NCF Nation: Gene DeFilippo

Miami searching for AD stability

October, 4, 2012
10/04/12
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Well, this is getting awfully familiar for Miami.

The Hurricanes are searching for their third athletic director since 2008, now that Shawn Eichorst has resigned to take the same position at Nebraska. The ACC also now has its third program without an athletic director as Miami, Clemson and Boston College have hires to make.

The truth is, we hardly knew Eichorst. Terry Don Phillips and Gene DeFilippo made their marks at their respective schools. Eichorst? He was only around Miami for 18 months, and leaves no real stamp on a program that is in desperate need of some sort of stability.

Having an opportunity to return to the Big Ten must have been appealing, with an NCAA investigation hanging over the program he inherited.

It was his predecessor, Kirby Hocutt, who has been implicated in the Nevin Shapiro scandal that has sent NCAA investigators to Miami asking questions. Hocutt reportedly gave Shapiro carte blanche to Miami and its players, an allegation Hocutt denies.

It is not as if Hocutt hung around Miami for long, either. He resigned in February 2011 for the same job at Texas Tech, after spending only 2 1/2 years with the Hurricanes. It was enough time for him to fire Randy Shannon and hire Al Golden, who remains the head coach. The allegations against Miami surfaced in an explosive Yahoo! Sports report six months after Hocutt resigned.

So where does Miami go from here? Its last two athletic directors have left for jobs in bigger conferences, so you have to wonder whether the Miami position is now viewed as a stepping stone job.

That was not the case previously with Sam Jankovich and Paul Dee working long, hard years to build Miami into a major powerhouse program. There are issues to deal with to be sure, with a small booster base and an inability to shell out salaries in the highest area of the stratosphere.

Finding somebody who wants to stay for the long-term has got to be the No. 1 priority, particularly with NCAA sanctions down the road. The last thing Miami needs is somebody to cut and run for the third successive time. Who wants to roll up his or her sleeves and work hard to build on the integrity of the program? Who understands that Miami will always have the potential to be a national power despite some of the down times that may come?

Miami remains a special program, given its history, tradition and location. Now president Donna Shalala needs to find a special person to shepherd this athletic department into the unknown, with the promise that sunnier times remain ahead.

ACC power rankings: Week 1

August, 27, 2012
8/27/12
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There was plenty of news in the ACC this summer, some of which has affected the order of the power ranking since it was last released post-spring. The biggest difference is at the bottom, where Maryland has sunk following the season-ending injury to starting quarterback C.J. Brown. The first five teams remained the same, but UNC got a small boost after positive reviews by the staff and players who were learning the new systems and terminology of first-year coach Larry Fedora.

This list will change with the season, but for now, here is the starting point for how the ACC teams stack up heading into Week 1:

1. Florida State: There is no excuse for coach Jimbo Fisher and his staff not to take advantage of the ubertalented roster this year and run away with it. The biggest questions remaining are how the Noles will handle the loss of cornerback Greg Reid, and how much better the offensive line will look than it did a year ago.

2. Clemson: The Tigers will be without suspended starting receiver Sammy Watkins for the opener against Auburn, but there are enough other options that Clemson’s offense should still be productive. The depth on the offensive line remains a question, though, and the pressure is on first-year defensive coordinator Brent Venables to help Clemson fans forget the Orange Bowl.

3. Virginia Tech: The Hokies are confident in the speed, talent and athleticism of their young running backs and receivers, but the lack of experience remains a concern. Bud Foster’s defense should again be the strength of the team, particularly early, but with Georgia Tech on the schedule for Labor Day, there’s no time for a tuneup.

4. NC State: The Wolfpack kicks off the season against Tennessee in the Chick-fil-A Bowl trying to sustain the positive momentum with which it ended 2011. Coach Tom O’Brien has said this is the deepest, most talented team he has had since he was hired in Raleigh, but will it be good enough to beat Florida State and Clemson in the same season?

