Maybe Boston College should build a Berlin type wall around its coach!
Boston College athletic director Gene DeFillippo announced the firing of football head coach Jeff Jagodzinski for interviewing with the New York Jets for the head coaching position. But as is the case so often, there is a lot more to the story.
Jagodzinski is an NFL guy. He coached in the NFL as TE and O-line coach from 1999 through 2006. He has a reputation for developing players to get the best out of them. Under his guidance, Atlanta led the league in rushing.
It was his NFL credentials that first attracted DeFillippo and BC to Jagodzinski. They knew what they were getting but he did not. He had never been required to kiss up to pinhead College personnel, nor even more importantly, to program boosters. He was reportedly also not thrilled about the recruiting process.
Given all the above, Jagodzinski still had great success for BC. His first year brought BC the first 11 win season since 1940. He helped QB Matt Ryan become the 3 choice overall in the NFL draft and then 2008 offensive rookie of the year. Jagodzinski’s second year was even more successful. Without a senior QB, he led BC to their first ever ACC championship.
Now what is the problem? It was a series of errors on both sides that painted each party into an opposite corner of a very large room.
Jagodzinski wanted to go back to the NFL. When a high profile head coaching job opened up, he scheduled an interview. What he failed to do was mention that to his boss, athletic director DeFillippo. Should he have mentioned that even if he had no intention of asking permission—absolutely.
DeFillippo then went public when he found out about the interview. In a press conference he mentioned that the two had a “gentleman’s agreement” that Jagodzinski would not seek other employment during his contract period. Then DeFillippo did the unthinkable. He threatened his coach in public.
Jagodzinski feeling like he was being treated like a 4 year old, did it anyway. When he did, DeFillippo had no choice but to carry out his stupid threat and fire his coach. It’s never a good idea to shoot yourself in the foot. If you doubt that, just ask Plaxico Burris. But it’s stupid to shoot your program in the foot the way that DeFillippo did. It was the act of a pompous pinhead with more pride than sense. BC will do the traditional nationwide search for a new coach. Jagodzinski will get an NFL coaching job probably as an offensive assistant rather than head coach for now. He will also do the traditional by filing suit against the University.
Several observations must be made. Who are you going to get that has the quality of NFL credentials that will attract potential NFL quality recruits? Answer—nobody. If BC had trouble getting that quality of a coach before, it will have no luck trying to bring one in now. Second, DeFillippo said he wants to hire only those people that want to be the head coach of BC long term. That’s also stupid.
What DeFillippo meant was he wanted a coach that would bring 11 wins each and every year and win the ACC Championship every other year to stay long term. The first time a coach leads BC to a 5-7 season, he will be canned in a Boston second (about 1/32nd of a New York second). Every college football fan knows that.
What DeFillippo needs to do is build a Berlin type wall around his next hire. Then we will all wait to see how quickly the BC fans can tear it down if the long term guy has a losing season.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for NFLDraftDog.com and edits fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .Maybe Boston College should build a Berlin type wall around his coach! by Bill Smith