Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Steve Addazio must be very persuasive

So ... Boston College. Given the EHRMAGERD BIELERMER/Gus Malzahn/various other coaching-search stuff of the last couple days, B.C.'s hiring of Steve Addazio got about the same level of attention nationally as it probably got in Boston, which is to say almost none. But it happened and therefore warrants some consideration.

The AP hiring story:
Boston College hired Steve Addazio away from Temple on Tuesday to be the Eagles' next coach.

Addazio, a Connecticut native, went 13-11 in two seasons with the Owls since taking over for Al Golden in Philadelphia. Temple is coming off a 4-7 season. In his first season with the Owls, Addazio went 9-4 and won the New Mexico Bowl.
For some reason or another, Addazio has moved up from Florida O-coordinator to Temple head coach to Boston College head coach over the last four years despite mostly unimpressive and trending-in-the-wrong-direction results at every stop. His first year at Florida was Tim Tebow's pretty awesome senior year, but his second year was a terrible, cruel joke played on EDSBS that ended with Florida at 7-5 (the offense scored 14 or fewer points in four of the five losses) and the offense ranked 44th in rushing yards, 88th in passing yards, 94th in pass efficiency, 82nd in total yards and 43rd in scoring.

Addazio then backed his way into the job at Temple, which Al Golden had left in amazingly good shape after 8-4 and 9-4 seasons. The 2011 season was comparable to the previous two except with a significantly improved running game, but this season wasn't; Temple went to the Big East (which wasn't a whole lot better than the MAC this year), went 4-7 and cratered defensively, with every FBS team other than UConn and Penn State (?) putting up at least 28 points.

And with that, Addazio is running an ACC program that was consistently above average until about four years ago. A quote from athletic director Bill Bates:
“He knew us incredibly well,” Bates said. “He had done his homework. He studied us. It was obvious he was incredibly interested in this job. He is one of the most energized, passionate people I’ve ever been around. His enthusiasm is contagious.”
So he's excited.
“This is my dream job,” the 53-year-old Addazio said. “In my coaching life I’ve been at a lot of great places, and everywhere I’ve been, all the friends that know me and the people I’ve worked with knew that I wanted to one day be here at Boston College. I want to be here and finish my career here."
Yes. Excited. And considering what Boston College is at this point, that's probably not typical. Here's an excerpt from a Boston Globe column I referenced a couple weeks ago:
Boston College, the only Division 1 program in Greater Boston, fired its football coach on Sunday. After four disappointing seasons, bottoming out with this year’s 2-10 bomb, Frank Spaziani was relieved of his duties by new athletic director Brad Bates.

And nobody cares. BC firing its football coach is no different than the New England Revolution sacking their head coach. It’s a scrawny birch tree toppling in a forest of mighty oaks. It doesn’t matter. That is the state of college sports in our region.
All of that's true, in part because Frank Spaziani doused the program in gasoline and then lit it on fire (6-18 over the last two years BOOM) and in part because Boston is a place where there are a hundred billion other things to do, most of them better than watching crappy ACC football. That said, winning at B.C. isn't that hard; the three previous coaches were Tom Coughlin, Tom O'Brien and Jeff Jagodzinski, all of whom had sustained success, went to bowl games regularly, etc. Of course, those guys all left voluntarily, which is somewhat indicative of B.C.'s status as a meh program with some inherent financial/academic/infrastructural disadvantages that eliminated the really good candidates before the search even started.

Oddly enough, ESPN reported this on Tuesday:
Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, Ball State coach Pete Lembo and New Orleans Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer are finalists for the Boston College job, sources told ESPN's Brett McMurphy. 
Ummm ... wha? To be fair, the story didn't explicitly state that those were the only finalists but came across that way, which lol no. But assuming that those three all were under consideration at some point late in the process, I'd have been infinitely more impressed if B.C. had hired Diaco (SOMEBODY HIRE THIS MAN), who might end up being somebody's modern-day Barry Alvarez, instead of the guy who wasn't a very good coordinator, had all of two uninspiring years as a head coach on his resume and probably got the job in large part because he really wanted it. Granted, Addazio's not necessarily a bad coach just because he was a bad coordinator, but there's little to indicate that he's a good coach, and that's what Boston College needs at this point.

I wrote this at the time of Spaziani's totally unexpected firing:
Really, just about any of the (obvious candidates) would be an upgrade over Spaziani by default. That's the good news for Brad Bates.

The bad news: There's a big difference between finding an upgrade who can get B.C. to .500-ish and an occasional bowl game and finding a good coach who can make B.C. relevant again in the ACC. He needs to do the latter, stat, because three or four more years of whatever that was would be bad in a lot of obvious ways.
Addazio's an upgrade of some sort; I don't expect three or four more years of whatever that was. I also don't expect B.C. to be relevant again in the ACC, though, and if .500-ish and an occasional bowl game are the norm (the best-case scenario under Addazio, IMO), I have to imagine that will be, like, kind of a disappointment. It will just be a VERY EXCITING WOO disappointment that should definitely be documented via Twitter by King of Exclamation Points Tim Brewster.


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