On Tuesday, Boston College hired Temple coach Steve Addazio as its next football coach. Back in mid-November before this whole process started, Addazio was on the initial list of coaching candidates: Here's what I had to say about Addazio's candidacy back then.
Steve Addazio, Head Coach, Temple -- In Addazio's first season with the Owls, he led the program to a 9-4 record with a win over Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl -- the program's second ever bowl win and first since the 1979 Garden State Bowl. Dive Master Addazio knows the Northeast well growing up in Connecticut and having made career stops as an assistant at Syracuse, Notre Dame and Indiana. Imagine if BC hires Addazio and he brings back OC Ryan Day and QB coach Kevin Rogers?
Of course, Addazio fell off everyone's radar throughout the entire coaching search only to resurface again this afternoon in a press release. A lot of the negative reaction to this hire is related to the Eagles' fanbase feeling once again left at the altar. When names like Notre Dame DC Bob Diaco and Miami coach Al Golden were linked to the search as far back as, oh, a few hours ago, the Addazio hire coming out of left field took everyone by surprise.
The coaching search smoke screen, whether intentional or not, makes this whole situation infinitely worse. I'm not sure if the mainstream media relied solely on reports from writers whose "sources" have been since removed from the department or if Bates intentionally ran interference. Either way, the lack of information on the entire search makes today's hire feel ... underwhelming. Expectations are a real mother.
As for the Addazio hire, there are some things to like about the 53-year old Temple head coach. I believe Bates when he says that Addazio really, really wants to be at Boston College. He's a New England native, playing college ball at Central Connecticut, and is known as a relentless recruiter, particularly in the Northeast. Temple landed two 3-star linebackers from New Jersey -- Jarred Alwan (Cherry Hill) and Buddy Brown (Williamstown) -- who both claimed offers from Boston College. That doesn't happen even a few years ago. He also recruited the Northeast well while at Florida.
He's a high energy guy that will likely be a breathe of fresh air from the Spaz era of Boston College football. Addazio is also an offensive mind -- the opposite of Spaz -- and should be a stark contrast to the Spaz years of anemic offenses under the direction of a revolving door of OCs. He also runs an offense that feels very Boston College-y, a bruising, between the tackles run game with an emphasis on winning battles at the line of scrimmage. Guys like Rolandan Finch, Andre Williams and Tahj Kimble could really take off next year under Addazio if BC can quickly reload on the line.
Addazio has previously served as the OL coach at Syracuse, Indiana, Notre Dame and Florida, so hopefully he's committed to rebuilding the Eagles' reputation as O-Line U. Temple's also home for the holidays, which means that he can hit the ground running -- quickly working to complete his staff and getting to work on the recruiting trail.
That said, there are plenty of drawbacks with the hire. Addazio is 53. He rocks a stache. One of his nicknames, apparently, is 'Daz.' All, just, too soon.
He's coming off a 4-7 season and has his program "trending downward" -- though the downward trend is a bit misleading given Temple's move back to the Big East. If the Owls hadn't backfilled for West Virginia this season, we'd all be talking about Addazio as a hot coaching prospect in the same way guys like Dave Doeren, Darrell Hazell and Pete Lembo were being talked about.
Also it's not like anyone else was banging down the door requesting Addazio's services this offseason (unlike, say, another coordinator under Urban Meyer from his days at Florida). That's more of a perception hit than an actual criticism, but again, when you hear Diaco and Golden and are given Addazio, more than a few are going to end up a little disappointed.
Addazio does NOT run an exciting brand of football. So much so that, when he was hired at Temple, EDSBS's Spencer Hall referred to his offense as the "least potent attack to appear in Gainesville since the Charley Pell era, a one man offensive desertification campaign that took fertile green pastures and lay them to waste with the touch of a diving finger, a blood disorder preventing the cells from absorbing Vitamin TD ..." The description of Addazio's offense continues on for another paragraph or so in the longest run-on sentence you'll ever read about the "Divemaster." Can't imagine that brand of football is going to help the program solve its attendance issues.
He also could bring some baggage. Those looking for a clean break from the Spaz / Jags / TOB coaching tree may end up disappointed if Addazio brings back one or both of Temple OC Ryan Day and Temple QB coach / assistant coach Kevin Rogers. He also took in Montel Harris after Spaz booted him from the program. Addazio has no other ties to BC but you wouldn't know it with all the Eagles program drama that followed him from Chestnut Hill to Philadelphia.
Addazio also hasn't been at it for very long. He's been with Temple for two seasons as head coach, inheriting a talented roster recruited by Miami's Al Golden. I know Bates said that he'd value head coaching experience in the coaching search, but, outsider looking in, one could argue BC hired only the third most popular MAC coach this offseason after Dave Doeren (N.C. State) and Darrell Hazell (Purdue). Not sure what that says about the desirability of the Boston College coaching position relative to either N.C. State or Purdue, but it doesn't look good. At least from the outside.
This hire has also already lead to speculation that BC senior QB Chase Rettig could look to transfer to a more pocket-passer friendly offense. I shudder to think how bad 2013 could be with an unproven QB under center. What does Tim Boyle, an incoming, three star pro-style QB recruit from Connecticut, think of the hire?
Finally, a six-year contract is straight insanity. With changes to college football's postseason format on the way and college football generating more and more revenue for the school and the athletics department, six years will feel like an eternity if this doesn't go well. Bates himself alluded to the rapidly changing landscape of college athletics. Who knows where this program or the sport will be in six years? Not to mention the school will still be paying Spaz for three more years and who knows what other former Boston College coaches are still on the payroll.
While Addazio might not have the cache of a Diaco or a Golden -- and many went to bed tonight pretty pissed off -- this is still a pretty solid hire, all things considered. Especially when you realize that this is the first BC coaching hire with previous Division I-A head coaching experience since Gil Dobie was hired away from Cornell ... in 1936. I'm willing to give Addazio and Bates the benefit of the doubt and am rooting for the program to succeed. Looking forward to hearing what the Eagles new head coach has to say in tomorrow's press conference. Here's to hoping Steve Addazio is the next TC and not Spaz 2.0.
Now, if you would be so kind, put down the tar, pitchforks and Brad Bates voodoo dolls and direct your attention to the Boston College men's basketball program, which just lost for the fifth straight season to freaking Harvard.