NFL DC over Power 4 HC? Welcome to the state of college football.
Jeff Hafley is leaving a power conference head-coaching gig for an NFL DC job. At this rate, he probably won't be the last.
The last time the 49ers played the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, Jeff Hafley was San Francisco’s guest of honor. Then the newly minted Boston College head coach, Hafley was invited to join the Niners in South Florida for Super Bowl LIV, having coached their defensive backs from 2016-18.
Not the year before.
Two years before.
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They loved Hafley and Hafley loved them, even if he left in 2019 to run Ohio State’s defense, before becoming BC’s head coach in 2020. He was just 40 at the time, living out of a hotel near the Chestnut Hill campus but truly embracing the recruiting grind and energy that came with coaching at the college level in a metropolitan area.
He could have the best of both worlds. He even led the Eagles to a surprising winning record in Year 1, despite the restrictions of the eventual pandemic.
The more things stay the same (hello again, Niners-Chiefs), the more they change.
Four years — almost to the day — of that Super Bowl, Hafley is set to leave his head-coaching post at BC after four seasons and a 22-26 record, having gotten the Eagles bowl-eligible in all but one of those campaigns.
For a bigger college head-coaching job?
For an NFL job?
Just not an NFL head-coaching job.
The Green Bay Packers are set to hire Hafley as their defensive coordinator, a source told The Inside Zone, a stunning move on the surface if ever there were one.
All of the public and private gripes from college coaches about the sport’s calendar, its lack of leadership and the widening gap between the haves (Big Ten, SEC) and have-nots (everyone else) is appearing to rear its ugly head.
That this move is happening on Jan. 31 is in some ways a symptom of that.
BC is a hard-enough job on its own, a second-tier (at best) gig in an ACC whose finances are so far behind the sport’s two super-conferences that Florida State is suing the league to try to get out of it.
The Eagles have to find a new head coach in February.
And then, given the rules of this current climate, that new head coach has to assemble a staff while convincing the remaining talent from last year’s 7-6 team to not go elsewhere — something that will be appealing for those players given the relative certainty elsewhere and the penalty-free transfer options they will have across the next 30 days.
Welcome to College Football in 2024.
And we’re not even in February yet.