Skip to main content

So the coaching carousel world of college football spins again with the announcement that Boston College's Jeff Hafley was moving to the National Football League as the new defensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers.

Surprising move--on the eve of letter of intent day--but not a stunner.

Hafley came to BC from Ohio State with great expectations and left with a sense of frustration which is part of the DNA for recent BC coaches. The Eagles never reached their 8 win total in Hafley's four seasons and finished last season at 7-5 after beating SMU in the Fenway Bowl.

  BC was 22-25 in Hafley's reign, and again were stuck in neutral or worse and everyone knew it, but it was BC, so it goes.

Now Hafley is gone and the search for athetic director Blake James and whatever search firm he uses will commence.

It's not a top tier job, but it is still part of the Power 4--for now--and the television money, exposure and all the other frills are still part of the package.

The problem is the culture at BC, where football is treated with indifference on campus, in the city, in the conference and around the country.

Not there won't be lots of candidates, all looking to use BC as another step in their career leader.

What BC must do is find someone who wants BC as a DESTINATION point, which James knows about since that is primarily why he got the job after the Eagles had 3 AD's in 7 years.James' predecessors were Martin Jarmond who led Patrick Kraft who sprinted to Penn State.

.A few coaching names jump out, including newly named Ohio State offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien and former Miss State and Florida head coach Dan Mullen (possibly).

O'Brien is intrigiing because of hjis Boston roots and his pedigree which includes Penn State, Alabama, the NFL and the Patriots, with direct linkage to Nick Saban and Bill Belichick.

Right now, OC at Ohio State looks like a better job, but O'Brien, at 54, may be simply looking to return to head coaching again.

The unknown factor is the changes in college football which is a factor in driving several coaches either into the NFL or into retirement, including Saban and   Hafley.

Other possibilities, former BC player and ND defensive line coach Al Washington.

A wild card might be former UMass QB and Kentucky OC Liam Coen,

And then there is this name: Anthony Campanile, currently the linebackers coach for the Miami Dolphins.

He is the ultimate Jersey guy. He grew up in Fair Lawn, played football at Fair Lawn  High School, went to college at Rutgers. His father and brothers all are and were coaches at the elite Catholic high schools in the state, a feeding ground for BC players.

His coaching career includes stops at Rutgers, Boston College (co-defensive coordinator ) and Michigan.

Strong credentials, but a sleeper may be the best choice.

 UCLA head coach Chip Kellly has his roots and his heart in New Hampshire but leap frogged his way across college football (Oregon, UCLA) and the NFL (Philadelphia, San Franciso)

Although he has won 17 games in the lasl two seasons, the trending is moving away from Kelly, who thought that he might be fired after the Bruins stumbled at the end of the season.

It didn't happen, because UCLA is in a financial bind and couldn't afford the buyout.

If Kelly were to leave on his own....?

UCLA is also moving into the shark invested waters of the Big Ten-Pac-12 "merger'' and it will get tougher not easier

And the over/under win expectation total each season  around minimum.

Kelly is a New Hampshire guy, not a West Coast guy.

At BC, 8 wins would get him a raise and praise.

It's time for James---if he has not done so--to make the call to bring Kelly back to New England, create some fun at The Heights

Kelly might not only take the call, but accept a reasonable offer ($3.5 million a year for five years with incentives).

BC needs to act quickly and decisively--not in the BC administrative DNA-but it can be done.

Still, it may be a chore to get Kelly, which leaves A Jersey Guy solution in Campanile.