January 27, 2009

Whispers: BC letting quality coaches get away

New Boston College coach Frank Spaziani hired veteran assistant Gary Tranquill as his offensive coordinator Saturday and now turns his attention to hiring an offensive line coach after Jack Bicknell Jr. took a job as assistant offensive line coach with the New York Giants. There's a chance Spaziani will name former Syracuse and Minnesota offensive coordinator Mitch Browning to the post.

It's still hard to believe Spaziani is in charge at BC. Actually, what's hard to believe is that BC canned Jeff Jagodzinski after he interviewed with the New York Jets.

Blame Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo. This is the same guy who let Tom O'Brien leave after the 2006 season, so we shouldn't be shocked that DeFilippo canned one of the sport's rising stars because Jagodzinski wanted to interview for a better job.

DeFilippo must not know that Boston College is not a destination job. If DeFilippo has a terrific coach as O'Brien and Jagodzinski are he should do all he can to keep him.

Jagodzinski, who was 20-8 with two ACC title game appearances in two seasons and had three years left on his five-year deal, was bound to leave at some point after working in the NFL for eight years before going to BC. But to dismiss him because he wanted to interview for an NFL job is laughable. Didn't DeFilippo have another job before he took the BC post? Was he threatened with termination when he interviewed for the BC job?

There apparently was some type of oral agreement between Jagodzinski and DeFilippo whereby Jagodzinski agreed to stay at Boston College for three years and wouldn't have a wandering eye. But there were rumblings Jagodzinski wasn't happy with the facilities and was told not to expect massive upgrades.

When the Jets came calling, Jagodzinski listened and wanted to interview. DeFilippo flipped and said he would fire Jagodzinski if he talked to the New York brass. But this is the kicker: Jagodzinski still did it. What's that say about how he felt about working for Boston College and DeFilippo?

"Jeff was let go over a difference of vision for the future," DeFilippo said. "We will find somebody who really wants to be at Boston College and will be here for the length of their contract."

It wasn't so long ago when DeFilippo was pledging his allegiance to the Big East only to bolt for the ACC after Miami and Virginia Tech had abandoned the Big East's ship.

"We are disappointed in Boston College's decision to turn its back on its fellow members of the Big East," then-Pittsburgh AD Jeff Long said in 2003 after BC announced it was leaving. "This is especially disappointing given the fact that Boston College had re-pledged its loyalty to the conference just a short time ago."

Then-Pitt coach Walt Harris also chimed in with what has proved to be a more prophetic observation: "Sports are all about the team and teamwork. That's what you teach to your football players. Boston College was part of the Big East team and all had agreed to stay, so I don't think that speaks very well about who they are."

Spaziani seems like a perfect fit for the BC job on many levels. Then again, I thought the same thing about O'Brien and Jagodzinski.

Kragthorpe to call plays at Louisville?
Some sources say Louisville offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm may be forced out, with Cardinals coach Steve Kragthorpe assuming play-calling duties. Brohm could stay on board as a position coach. He also could land as offensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic, which needs a coordinator after Gary Nord left for the same post at Purdue. Brohm played quarterback for FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger at Louisville.

Purdue gets it man
Purdue has tabbed Eastern Kentucky's Donn Landholm as defensive coordinator. He worked with new Boilermakers boss Danny Hope at EKU, so there is a comfort level. Landholm was at Eastern Kentucky for 12 seasons, most recently working as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator. He was defensive coordinator at EKU from 2005-07. It was thought Purdue was going to make a high-profile hire to replace Brock Spack, who left to be coach at Illinois State, a Football Championship Subdivision (i.e., Division I-AA) school.

Miami still needs defensive coordinator
Miami is in the market for a defensive coordinator after Bill Young left for Oklahoma State. There's a chance Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon will fill the DC role himself. There also was talk Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez a UM alum would be a target, but that will not happen. One name that continues to pop up is that of Arizona defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, who was a target the last time Miami had an opening at defensive coordinator. Stoops is a hot commodity, having already rebuffed an offer to be a defensive coordinator at another school this offseason. Stoops was secondary coach at Miami from 2001-03. It likely would take a multiyear deal to attract Stoops, as well as a hefty salary. And Miami never has been known to pay assistants top dollar.

Fresno likely to promote from within
Fresno State coach Pat Hill has to fill both coordinator spots. It is a never-ending battle for Hill, who has a hard time retaining good coaches because he can't pay top dollar. Despite the turnover, Hill almost always tabs quality coordinators. Among the offensive coordinators who have worked for Hill are Jeff Tedford, Frank Cignetti and Andy Ludwig. Doug Nussmeier is the latest to leave, taking a job as quarterback coach/passing game coordinator at Washington. Don't expect Hill to make any hires until after National Signing Day, and there's a good chance he will stay in-house with both hires. Secondary coach Randy Stewart may be promoted to defensive coordinator.

TCU looks as if it will promote assistant
Expect an announcement this week about TCU's new offensive coordinator, with the role vacated by Mike Schultz to be filled from within. There will be an assistant from outside to round out the staff. The likely target: SMU offensive coordinator Rusty Burns. The Horned Frogs are committed to refining their passing game in 2009. The plan is to become more efficient in the passing attack by becoming better at executing a fewer number of pass plays. Schultz left to become Illinois' coordinator.

Bowling Green set to name coordinators
New Bowling Green coach Dave Clawson is close to finalizing his staff. Look for former Kansas State quarterback coach Warren Ruggerio to serve as offensive coordinator, and Rhode Island's Joe Trainer and Marshall's Shannon Morrison are in line to be co-defensive coordinators. Last season, Trainer was Rhode Island's coordinator and Morrison was Marshall's safeties coach.

Tom Dienhart is a national senior writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dienhart@yahoo-inc.com.


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