5. Georgia Tech: The Jackets could sneak up on some teams this year, as they have one of the best offensive lines coach Paul Johnson has had since he was hired there. Expectations are higher for the defense in Year 3 under coordinator Al Groh, and the hire of assistant Dave Walkosky should help the special teams.

6. North Carolina: The Tar Heels have the potential to play spoiler this year, or they could have a particularly bumpy ride given the complete overhaul in staff, schemes and philosophy. The players have bought in, though, and quarterback Bryn Renner adapted well to the spread offense this summer.

7. Wake Forest: Coach Jim Grobe has some hidden gems on this team, as players like receiver Michael Campanaro, nose guard Nikita Whitlock and cornerback Kevin Johnson are all-conference candidates. Questions still remain, though, about the offensive line, and two league games in the first three weeks won’t be easy.

8. Virginia: Coach Mike London is expected to release a depth chart today naming his starting quarterback, but the bigger concern should be a secondary that has to replace three starters. The Hoos have two of the best offensive tackles in the country, though, in Morgan Moses and Oday Aboushi. They could pave the way for Perry Jones to have a 1,000-yard season.

9. Miami: Quarterback Stephen Morris earned the starting job this summer, and his leadership will be critical to a young offense that must replace seven starters. The Canes will continue to play with the NCAA investigation hanging over their heads, but those within the program say it hasn’t been a distraction.

10. Duke: The Blue Devils have one of the most talented quarterbacks in the ACC in Sean Renfree, but they need to stay healthy and show improvement on the defensive line in order to have a chance at a bowl game. Duke has a legitimately tough task in getting past FIU in a game that will set the course for its season – and possibly postseason.

11. Boston College: The Eagles couldn’t seem to get a break this offseason, as injuries piled up and athletic director Gene DeFilippo announced his retirement. Coach Frank Spaziani enters this season with the hottest seat in the ACC. It’s only Week 1, but the game against Miami is a must-win for the Eagles.

12. Maryland: Barring something catastrophic, the season-ending injury to quarterback C.J. Brown was arguably the worst thing that could have happened to the Terps this offseason. The offense will be in the hands of true freshman Perry Hills, and Maryland will adjust to two new coordinators in its quest to turn around last season’s 2-10 finish.
If you are looking at the job of an athletic director from a football perspective, Boston College and Clemson cannot follow the same type of blueprint when it comes to hiring their next leader.

There is no doubt the job description for athletic directors in the country has changed over the past 10 years. Business savvy and fundraising skills generally trump on-the-field credentials. You can bet Boston College and Clemson will have those two items as prerequisites.

[+] EnlargeGene Defilippo
AP Photo/ Richard ShiroEagles coach Frank Spaziani, right, had a good relationship with outgoing athletic director Gene DeFilippo. He'll have a lot to prove to the new AD.
But what has not changed -- athletic directors remain inexorably linked to the success or failure of their football programs. And Boston College and Clemson are in radically different spots right now.

Just as an example, take a look at the five finalists for Sports Business Journal's athletic director of the year. Winner Mark Hollis (Michigan State), Bill Bradshaw (Temple), Jeff Long (Arkansas), Ian McCaw (Baylor) and Dave Brandon (Michigan) not only oversaw fundraising endeavors and facility expansion projects. They all are in charge of football programs that had either banner or turnaround years in 2011. In fact, each has won wide praise for their football coaching hires.

Look even deeper at Long, who faced a major crisis this summer. Nobody much cared about all the other things he had done for the Arkansas athletic department when Bobby Petrino crashed his motorcycle, opening up a box of secrets and lies. How Long handled that football decision would make or break him.

So let us get back to Boston College and Clemson. Outgoing Boston College AD Gene DeFilippo did some pretty great things for the Eagles during his 15 seasons at the helm, stabilizing the athletic department after a gambling scandal while eventually steering the program from the Big East to the ACC. But the football program has been in a steady decline since going to back-to-back ACC championship games in 2007 and 2008.

After that season, DeFilippo fired coach Jeff Jagodzinski for interviewing with the New York Jets after warning the coach he might lose his job if he did so. He then hired Frank Spaziani, and the program's win total has declined in each of his three seasons and recruiting has been just average. Its 12-year bowl streak was stopped in 2011.

