Give Jeff Hafley More Time, and Don’t Bring Up Steve Addazio

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today, my fellow BC Interruption writer Grant Salzano posted a doozy of an article: Maybe We Shouldn’t Have Fired Steve Addazio?

The negative reaction was swift, and for good reason. Firing Steve Addazio was the correct choice by a mile and the mess BC is in right now with Hafley does not change that fact. This is coming from someone (myself) who largely was an Addazio defender until his final year or two at Boston College. Here’s a brief description on why it was the right call, and then let’s talk about why Hafley needs more time.

Jeff Hafley, at least from what I can tell, is an infinitely better human being. You can tell he really cares about this program, loves the Boston College brand, and shares the love across BC athletics. He never blames his guys for a loss and always shoulders it 100% on himself, striving to be better. But what will it take to be better?

Hafley seems to be in over his head right now. Roster construction has slipped away from him in a way that makes it painfully obvious that he is a first-time head coach. Huge turnover on the offensive line would be a problem for any team, but Boston College has been absolutely incapacitated by it. The offense, which has above average players at skill positions, can’t function because of how bad the OL is. Another problem, though less severe, has been BC’s run-stopping struggles. Hafley has focused a lot on constructing his defense to be fast and switchable, but in the process has created a small front 7 that struggles against the run.

These issues would likely have been avoided by a coach with greater experience on how to run an entire football team from the bottom-up. But it does not mean Hafley is a bad coach, it does not mean he should be fired, and it definitely does not mean that we shouldn’t have fired Steve Addazio. It means that Hafley needs more time to get his sea legs.

BC Athletics took a shot at a young up-and-coming coach when they hired Jeff Hafley. The rewards for hiring a rising star come with risks, too! He’s still learning how to be a head coach and it does not all come naturally to him, but you have to believe that his personal competence will prevail and he will figure it out with time.

BC would’ve hired someone else if they wanted a coach that was 100% ready on Day 1. Instead, they hired Hafley for his growth potential. With growth comes growing pains. Bailing on him now would simply be a waste of a good coach, great guy, and someone who is still figuring out what they are truly capable of. Let’s let him figure it out.

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