A JERSEY GUY: BC Rebuilding The Right Way

Mark Blaudschun

New Boston College football coach Jeff Hafley will make a public appearance at Tuesday night's men's basketball game between the Eagles and the defending national champion Virginia Cavaliers.

In the grand scheme of things, this is not a big deal.

Hafley, who was hired to replace Steve Addazio two weeks ago, is still completing his staff and still has lots of work to do in recruiting and re-stocking the Eagle roster.

But Hafley is putting together more than a program at The Heights.

He is selling a concept.

And while the handbook on putting together a staff and adding to the inventory might not be new, Hafley has to a tougher job in convincing the BC student body and season ticket base that he can make Eagle football relevant

In the best of circumstances BC athletics is a tough sell in Boston. It can be a tougher sell on campus if the Eagle teams are not contending for anything more than a participant certificate.

Crowds are small, show up late and leave early.

The BC athletic administration led by athletic director Martin Jarmond is doing what it can to ignite a fire with fund raising programs and promotions which have topped 100 million of a goal of 130 million dollars.

It's not the BC needs the money.

BC is flush with cash, receiving more than $36 million in revenue from the Atlantic Coast Conference each year through its media rights deal and newly created ACC television network.

It can compete for coaches, certainly in the ACC, although the SEC and Big Ten, which hand out checks in the $50 million per year range to member schools may be at a different level.

Jarmond went after Hafley, is top choice, and was willing to pay between $3.5 and $4 million to get him, with added incentives and extra cash to fund the coaching staff that Hafley wanted to bring.

The deal is competitive, which puts Hafley in the upper tier of salaries among ACC coaches.

Hafley's hires thus far--Frank Cignatti Jr as offensive coordinator and Tem Lukabu and strength coach Phil Matusz, all reflect a comfort level as much as experience.

Hafley has worked with all three coaches at previous jobs at Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Rutgers, as well as Tampa Bay and San Francisco in the NFL.

The bottom line, however, is talent on the field, rather than comfort or experience on the sideline.

BC has to fill huge gaps at quarterback, wide receiver and in the kicking game.

The recruiting season is almost over. Transfers remain a possibility.

Hafley has made it clear he will explore all possibilities.

There are now positive vibes flowing from The Heights, which may or may not be justified.

But at the very least, Hafley has brought in a fresh breeze into the atmosphere and that should not be discounted.



Mark Blaudschun