Saturday, February 03, 2024

Don't fall for the BC coaching narrative

Every time BC has a coaching change you hear and read about how bad the BC job is, how hard it is to win at BC and how it is a career killer. With Jeff Hafley's departure, the same canards are back. But they are not true. Let's break it down.

BC is a bad job
Rarely when someone calls BC a bad job, do they ever really explain why. As I say ad nauseam, this is a P4 job. There are only so many of them and hundreds of guys who want their shot. Does BC have challenges? Of course. All jobs do. At BC you have a shallow recruiting base, you fight for attention in a big city, you don't have rubber stamp admissions, and you won't be the highest paid coach in your league. Unless you catch lightning in a bottle or you stay and build something incredible, you won't win a National Championship at BC.

However, those challenges are more than offset by some of the charm and benefits of BC. First the expectations are low. You will be given time to succeed (average tenure since Bick is 5.3 years). You will be able to live in the greater Boston area and you and your family will not be bothered living your daily lives. The recruiting is niche and you will get to work with a certain type of player that most of these coaches seem to appreciate.

Hard to win at BC?
This argument is the least subjective. Since the DIA-DIAA split there have been three BC coaches who had college football head coaching experience outside of BC. All of them won more and at a better winning percentage at BC.

Jack Bicknell
Win Pct at outside of BC (college only) -- .342
Win Pct at BC -- .517

Tom O'Brien
Win Pct outside of BC -- .533
Win Pct at BC -- .625

Steve Addazio
Win Pct outside of BC -- .425
Win Pct at BC -- .500

Career Killer
Once again, this seems very subjective, if you go case-by-case, it is hard to pin much blame on the BC job. Some guys had great opportunities and a few never came close to the level again. A recurring theme for many is that BC was the highpoint of their careers, not some death trap. Here is the post-BC career of all of our coaches since the DIA-DIAA split.

Jack Bicknell: After a 10 year run at BC, Bicknell served as one of the original head coaches in the World League. He stayed on as the league morphed into NFL Europe and coached another 14 years. He is the winningest coach in the league's history.
Did his career peak at BC? Yes, but it wasn't over.

Tom Coughlin: He left BC to become the first GM and Head Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had a very good run there. Later, he joined the New York Giants and won two Super Bowls in New York. He will be in the Hall of Fame one day.
Did his career peak at BC? Are you kidding me? If anything BC gave him the shot to stand out from the hundreds of other assistants who wanted NFL jobs.

Dan Henning: After getting fired at BC, Henning went back to his comfort zone -- calling plays in the NFL. In his final years coaching, he was the OC in Buffalo, with the Jets, the Panthers and Dolphins.
Did his career peak at BC? No. We got him on the downside. He had already been part of multiple Super Bowls under Joe Gibbs and had been a head coach in the NFL twice.

Tom O'Brien: He left for NC State and many assumed that unshackled by BC's limitations, he would take NC State to the next level. He didn't.
Did his career peak at BC? Yes. NC State paid more, but he never had the level of success he had at BC.

Jeff Jagodzinski: He had so much success at BC that the NFL came calling. That interview with the Jets and his game of chicken with Gene cost him his job at the Heights.
Did his career peak at BC? Yes. He became a football vagabond after BC.

Frank Spaziani: After getting fired, Spaz went home and happily let BC pay him not to work. When his buyout expired, he went to New Mexico State for a few more years of assistant work.
Did his career peak at BC? Yes. No one expected Spaz to ever be a head coach until Gene tapped him to replace Jags.

Steve Addazio: Immediately after getting fired, Addazio landed the Colorado State job. CSU's quick hiring and firing of Addazio proved how misguided the perception is around BC. CSU saw a .500 record and had Urban Meyer telling them that going .500 at BC was a miracle. We all know how that worked out for them.
Did his career peak at BC? Yes. He had other head coaching jobs, but BC was his most lucrative and successful.  

Jeff Hafley: Left of his own volition. This is still so fresh that you can't make any comments about his post-BC career.
Did his career peak at BC? TBD

No comments: