A JERSEY GUY: Will BC Get The FB Coach It Wants?

Mark Blaudschun

For Boston College athletic director Martin Jarmond the past few weeks must have felt like a scene from Ground Hog Day as he went about the business of finding a new football coach.

Jarmond, who has been a fund-raising cyclone and a presence on campus since his arrival at The Heights in June 2017 made his first move by going backs to his base--Ohio State, where he had spent the previous 7 years.

One of Jarmond's first missions at BC was to evaluate the football program, perhaps the main area used to determine the overall effectiveness of an athletic director.

What Jarmond saw with then BC football Steve Addazio was a program which wasn't bad, but wasn't really good, or at least trending to a status as a Top 25 program, a goal Jarmond felt was obtainable.

When BC sputtered at the start of last season, losing 4 of its first 6 games, Jarmond made up his mind. He wanted to make a change and he had his candidate, who just happened to be working at Ohio State.

Jarmond followed protocol and asked his old boss, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith for permission to talk to a member of OSU football coach Urban Meyer's staff.--offensive coordinator Ryan Day.

Jarmond had worked with Day at OSU. He knew about Day's BC connection--two stints. He knew about his recruiting abilities, he knew that he had NFL experience as well. And he was only 39 years old.

In short, Day checked out all of the boxes that Jarmond wanted in his next coach.

"I will get back to you on that,'' Smith told Jarmond, while immediately making the decision to find a way to separate OSU from Meyer, who was immersed in several off the field activities, which had led to a 3-game suspension (with Day as interim coach, where OSU was 3-0).

It all happened quickly. Meyer announced his retirement, Day was named the Buckeyes new football coach and Martin Jarmond didn't have his top candidate, which was enough for Jarmond to allow Addazio one more year to prove he could bring BC to the next level.

Fast forward to this fall

. BC is again treading water, in fact, floundering in what turned into the seventh (out of 7 seasons) in which BC has had 5 or more losses and finished out of the Top 25.

Jarmond again had his wish list. And again, it included a visit to Ohio State, where new defensive co-coordinator Jeff Hafley and linebacker coach Al Washington were on Day's staff.

Both men fit Jarmond's profile. Both expressed interest in the job. The only complication was Ohio State's success on the football field, which has propelled them into CFB's Final Four.

When Jarmond announced Addazio's firing two weeks ago, he said that he hoped to have a new coach by early signing recruit day (Dec. 18), which was reasonable.

The problem is that BC is not a Top 25 program. The Eagles have needs in several areas, including quarterback and defense. And as much as some BC loyalists would like to believe, the majority of recruits do not come to The Heights because it is BC. They make their decision based on the head coach and his staff.

BC coaches are recruiting right now with a huge disadvantage. They can not tell recruits who will be coaching the Eagles next season.  

There should be a sense of urgency which some BC backers say doesn't exist or should not exist.

Horse bleep. BC CAN NOT afford to lose a recruiting class, which could happen. Each day without a coach hurts BC and could have negative effects which will last for years.

Jarmon knows this, which is why it is perplexing that there has been no announcement yet, considering that his top candidates appear ready to come to Boston.

The word at The Heights this week is that interviews are continuing and that there might be a Final 3.

Isn't that nice.

While BC waits the remainder of college football, including BC's rivals in the ACC, recruit and get commitments.

There is nothing to suggest that Hafley, who was a finalist for the Broyles Award for best assistant coach of the year, won't be Jarmond's choice.

Other names such as Washington--regarded as needing a little more seasoning--and Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell and even former Wisconsin and Arkansas coach Bret Bielma, who is on the Patriots staff, have been mentioned.

Hafley is the best fit. Whether Jarmond can close the deal and do it quickly (the next few days) remains the question.


Mark Blaudschun