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Wednesday, January 7, 2009
BC looking for long-term answer at short-term destination

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Five years.

That's how long former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski was expected to stay at Boston College before he was "terminated without cause" on Wednesday.

Instead, Jagodzinski lasted two years before he started job hunting (and therein lies your "cause.")

"I thought that we had a coach that wanted to be here for a long time," BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo said at this afternoon's news conference, "and that wasn't necessarily the case."

It's not necessarily going to be the case at Boston College, either.

DeFilippo is under the illusion that BC football is more relevant than its surroundings, when in actuality the program is like the fourth-string quarterback (at best) in a pro town. BC only steals the spotlight when everyone else isn't playing. It's overshadowed by the Red Sox, the Patriots, the Bruins, the Celtics, and, on occasion, even by its own hockey team.

Chestnut Hill is not Happy Valley, where Beaver Stadium looms larger than anything in the zip code, or Blacksburg, where cell reception begins to disappear in the Blue Hills, and a new hotel is reason to celebrate. Maryland coaches often lament their battle for attention between the Ravens and the Redskins, but Ralph Friedgen and Gary Williams are both alums who are attached to their programs. Georgia Tech has the Falcons and the Braves, but they've also got Paul Johnson, and they ponied up the money to keep him -- not fire him.

Head football coach at Boston College is a good, respectable job at a fine educational institution, but it's a tough job because it's based in a high-priced town with little fan support. We're talking about a program that couldn't even sell out its own stadium when Matt Ryan was quarterback. Its location makes it the misfit of the ACC. There's no need for blame, just acceptance.

Unless DeFilippo finds a coach with roots in the area or already settled in it, odds are it won't be his final stop. Nor should it be, and there should be no shame in DeFilippo hiring talented, young coaches good enough to move on to more lucrative jobs, whether it be in the NFL or in college.

One coach who would make perfect sense for this job is Cincinnati's Brian Kelly. He's talented, he's from Boston, his parents and most of his family still live there, and -- bonus -- he's Catholic. But guess what? If Charlie Weis were to be fired at Notre Dame, DeFilippo would likely be searching all over again. Notre Dame is one of Kelly's dream jobs.

Still, DeFilippo insists the program can attract some of the best college coaches in the country and keep them.

"I've got a stack out there of coaches, some are from head coaches at very, very, very good institutions that are interested in this job should anything happen, and I think they would be committed to staying here for the length of their contract, yes."

"There are a lot of positive things here, and there's a lot of coaches that want to come here and be a part of this program."

Sure, but for how long?

"We want to find somebody who really wants to be at Boston College and who is going to be here for the length of their contract. ... We'd like a coach that would stay the length of the contract. That's what I'd like."

DeFilippo said he will bring the staff together and give anyone interested in the job the first opportunity to interview. He also said he plans on bringing in at least two candidates from outside the program. The answer, though, is right in front of him.

DeFilippo needs to finally reward the loyal coach who's been on staff for the past 12 seasons -- defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani, a Penn State grad who has been the Eagles' defensive coordinator for the past 10 seasons.

Of course, if Penn State came calling for "Spaz" ...

Hey, everybody's got a dream job, and for most coaches, Boston College isn't it.