Monday, December 18, 2006

Coaching Search Winners and Losers

The smoke is just clearing but it is not too early to say who came out ahead in this process:


Jeff Jagodzinski. Two weeks ago he was a relatively unknown NFL offensive coordinator and was a long shot to get the job. He reportedly wasn’t even on the infamous “short list.” But his passion for the opportunity and vision for the program helped him land his first Head Coaching job. If Jags can turn even half of that passion into results on the field, BC fans will be the big winners in this process.
BC’s Offensive Line Recruits. O-Line U didn’t live up to its name this year. BC had trouble running the ball, had numerous mental errors and never found a consistent line up. It probably gave our O Line recruits pause. Now they can look and see a depleted depth chart and a world class offensive line coach coming to campus. Huge upside for them.
A.J. Brooks. This guy was deep within TOB’s dog house and a rumored transfer. Now with Jags, he gets a second chance and an offense with a renewed focus on the running game.
BC Admissions Office. As much as football fans don’t want this to be a factor in the process, it is. By hiring Jags, the admissions office gets someone who understands the type of recruiting BC must do and will probably maintain the current good relationships TOB’s staff built with admissions.
TOB’s staffers that want to stay in Boston. I think Jags will bring in many new faces, but by hiring someone from the TOB tree, some of these guys now have a choice. I expect to see at least two guys stay on and possibly as many as four.
Tom O’Brien. He got out at just the right time. The growing resentment between TOB and Gene, TOB and the fans, and TOB and the players would have boiled over eventually. With the NC State move, he got his raise and got to leave somewhat gracefully.
Mike Vega. With all the speculation flooded on the internet the past three weeks, Vega remained solid and never fell into the trap of reporting gossip or nonsense. Plus the very first day he scored the exclusive interview with Greg Barber.
Boston College. Even if this turns out to be a bad hire (and I don’t think it is) this process confirmed that BC is a great school, a great program and has not reached its potential. The interest shown in this job surprised everyone involved. TOB can make all his little digs about the fans or the limitations, but guys were lining up to prove that Boston College can win championships. The number of recruits who said they want to stay regardless of the coaching change was another endorsement of how much BC has to offer on and off the field. Finally, the number of assistants who expressed interest in staying speaks to all that BC offers.


Mark Whipple. This guy was the favorite. He was one of the message board heroes. He has the best resume and was the first one interviewed. Yet somewhere along the way the coronation didn’t take place. There is and will be much speculation. What I know is that he did not make many fans in the interview process and his vision of his staff and of the program raised some questions.
Mike Farrell and Eagle Action. I’ve covered this already, but the guy threw so much BS out there I finally had to say something. I don’t know if anyone will listen, but I hope the new staff is very careful about their interactions with this guy.
Steve Kragthorpe. This guy could have been in the mix, but his hesitation (to see if something better came along) proved costly.
Employers of BC fans. Productivity of any BC fan has taken a major hit over the past few weeks. If the recession starts in January, I am blaming BC fans for starting it.

Jury is still out

Gene Defilippo. In ten years on the job Gene accomplished many things, but never had to fill one of our marquee positions. Jags will be his legacy. Instead of going the safe route with Whipple, he rolled the dice. With a new seating license and growing monotony, Gene needs Jags to win over fans and alumni. Let’s hope he does.


Anonymous said...

This sucks. There's a reason people like me were excited about Whipple. He's a great f'ing coach. Jags will come in and learn how to be coach on BC's dime. Whipple was and is a finished prodeuct. A dark day indeed at the Heights. I will give Jags a chance of course (do I have a choice?). But I don't share your optimism, not at all. GDF blew it.

Anonymous said...

It's people like you (angry eagle) who made TOB hate the fans. Your hating already and the new guy hasn't even started the job. You don't have to give him a chance if you don't want to - bail like TOB did - or be a real fan and embrace the change and potential. Nobody knows how Jags will do why dig him a hole that he'll have to climb out of before he even has his first press conference

Alex L. said...

Alright, Bill. I've had time to think about it a bit and I although I do not share your optimism, I will certainly support Jags. This is after all a very exciting time for BC football. He seems to have BC in his heart which I think is a good thing for the longevity of the program. We have a brutal schedule next year, but I will still hold Jags to at least a winning season and a bowl. But more importantly, I want to see some real exciting football and excitement on the field.

Anonymous said...

I was a part of the Boston College Football program when Jags was here coaching the Offensive Line. I just want to say my piece about Jags and why I'm excited about this hire. Jags is a fiery leader, one who was respected by everyone who was involved with the program at that time. Players, especially his Offensive Line, are extremely loyal and wanted to play for this guy. One of the huge issues TOB had in his time was having guys want to play for him. He just couldn't get the Eagles up for big games. It would have been easy for GDF to just hire Whipple because thats what everyone wanted. I think it shows a great deal about Jags that he was able to overcome Whipple being such a strong early favorite. BC is getting an energetic, passionate man who knows a ton about football. I hope this means Spaz stays too and we'll move on from there. We've been at a level below where we want to be because of a missing passion in our program for the past few years. I truly believe Jags will bring us that passion. Just give him a chance.

flutie22phelan20 said...