Spaziani enters this season on the hot seat after a 4-8 campaign, and will no longer have the protection of the man who gave him his first head coaching job. Whoever is hired as the new athletic director must look at the direction the football program is headed and evaluate whether Spaziani is the right man for the job. Given how critical football success is to the stature of an institution, Spaziani must impress his new boss from the outset.

New athletic directors have been known to try and put their stamp on a program through football. Having a good working relationship between the athletic director and football coach is huge. Ask Randy Edsall about his time working for Jeff Hathaway at UConn.

As for Clemson, outgoing athletic director Terry Don Phillips has done his share of facility upgrades, but he also has made the right coaching moves, particularly with Dabo Swinney. The Tigers might still be smarting over that Orange Bowl loss to West Virginia, but there were plenty of positives to take away from the season.

Clemson won its first ACC title since 1991 and appears to be in great shape moving forward. Recruiting has been a huge boon as well. Swinney has been given the luxury of paying top dollar for his assistants, particularly coordinators Chad Morris and Brent Venables. Combined, they make more than Swinney. The next athletic director must continue to provide the resources Swinney needs, while making sure the football program does not take a step back. Because as it stands now, football appears to be in great shape.

Whenever Clemson and Boston College make their hires, the ACC will have seen six new athletic directors hired since the summer of 2010. DeFilippo and Phillips are among the longest tenured, leaving the ACC with only three ADs who have been at their institutions for more than 10 years -- Ron Wellman at Wake Forest, Jim Weaver at Virginia Tech and Craig Littlepage at Virginia.

Change is coming, and as always, football is a priority.
Boston College and Maryland have simultaneously imploded this year. Both programs are guaranteed to be home for the holidays, both have identical 2-7 records and one conference win. They also both have underlying issues with the staffs. Whether or not either one of them wins another game this season remains a question. If there’s one thing they can play for at this point -- besides pride, of course -- it’s the future.

Which one of these two programs will get back to a bowl game first?

Making the case for Maryland: Terps’ fans can and should expect some turnover following this season. It’s clear not every player fits into Randy Edsall’s system, nor do some of them want to. Quarterback Danny O'Brien could be among those who decide to transfer, and considering he will graduate soon, Vanderbilt could be an enticing option. With that being said, once Edsall has cleared the program of any internal discord, it will be much easier to focus on winning with the players who want to be there. Having a healthy lineup will also make a difference, especially on defense, where seven potential starters have been sidelined. The current team is lacking an identity, but this offseason will provide Edsall with an opportunity to find new leaders once the dust settles. The other intangible Maryland has over Boston College at this point is more security at the head-coaching position. The athletic department can’t afford to fire Edsall, who has a lucrative six-year, $12 million contract -- at least not immediately after buying out the end of Ralph Friedgen’s contract. BC, meanwhile, could have some options.

Making the case for Boston College: The first thing that needs to happen is the coaching staff needs to work out any internal issues that might be brewing. The return of Kevin Rogers as offensive coordinator seems unlikely at this point, as Rogers took a leave of absence for health reasons, but Frank Spaziani needs to re-evaluate the position at the end of the season. Athletic director Gene DeFilippo also needs to figure out what he’s doing with Spaziani, whose job as head coach can be questioned, but who also started behind in the recruiting no thanks to his predecessor, Jeff Jagodzinski. One thing Spaziani has going for him is the fact that turnover at the head-coaching position has been part of the problem at BC. Another year of recruiting and stability under the same head coach -- provided the questions on offense get answered -- could pay off more than yet another transition year. There is enough talent on this roster to get to a bowl game, and that includes the running backs without injured star Montel Harris. BC had gone to 12 straight bowl games before this season. It’s not a stretch to say this season is the anomaly. Maybe the best and simplest argument for BC, though, is that it beat Maryland this year.

Prediction: Despite the expected turnover on the roster, the Terps seem to have more stability for the immediate future and the better chance at the postseason for 2012. The truth is, though, you could flip a coin on this one. Both of these programs are walking a fine line between a rough season and a rough few years and need to make internal changes to assure this is a short-term dip.

