Jags To Jets?

Multiple sources report Coach Jeff Jagodzinski is on the short list for the vacant New York Jets head coaching job. The Newark Star-Ledger and Boston Globe have confirmed there is interest from both sides. Boston College has not commented publicly and the coach currently denies any interest in the job.

Drama has once again returned to The Heights as Coach Jagodzinski's name has been linked with the vacant New York Jets head coaching job. On Saturday the Newark Star-Ledger reported the Jets had the coach on their short list of potential candidates. The same day, Mark Blaudschun contacted the coach and Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo, both of whom denied the report and indicated they were unaware of the story.

Late yesterday, Blaudschun updated his blog post dropping DeFilippo's denial and amending the post to include an unnamed source confirming there was at least contact between the coach and the Jets. Today, the Star-Ledger updated their story, indicating the Jets were trying to be respectful of the coach's situation and were unwilling to confirm or deny interest in Coach Jagodzinski. Interestingly, they added an interview would likely take place this week.

The only way to read this is there has been contact, at some level, between the Jets and Coach Jagodzinski. Maybe it is through an intermediary not part of the hiring process or through the agent. Officially, Boston College has no comment at this time and the coach maintains his denial of interest.

If an interview does take place, don't expect a blow-by-blow account from the coach or the AD. The standard response from BC in these situations is to talk about how proud they are to have coaches that are in such great demand. The coach is in the midst of recruiting and cannot afford to answer questions in the press about his future.

A big question is whether the NFL is interested in Jagodzinski as a head coach. Off the radar guys are now the rage, with the success of unknown guys like Mike Smith at Atlanta and Tony Sparano at Miami. Jagodzinski was a respected assistant at Green Bay and counted as a rising star in the league. Throw in the fact he is a great interview and it is not unreasonable to think an NFL team would take a long look at him.

The bigger question is whether the coach is truly interested an NFL job. Everyone around the program has assumed from the beginning that an NFL job was the ultimate goal for Coach Jagodzinski. The BC job was just a stepping stone for bigger and better things. Officially, everyone will deny it, but it is the thing everyone knows, but no one is willing to say publicly.

Of course, the critical question here is how BC responds. There is little doubt that they have been caught completely off-guard with this. Until reporters began calling about the story in the Ledger, no one at BC was aware of any interest by the coach in another job. Given his short tenure and his stated lack of interest in other college jobs, it was reasonable to assume he was not looking around at this time.

There are also some concerns about the lack of focus in the program at times this season. Let's face it; the dormant recruiting this year is not just due to a lack of interest from the ranking services. Good recruiting is all about hard work and focus. BC has been out-hustled more than a few times this recruiting year. The lack of buzz compared to last year is obvious to everyone.

Coach Jagodzinski would not be the first guy to return to college only to remember why he left the college game in the first place. Recruiting can be a grind and often requires dealing with some unpleasant people. Watching over a bunch of young guys, making sure they go to class and stay out of trouble, is not everyone's cup of tea. If he does interview with an NFL team after just two years at The Heights, it should make one wonder if he is happy at BC.

The bottom line at this point is the coach has at least some interest in the Jets job and they have some interest in him. This development has blind-sided the Boston College athletic department. A coach looking around after just two years should raise some concerns amongst the fans and the decision makers at Boston College. How events unfold over the next week will say a lot about the near-term health of the football program.


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