After a 3-9 season, you expect a staff shakeup. After a bounce back year, you don't expect changes. Well that isn't happening this year as Special Teams Coach Al Washington is leaving BC for Cincinnati. This is good news for Al, but bad news for BC.
Washington is a critical recruiter and one of the younger, relatable guys on the staff. While being the "young guy" can be a tough spot on the staff, it is a much needed role with recruits and players. Whoever Addazio hires, he will certainly need to find another young coach who can fill the void. He also should try to find another African American. Football staffs don't have quotas, but every dirty trick is pulled in recruiting. Other teams are not afraid to go negative on BC for Boston's history of race issues or the outside perception that the student body is very homogenous. Rich Gunnell can speak to being a "BC athlete" but he shouldn't be the only one carrying that message.
I understand why Al is leaving. The Ohio native will be closer to home. He'll be joining a staff where there is less immeadiate pressure and more job security. And he'll be able to diversify his resume beyond BC. Al is a good recruiter and well liked by everyone at the Heights. While he and Addazio might not be on the same page right now, any future BC coach would probably jump on the chance to bring him back. Plus, if Al wants to be the head coach a BC one day, broadening his network of coaches and experiences beyond the BC way is important. (It is the same argument I made about Ryan Day earlier in the week.)
While I think it is a loss for BC, I don't think this really matters for Addazio. He's got to win next year and while the Special Teams were improved this season, Al Washington is not making or breaking BC in 2017. Addazio needs to make sure his coordinators are great and his talent pans out. If not, he's out the door too.
UPDATE: BC announced that former Eagle Ricky Brown will be promoted to fill Washington's spot. Brown has been around for a year in a restricted role, meaning he was limited in his ability to interact with players and was not allowed to recruit. Now as one of the nine NCAA approved positions, he will be allowed to do both. Brown can fill much of Washington's young, relatable vibe. I am excited for him and think he will be good. I just wish it didn't come because of Washington leaving.