Boston College football: High hopes for Jeff Hafley

Securing Jeff Hafley as the new head coach of Boston College football may just be the very thing that moves the program toward the forefront of the ACC this season. Hafley, a young guy with a strong resume, is exactly what Boston College needs to break .500 this season. But who is Hafley? Where did we even get this guy from? Let’s take a look at what Hafley has done, and what his achievements may mean for BC.

Hafley’s Story

Hafley has experience in sideline coaching for both college and professional teams. He’s been at this for years, making it clear that he knows how to run a team. His first long stretch with a program was at Albany from 2002-2005. Albany had a combined 24-20 record during his four-year stint there. Next, Hafley became an assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh (who is now a conference rival) and was ultimately promoted to secondary coach in 2008 (note: Pitt went from a 5-7 record in 2007 to 10-4 in 2008). Hafley coached there from 2006-2010. During this time the Panthers went 39-25. According to the Post-Gazette, other members of Pitt staff at the time describe Hafley as a “rising star,” who was “a special breed of intelligence and common sense.” Will this opportunity in Boston be he chance to rise to stardom?

Hafley’s next notable job was at Rutgers University in 2011. This season, the Scarlet Knights were 9-4. In fact, when Greg Schiano initially declined the offer to return to New Brunswick, Hafley was speculated to be recruited as the potential new head coach. Had things been different, he may not have been with the Eagles today.

Hafley’s stint at Rutgers is actually instrumental in his resume, as it began his time working with Schiano. It is with him that Hafley went on to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012 and 2013. Then, the two of them coached at Ohio State. As a co-defensive coordinator, Hafley helped elevate Ohio State from 72nd in the country to first in 2019.

What Hafley can offer BC

Hafley’s resume is impressive, and clearly his past experience and years of coaching success will benefit Boston College football. However, the biggest advantage he brings to the program is what he can do for it going forward. Hafley is a great recruiter. He has begun to draw widely from New Jersey, which is home to very good high school football players. Using his contacts at the power house private schools in Northern New Jersey, Hafley can create a pipeline of strong players for years to come. He’s already proven this. BC just landed a commitment from the class of 2022 Peter Delaportas, who is a four-star quarterback from Pope John XII in New Jersey. A team is only as good as who it has coming in next, and if Hafley can keep recruiting strongly, BC will be making a new name for themselves.

The worry shouldn’t be whether Hafley will elevate BC’s program, but rather if he’ll stick around after a few years of success, or take an offer in the NFL