BC fires Jagodzinski – ridiculous or breath of fresh air?

Jeff JagodzinskiBoston College A.D. Gene DiFilippo warned head coach Jeff Jagodzinski that if he interviewed for the New York Jets’ head coaching vacancy, he would be fired. Jagodzinski did interview with the Jets and DiFilippo went through with his word, firing his head coach after only two seasons.

There seems to be two schools of thought on this situation. On one hand, it’s pretty ridiculous to fire someone trying to advance his career. Every man has the right to move up the corporate latter and in the cases of college head coaches, they have to interview for NFL positions when they become open.

On the flip side, this is exactly the wake up message that college coaches need to adhere to. Athletic directors have a hard enough time trying to build a consistent winner without worrying about whether or not their coach is going to fly the coup on them after just one or two years.

Jagodzinski did a hell of a job in his two years at BC. In his first season, the Eagles went 11-3, won the ACC Atlantic Division Championship and finished No. 10 in the polls after beating Michigan State in the Champs Sports Bowl. Not much was expected of the program this year after they lost Matt Ryan to the NFL, but Jags led a young Eagle team to a 9-5 record, another first place finish in their division and an appearance in the Music City Bowl (a 16-14 loss to Vanderbilt).

Considering he went 20-8 with a 1-1 bowl record and won two ACC Atlantic Division Championships, maybe Jags didn’t deserve to be fired for trying to further his career in the NFL. Maybe he deserved more respect and DiFilippo should have been more courteous to the man who got BC’s program back off the ground again.

But the problem is that when he was hired two years ago, he gave DiFilippo his word that he would stick around at least three seasons. He went back on his word like so many college football coaches normally do, and DiFilippo went through with his. Whether the situation was fair or not, DiFilippo sent a message to head coaches that maybe more A.D.’s should try and follow: try to leave this program after not fulfilling your commitment to it and you’ll be let go.

Jagodzinski will wind up somewhere. If he doesn’t land another position in the NFL (he used to work as an assistant coach for the Packers and Falcons), he’ll certainly take another college football head coaching position somewhere. And it’s sad that such a fine young coach had to be made an example of, but for those who think DiFilippo was in the wrong, try and look at the situation from his perspective. Maybe this was just the first step in ending the way Nick Saban, Bobby Petrino and all the other egotistical college coaches think they can go about things.

Related side note: Defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani is the leading candidate to replace Jagodzinski, but keep an eye on Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly. Kelly is from the Massachusetts area and rumor has it that BC is his dream job. Of course, Kelly was the one that left Central Michigan before his contract was up for the Cincinnati job, so maybe he’s the last guy DiFilippo wants to work considering the situation he just went through with Jagodzinski.

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