One of the leading candidates for the next Boston College head football coach is current Ohio State co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach, Jeff Hafley.
Hafley is currently in his first season with the Buckeyes, having been brought on by former BC coaching alumni Ryan Day in the beginning of 2019. He might not have overlapped with Martin Jarmond, but the transitive property of connections is clear as Day. He’s found immediate success at Ohio State. His defense is allowing only 232 yards per game, down from allowing over 400 just a season ago, and he’s a finalist for the Broyles award for the top assistant in the nation.
The New Jersey native has a number of coaching stops in his career. Prior to coaching Ohio State, Hafley actually spent some time in the NFL. He spent three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers under Kyle Shanahan and Chip Kelly. Two years before that, he was in Cleveland, and his first two years in the league were with the Buccaneers. He coached the secondary at each of these stops.
Fear not though, because this 40 year old as plenty of college experience as well. We can start from his playing days as a wide receiver at Siena College. From there, he was a running backs coach for a season at Worcester Polytechnic Institute before moving on to coach Albany on the defensive side. In 2006, he moved on to Pittsburgh as a secondary coach and recruiting coordinator, and stayed there until becoming the secondary coach at Rutgers under Greg Schiano.
All accounts seem to point to Hafley being a teacher. He coached Patriots safety Duron Harmon at Rutgers and Richard Sherman with the 49ers, and both have sung their praises for him.
Hafley would bring renewed energy to the Heights. He has a strong resume, and looks to be primed to take on his first head coaching gig. To me, Hafley seems like one of the best candidates for the job, and my personal pick. I love his experience with such innovative coaches. I think bringing in this right mindset is paramount, and his expertise on the defensive side of the ball definitely fills an immediate concern. You can legitimately point to a lack of a head coaching experience or that his recent experience could indicate him returning back to the NFL sooner, rather than later, but he seems like the kind of guy you would want to give a chance.