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Lenn Robbins of the New York Post reported on Wednesday that "two sources said the eight-team Big East would consider adding a ninth member by exploring whether there was interest on behalf of Maryland to jump from the ACC, and for Boston College to rejoin the league."

First of all, as Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow pointed out, there are no names associated with the statement. Yow said in an e-mail that no one from the Big East has contacted Maryland, nor does she expect to hear from anyone. It's a non-story, as far as Maryland's AD is concerned.

The same can be said for BC's athletic director.

It seems unlikely that Gene DeFilippo would be welcomed back with a hug and a smile after leaving the Big East for the ACC and angering some of his former colleagues during the process. Forget past history, though -- DeFilippo has no interest in going back, nor did he even hear about this until a reporter called him to ask about it.

"Nobody from the Big East contacted me," DeFilippo told ESPN.com. "As long as there is an Atlantic Coast Conference, BC will be in it."

A greater possibility of any restructuring would be after 2015, if the ACC would decide to realign the conference divisions. But as far as Maryland and BC joining the Big East? It's exactly what Yow said it is -- a non-story.

ACC's lunchtime links

April, 14, 2009
4/14/09
12:40
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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Spring practices were postponed at both Maryland and Georgia Tech because of the rain, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to write -- or read -- about ACC football. Here's your daily dose of links:

  • Might former Maryland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey have worked his way into the first round of this year's NFL draft? If character counts as much as his 40 time he will.
  • A few tasks still remain for Clemson football, even though the Tigers have wrapped up spring ball. Of course, they got a few answers, too.
  • Florida State announced its spring football awards, which are chosen by the coaches. And the winner is ...
  • Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo has had offers from schools like Notre Dame and Tennessee, but he's chosen to stay in Chestnut Hill, and the school has chosen to keep him until at least 2014.

One more, a leftover ...

ACC: So long, 2008

January, 14, 2009
1/14/09
9:39
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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

It was a great season to cover ACC football, with plenty of memorable moments, games, plays, coaches, players and issues -- some good, some not so good. Here are a few things I won't forget from 2008, in no particular order:

The jumbled, exciting race for the ACC title -- It was arguably the most competitive season in ACC football history, as the race to Tampa came down to the final weeks in November, and four teams finished with 5-3 conference records and six teams finished at 4-4.

Tommy Bowden resigns midseason -- On Oct. 13, 2008, Clemson announced that Bowden would no longer be head coach, and wide receivers coach Dabo Swinney took over the program and made immediate, sweeping changes, including the firing of offensive coordinator Rob Spence.

Miami's quarterback controversy -- It all began when starter Robert Marve was suspended for the season opener, and ended with him being suspended for the Emerald Bowl. Jacory Harris or Marve? Following Marve's transfer, there's only one choice.

Myron Rolle wins a Rhodes Scholarship -- There might not have been a more positive story in ACC football this season, as Rolle interviewed for one of the prestigious scholarships on the same day Florida State played a critical Atlantic Division game at Maryland. Rolle won the award, and flew to Maryland in time to contribute to the 37-3 win.

Virginia Tech wins the FedEx Orange Bowl -- The Hokies did the most with the least this season, as Frank Beamer did arguably the best coaching job of his career and led Virginia Tech to its fifth straight 10-win season. The 20-7 win over Cincinnati gave the ACC its first BCS bowl win since 1999.

Jeff Jagodzinski gets fired -- After only his second season and back-to-back appearances in the ACC title game, Jagodzinski decided to interview with the New York Jets, knowing it would cost him his job. A private matter of trust between Jagodzinski and athletic director Gene DeFilippo became public.

Bye-bye coordinators -- Virginia coach Al Groh fired his son, offensive coordinator Mike Groh, Miami coach Randy Shannon fired offensive coordinator Patrick Nix, Clemson coach Swinney fired offensive coordinator Spence, and both Maryland and Clemson's defensive coordinators both bolted for K-State. BC will need a new defensive coordinator now that Frank Spaziani is the new head coach.

