Former Boston College Head Coach Accepts NFL Coordinator Position: Who Will Replace Him?

Former Boston College Head Coach Accepts NFL Coordinator Position: Who Will Replace Him?


Another head coach has made the decision to step down and take on a coordinator position elsewhere. Jeff Hafley, former head coach of Boston College, has decided to become the defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers in the NFL. Hafley had a mixed record at BC, going 22-26 over four seasons. While he did lead the team to a turnaround from a 3-9 season to a 7-6 season, recruiting at a major conference school like BC has its challenges. The last time the Eagles finished in the AP Top 25 was in 2007.

According to a source familiar with the hiring process, BC needs to find a coach who can adapt to the unique circumstances of the program and not be deterred by its limitations. This, coupled with the timing of the search, is likely to limit the pool of potential candidates significantly.

Liam Coen, the offensive coordinator at Kentucky, is one potential candidate for the BC head coaching vacancy. He has been considered for NFL offensive coordinator jobs, including one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Coen's knowledge of the Boston area and his reputation for developing talented offensive players could make him an attractive choice. He previously had success at Kentucky, helping the Wildcats win 10 games.

Al Washington, the defensive line coach at Notre Dame, is another candidate with ties to BC. He played and coached at the school and was previously a candidate for the head coaching job. His experience coaching at other top programs like Cincinnati, Michigan, and Ohio State could make him a strong contender.

Jason Candle, the head coach at Toledo, is someone to keep an eye on. He was a finalist for the Syracuse head coaching job and has a strong offensive mind. Candle has had success at Toledo, with a 65-35 record and an 11-win season. He could be a promising option for BC.

Anthony Campanile, currently the linebackers coach for the Miami Dolphins, has also been considered for NFL coordinator jobs. He previously worked as an assistant at BC and has strong recruiting ties in the area. It remains to be seen if he would be interested in returning to college coaching.

Rob Chudzinski, the associate head coach at BC, is an internal option for the head coaching position. He has been with the program since 2020 and has extensive experience as an NFL coach, including a stint as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

Bill O'Brien, currently the offensive coordinator at Ohio State, presents a wildcard option. He is a Boston native and former player for the Browns. O'Brien did well at Penn State before transitioning to the NFL. While his recent acceptance of the Ohio State OC job may make it difficult for him to consider the BC position, it could be an intriguing opportunity for him.

Brian Flores, the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, is another wildcard option. As a former BC linebacker, it may be a long shot for him to leave the NFL to become a college coach, especially considering the resource disparity between the two levels. However, Flores' success as an assistant coach for the New England Patriots and his winning seasons as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins could make BC interested in exploring the possibility.

Justin Frye, the offensive line coach and associate head coach at Ohio State, is another potential candidate with strong BC ties. He spent five years on the Eagles staff and was highly regarded. Frye has the leadership qualities and experience to be a head coach, and he was previously a candidate for the Indiana head coaching job.

While there are several potential candidates to consider, BC will need to carefully evaluate each one and make a decision that best fits the program's needs and goals. It will be interesting to see who ultimately takes on the challenge of leading the Boston College football team.

(Top photo of Liam Coen: Lexington Herald-Leader / Contributor / Getty)

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Bruce Feldman is the National College Football Insider for The Athletic. He has covered college football for over 20 years and is the author of several books on the topic. Follow Bruce on Twitter @BruceFeldmanCFB.

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