BC hires Steve Addazio

Updated: December 4, 2012, 10:35 PM ET
By Jack McCluskey | ESPNBoston.com

NEWTON, Mass. -- Six weeks after he took over as Boston College Eagles athletic director and nine days after he announced that football coach Frank Spaziani had been fired, Brad Bates made a surprise move in hiring Temple's Steve Addazio as the Eagles' new coach.

While Addazio wasn't on many people's short lists for the job, he has been on Bates' list for "a number of years."

And after going through the interview process, Bates decided that Addazio -- known for his energy and his ability to recruit in the Northeast, where he has roots -- was the right person for BC.

"I've only been here six weeks," Bates told reporters Tuesday. "I'm looking for a partner who I can be joined at the hip with and really strive for excellence in Boston College athletics, and he's a key leader in this department."

Addazio, who signed a six-year contract, will be introduced at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Boston College.

"Any athletic director has a list of names that they're perpetually following, and every year you add to the list or you delete based on performance and other variables," Bates said, describing the hiring process. "Heading into the process then what you're trying to do is match what the programmatic needs are to the profiles of the coaches that are on your list. And that's exactly what we did these last nine days.

"And I really believe that Steve Addazio is a great coach who is a great fit for Boston College right now."

Asked about whom he sought input from during the search, Bates declined to name specific people but said there were a lot of conversations.

"We were very meticulous," he said. "We talked to NFL owners, NFL coaches, commissioners, college head coaches and assistant coaches, executive directors -- we talked to a lot of people."

The AD also said input he received from Eagles players was important.

"First of all, they wanted a coach that they would have a strong relationship with," Bates said. "And everything in Steve's background demonstrates that he's going to create a family culture in that program that's a team. Secondly, they wanted someone who was very, very passionate. And Steve Addazio & you'll see he has incredible passion and energy. And then the third thing is they wanted to win. They wanted someone who has a proven record of having success."

Addazio oversaw the Owls' move from the MAC to the Big East and went 13-11 in his two seasons there. In his first season at Temple, the team went 9-4 and beat Wyoming in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl 37-15 -- the Owls' first bowl win in 32 years.

He previously had been offensive coordinator (2009-10) and offensive line coach (2005-08) at Florida, winning two national titles with the Gators (in 2006 and 2008) and serving as interim coach when head coach Urban Meyer took a leave of absence in 2009. Addazio, 53, coached New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow at Florida, which was at the top of the SEC in offense while he was there.

Prior to Florida, Addazio was offensive coordinator at Indiana and offensive line coach at Notre Dame and Syracuse.

"Steve Addazio has done a tremendous job with Temple football in his two years at the university, and we wish him nothing but the best," Temple director of athletics Bill Bradshaw said in a statement.

Spaziani went 21-29 in four seasons at the BC helm.

Before the 2012 season, Addazio hired former BC assistants >Kevin Rogers (as Owls associate head coach, quarterbacks coach) and Ryan Day (offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach) at Temple, and also took in the Eagles' all-time leading rusher, Montel Harris, after Spaziani dismissed Harris for violating team rules.

Harris led the Big East in rushing yards per game this season, averaging 105.4 yards in 10 games. He also tied for the conference lead with 12 rushing touchdowns.

The status of BC assistant coaches, including offensive coordinator Doug Martin and defensive coordinator Bill McGovern, is not yet determined.

"We've kind of talked in general terms," Bates said when asked about Addazio's plans for his coaching staff. "He clearly has some ideas of what he wants to do, but he's going to research the context. He's going to visit with the team, he's going to visit with the staff. This is a well-connected guy in the football community. He's going to have an amazing collection of coaches that he can assemble, and so the key's going to be making sure he gets a group that has diverse skill sets and experiences so they complement each other."

Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.