Georgia Tech's 45-42 win over Georgia -- The Yellow Jackets earned their first win in the series since 2000, and they did it on the road and in Paul Johnson's first season. Georgia Tech broke a seven-game losing streak to the Dawgs and rushed for 409 yards in the process. It was arguably the ACC's best nonconference win of the season, though the Hokies' win over Cincinnati had a bigger impact.

The poor attendance at the ACC title game in Tampa -- Having seen it first-hand, it will be tough to forget. According to the St. Pete Times, the turnstile count for the game at Raymond James Stadium was 27,360, about half the tickets that were sold and distributed (53,927).

NCAA-record 10 bowl eligible teams -- Heading into the season, it didn't seem as if the ACC would be strong enough to have even a ninth team qualify to play in the inaugural EagleBank Bowl, but the conference became the first to send 10 teams to bowl games in a single season.

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Boston College coach Frank Spaziani (notice the new title?) is a down-to-earth, blue collar coach who can relate to the average college football fan and more often than not is embraced by the media because of his approachability.

 
  AP Photo/Charles Krupa
  Frank Spaziani was introduced Tuesday as Boston College's new head coach.

Spaziani opened his first news conference as BC's new head coach Tuesday with the perfect anecdote as evidence:

"Last night I was having a little pillow talk with my wife and I said to her, 'Maybe tomorrow something real great is going to happen and our life is going to change, there's going to be a lot of big changes,'" he said. "She kind of looked at me and rolled over and said, 'Well, that's going to be wonderful, just make sure you take out the garbage and clean the cat litter up.'"

Because he had to work so hard and so long to earn this opportunity, odds are Spaziani doesn't forget where he came from. He even talked today about Joe Paterno getting him his first high school coaching job.

"I wanted to be a head coach but I wanted to be a head coach at Boston College," Spaziani said. "I didn't want to be a head coach just to be a head coach. ... I love this place for a lot of the right reasons and I want to help give something back. It's given so much to me in the 12 years I've been here."

The fact that Spaziani stuck around two seasons ago when he didn't get this job was evidence of his loyalty to the program. Boston College fans -- and athletic director Gene DeFilippo -- can rest assured this guy isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

"I can say right now that I am totally committed to doing a good job here at BC for a long time," Spaziani said. "I have been here 12 years and I've been here for all the right reasons; the academics, the people. ... That's why the next 12 years will be as good as I can possibly make them."

He's already got the coachspeak down, too. When asked whether the staff would remain intact for next season, Spaziani said he is going to do "what is in the best interest of Boston College."

He will need to name a defensive coordinator, and considering he is longtime friends with Notre Dame's Jon Tenuta, there is a hire that would make sense. Tenuta, who was previously at Georgia Tech, is also familiar with the ACC. Spaziani is also taking over at a critical point in recruiting, as programs are making a final push before signing day.

Spaziani doesn't really have time to adjust to his new role, but then again, he's waited long enough for it.

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Boston College will announce defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani as its new head coach at 3 p.m. ET, a source close to the situation confirmed today.

This is not only the most logical hire for the Eagles, but it's also the best choice. Spaziani's reputation precedes him. He is a proven, veteran coach who deserves a shot at a head coaching job, and he can give athletic director Gene DeFilippo exactly what he's looking for -- stability.

More on this later.

ACC's lunchtime links

January, 9, 2009
1/09/09
1:28
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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

  • Tony Barnhart takes a look at the best and worst of the 2008 college football season, and makes a few predictions, too. Among them is Bobby Bowden's retirement
  • There's no question, though, the 79-year-old Bowden will be back, as will his defensive coordinator.
  • Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt hasn't had any conversations with coach Randy Shannon about a contract extension, but Shannon has his "100 percent support." Nothing like putting that support in writing, eh? It's probably wise to wait another year.
  • Gene DeFilippo's decision to fire coach Jeff Jagodzinski might not have the far-reaching impact some would like to see in college football, but it should at least guarantee the next head coach of the Eagles will be there at least three seasons.
  • Boston College defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani is gaining more support each day to take over the program, and linebacker Mark Herzlich is leading the charge.