That was the most encouraging thing I've read all day. I likewise hope that Spaz will be staying on.

Anonymous said...

I don't hate Jags, I just know a blown opportunity when I see one. Jags could turn out to be a great hire, but Whipple would have been one, no doubt. That's what is so disappointing to me. I mean, c'mon. A guy who has only spent 2 years as a college OC and 1 year as an NFL OC v. a guy who has been a very very successful head coach at the collegiate level for 15 years? Throw in the fact that Whip is a New England guy, a great recruiter and basically the same age as Jags (49 v. 42) and it's not even close. I really hope I eat crow on this one, but a decision can only be judged at the time it was made, without the benefit of hindsight. And if I find out that fat priest ultimately made the decision, I'll be pissed.

Anonymous said...

Angry Eagle,

A "decision can only be judged at the time it was made?" Honestly, buddy, that is exactly wrong. Furthermore, calling Fr. Leahy a "fat priest" is very disrespectful and indicative of what people don't like about BC fans. Shut the hell up. This is an exciting time for BC football, and you should be treating it as such.

Alex L. said...

I don't know Fr. Leahy at all, although I hear he's not the easiest person to get along with. I will say that if indeed he "interfered" with GDF's hiring process, then that reeks of micromanagement. I hope that's wrong and that it came down to GDF making the ultimate decision to hire Jags and all Leahy needed to do was "bless" the decision to finalize the process.

Regardless of the above however, I do have to take issue with some message board posters calling Fr. Leahy some pretty bad names. First of all the guy's a priest, so unless he's broken any laws, just knock it off. Secondly, he's one hell of a businessman and a fund raising master. BC's stature as an academic institution has skyrocketed since Leahy took over 10 years ago.

So while Leahy may have been wrong in micromanaging GDF (and we don't even know if that's true), we still have to admit that BC owes alot to Leahy. And besides, wasn't he big on joining the ACC?

ATL_eagle said...

Angry Eagle, you are realing losing me on all of this. Whipple was far from a sure thing. Recruiting is planning and salesmanship. If this guy was such a great recruiter, how come Jags was better able to present his vision for BC football and his passion for the job. And don't put this on Leahy. This was Gene's call.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you ask the folks at New Haven, Brown, and UMass (not to mention Pittsburgh) whether they think Whipple pr Jags was the surer thing? 15 years of HEAD COACHING EXPERIENCE is no small sampling. All we have with Jags is a bunch of people who think he's a great guy. But he's done nothing. That's a fact. And with respect to Leahy meddling with the process, that wasn't my rumor, it was that of a blogger named Sammie on this blog. And he turned out to be right about the Jags hire, so I think it has some credence. If Leahy indeed threw his weight around, then we are the smallest of the small time up here, which is exactly what my SEC friends say. Hey I hope you guys are right about Jags, that he is up to the considerable challenge he faces, but I have a reasoned opinion based on empirical evidence. You don't.

ORDEagle said...

Couple of thoughts on this but with no facts. I would say it is unlikely that Fr. Leahy would overrule GDF on this (knowing both of them a little.) However, to say the CEO of an organization should have no say in an important executive hire is silly and unrealistic. Second, if the guy was able to convince a pretty experienced AD who understands just how important this decision is, to hire him based on his resume and interview, I would say he is probably pretty talented and awfully convincing. It wasn't the easy or obvious choice which means it is much more open to criticism. Not the mark of a weak decision in my opinion.

Personally, I am looking forward to hearing what he has to say. Heck, I'm looking foward to any BC Football coach that says anything of substance in an interview or press conference. It's been a while.

Anonymous said...

Bill, I'd really like you to read my thoughts on my blog about Jags and explain to me why you think, objectively, this is a good hire. I really don't see it. I need more than you and other bloggers just saying he's a can-do guy when his resume is so hollow.

Anonymous said...

I am excited for the Jags era to begin. When examining Whipple's resume, he does not strike me as a sure thing. After winning a national championship in his first year, he went 9-4, 7-4, 3-8 (Imagine a 3-win season on the Heights?), and then 8-4. Those are TOB numbers, if not worse, once he took over the UMass program. By the way, Rothlisberger isn't exactly hall of fame material. He handed the ball off really well.

Unknown said...

I really like your writing style. Such a nice Post, Can’t wait for the next one.

Asus - 15.6" Refurbished Laptop - 4GB Memory - 320GB Hard Drive - Black IMR Suit

Asus - 10.1"Eee PC Netbook 1 GB Memory - 320 GB Hard Drive - Matte White