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Opinion: Jeff Hafley Fired Himself and Boston College Football Fans Should Be Happy

Let’s get a head start on this restart.

NCAA Football: Boston College at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

It started falling apart last year, and most of us knew that the “improvement” this year was mostly a mirage.

Boston College football head coach Jeff Hafley has left BC for a defensive coordinator gig in the NFL. One has to think: why would he make a move like this? The reason Pete Thamel and his sources stated for the move was:

“He wants to go coach football again in a league that is all about football,” a source told ESPN. “College coaching has become fundraising, NIL and recruiting your own team and transfers. There’s no time to coach football anymore. A lot of things that he went back to college for have disappeared.”

That seems like a plausible explanation, but also not the full story. Hafley was floundering at Boston College. And his path up the coaching ladder would be better off with a fresh start in the NFL over a head coaching stumble in the bottom half of the ACC.

So Hafley got what he wanted and abandoned BC. So what? Boston College fans should be happy. His time here was unsatisfactory and the program didn’t have much positive momentum with him at the helm. The team bottomed out to 3-9 in 2022 and then barely scraped together a bowl season in 2023 against some really bad competition. They did pull off an impressive victory over top-25 SMU in the Fenway Bowl, but that was one of the very few high points over the last two seasons. Most of it has been disappointing or downright awful.

Jeff Hafley’s teams struggled to find an identity either side of the ball. His teams were often undisciplined and unprepared, coming into games with a slow start and committing an excess of penalties. His offensive gameplanning was often frustrating, failing to play to the strengths of quarterbacks Dennis Grosel and Thomas Castellanos. And he consistently failed to develop talent, with only Christian Mahogany really standing out as one of Hafley’s homegrown talents. Recent NFL draftees Zay Flowers and Zion Johnson were originally recruited by Steve Addazio’s staff.

With a new head coach, BC football can get its own fresh start. Find an experienced coach who is capable of building a steady program that can reach 8 or 9 win seasons. Although I will be difficult to do so this late in the coaching cycle.

This is all not to even mention: why does Green Bay want this guy? His defenses at BC were not exactly stellar. The Eagles could hardly generate any pass rush this year, despite having preseason all-ACC defensive end Donovan Ezeiruaku. The Eagles got blown out of the water multiple times this season, including a game against Louisville in which they gave up 42 points in the first half. His teams were constantly undisciplined and committed countless penalties. And he didn’t really develop any significant talent on the defensive side of the ball.

I’ll have plenty more to say about the Hafley tenure in the coming days and weeks, so be sure to follow along at BCI. But my initial reaction is, “Glad that guy fired himself!”