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

In case you slept through all of Wednesday, two major things happened: Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski was fired, and a handful of players decided to leave the ACC for the NFL.

Here are a few stories and opinions on both of those subjects:

JAGZ GONE

Gregg Doyel applauded Boston College for taking a stand, but he wasn't the only one. Sally Jenkins was also a fan of the move, as was Dan Wetzel. About the only opinion missing on this is Jagodzinski's. One thing is for sure -- athletic director Gene DeFilippo took it personally.

ACC PLAYERS GONE

Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is trying to remain a "normal citizen" while preparing for the NFL draft.

The fact that Virginia wide receiver Kevin Ogletree already graduated made his decision a lot easier.

Also leaving is arguably the best defensive end in the ACC, FSU's Everette Brown.

ACC ASSISTANT GONE?

Paul Strelow is reporting that Clemson assistant Ron West (outside linebackers/bandit ends) might be the first one out the door to make room for new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.

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.

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo announced the firing of coach Jeff Jagodzinski today.

I'll have more on this in a bit for you, so check back later.

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

There are far more questions coming out of Boston College than answers right now, as it's still not clear if coach Jeff Jagodzinski actually went through with an interview with the Jets that could cost him his current job.

Quite frankly, it doesn't even matter anymore.

As of right this second, Jagodzinski is still the head coach, and he has single-handedly caused a major upheaval in the very program he was hired to manage.

Even if Jagodzinski suddenly gets struck with a bolt of loyalty and decides to stay, the relationships are already strained. This is like a head-coach-in-waiting scenario, only we're all waiting for the head coach, and the fact that he hasn't made a public statement speaks volumes.

Clearly, Jagodzinski doesn't need anyone at Boston College. Not his athletic director, not his staff, and sadly, not his players. Go ahead and add his recruits to that list, because he's losing them, too.

The million dollar question is: What could possibly make Jagodzinski want to walk away from a $1 million-a-year job?

Jagodzinski is not to be faulted for wanting an NFL job, or even for interviewing for one after two seasons. Athletic director Gene DeFilippo is naive if he thinks Boston College is the final destination for young, talented coaches with higher aspirations. The problem is the sneaky way Jagodzinski went about it. Interview or no interview, the trust within the program has been broken and it's time to move on. Again.

Prior to the 2007 season, DeFilippo wanted a more charismatic, exciting coach. Somebody the fans could embrace. All Tom O'Brien had to offer was great character and seven straight bowl wins.

So O'Brien tumbled out and Jagodzinski strutted in, winning easily his first season and impressively his second.

What surprised me most about Jagodzinski this season was not the blatant disregard he showed for the state of the program when he scoffed at the notion he would be fired if he interviewed with the Jets. It was the fact that he somehow managed to contain his NFL-sized ego and allowed his two coordinators -- Steve Logan and Frank Spaziani -- to do their jobs.

That's how Boston College won this season.

"You're only as good as the people you surround yourself with," Jagodzinski said at the ACC championship game.

If only DeFilippo knew that when he hired Jagodzinski.

The two of them still have not sat down and talked since Saturday, and that's the only way this bizarre situation can be resolved. Instead, another day will pass without those within the program knowing in which direction they're headed.

Because of that, a new direction is needed at Boston College.

ACC's lunchtime links

January, 6, 2009
1/06/09
1:19
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

The problem with this whole situation at Boston College is not that coach Jeff Jagodzinski would like to interview with the Jets, it's that he didn't let the athletic director know about it

This certainly wasn't what Gene DeFilippo was expecting when he hired Jagodzinski.

The Charlotte Observer put together this early ranking of ACC teams for 2009, and it's pretty tough to disagree with, though I'd make a few switches.

You would think that recruits in the state of Georgia are forced at times to pick between rivals Georgia Tech and Georgia, but that's not the case.

Not sure if you guys already saw this, but Virginia Tech's bowl win really did pay off.

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