director, Martin Jarmond, who previously worked at Ohio State.

Jarmond seemed determined to go back to his roots to find Addazio's successor, starting his search with Cincinnati's Luke Fickell -- a former long-time OSU defensive coordinator -- before moving on to Hafley and Washington.

Washington signed a two-year contract with Ohio State and so head coach Ryan Day would not be obligated to let him leave for Boston College if Hafley wants Washington to come with him.

Washington is a superb recruiter, so he is valuable to both Day and to Hafley, who worked together on the San Franciscoi 49ers staff before Day came to Columbus as Urban Meyer's quarterback coach in 2017.

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