Decision Time

The drama over Coach Jagodzinski's tenure as head football coach of Boston College is expected to come to an end today. Sources tell Eagle Insider that the long awaited meeting between the coach and Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo will take place sometime today.

The drama over Coach Jagodzinski's tenure as head football of Boston College is expected to come to an end today. Sources tell Eagle Insider that the long awaited meeting between the coach and Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo will take place sometime today. Reports out of New York indicate Jagodzinski did indeed meet with the New York Jets regarding their opening. It is assumed that the coach will be officially terminated at that meeting.

That assumption, however, is based upon media reports claiming the coach was given an ultimatum, regarding the interview with the Jets. As of this time, the AD has not confirmed this claim. At the same time, there has been no statement denying it either. Coach Jagodzinski has not spoken with the media to confirm or deny the story. Associate AD Chris Cameron's comments to Sports Illustrated, however, appear to confirm the story.

Given the media circus that has erupted over this situation, it seems unlikely that there is any room for reconciliation. Coach Jagodzinski has made it clear to members of his staff he intends to return to the NFL. The public position of Boston College may allow some room for compromise, but that seems unlikely, given the coach's intentions.

Barring some radical change in the current position of both parties, it seems certain Coach Jagodzinski will not be the head coach after today. That, of course, ends this part of the story. It also begins the next chapter. That is, who will become the next head football coach for Boston College?

Who's Next?

Media reports assume Frank Spaziani is the logical successor. He was a candidate two years ago and is well respected in the BC community. He has also been one of the top defensive coordinators in the country. Coupled with his well known love for and loyalty to Boston College, he would appear to be the logical choice.

As of last night, sources tell Eagle Insider that no decision has been made regarding the next coach. In addition to Coach Spaziani, Coach Bicknell is also an attractive option. His ties to Boston College, head coaching experience and relative youth make him a strong candidate. If the goal is staying power and some sense of continuity, Bicknell would be a good option.

Eagle Insider has learned that other candidates may be in the mix as well. Quickly naming a coach just to put an end to this sad tale may not be the best option for the long-term health of the program. Regardless of who is named coach, a considerable amount of damage has been done to the program. The next coach will have a lot of work to do to move the program past this and get it back to where it was just a few weeks ago.

We have learned of two possible outside candidates. The level of interest and the degree of contact is unknown at this time. Both are currently employed and official channels to begin any formal discussions will have to be followed. How far along that has gone is unknown at this point. There is a big gap between informal inquiry and formal discussions.

Ramifications

If Boston College elects to explore outside candidates, they will certainly find plenty of interested parties. There are two complications to this route. One is the calendar. Recruiting is in the final weeks and there is not much time to name a coach and get him in front of possible recruits. Hiring someone new will take time and that means losing what little hope there is of salvaging this recruiting class.

The bigger complication is the staff. Bringing in someone from outside would leave little time to hire new coaches. Inevitably, that new coach would have to retain most or all of the current coaches. This assumes the current coaches would agree to stay.

The American Football Coaches Association Annual Convention is next week in Nashville. Many of the current BC coaches will be there. Given the uncertainty of the head coaching situation, there will be plenty of interest in speaking with BC coaches about positions on other staffs. At least two of the current coaches are exploring possibilities with other programs.

The bottom line is Boston College will have to move quickly to name a new head coach. A patient examination of all options may be desired, but the timing of this may force a quick decision. Unless the AD is able to pull off a minor miracle and bring in a heavy hitter that will retain the current staff and hit the ground running, the next month will inevitably see significant disruptions to the program.

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