The hits just keep on coming in the college football world. The day after the regular season has ended for a majority of teams around the country, several athletic departments have ended months of speculation in letting their head coaches go by the wayside.
The decision-makers at Boston College have joined that number, sending Frank Spaziani on his way four years into his tenure at the helm of the program.
Whereas a few schools are letting go of men that have won games in the past — Auburn’s Gene Chizik, for example, won the BCS National Championship in 2010 before getting canned on Sunday — Spaziani’s program limped to a 2-10 record in 2012 and progressively got worse in each successive season.
“A personnel decision of this magnitude affects many people and is never taken lightly, but I felt a change was necessary,” BC athletic director Brad Bates said in a statement. “It is with gratitude that we recognize the many contributions Coach Spaziani has made to Boston College during his 16 years in Chestnut Hill,” Bates said in the statement.
“He displayed unwavering dedication and loyalty to our institution and our football student-athletes, while consistently representing Boston College with class and dignity. He and his staff have devoted countless hours to our student-athletes and the BC community. We thank them and wish them well.”
After spending his first two seasons as the running backs coach, Spaziani spent 10 years as the Eagles’ defensive coordinator before taking the reins and heading up the program.
However, despite his lengthy tenure at various positions within the program, a 22-29 overall record, and again, that ghastly 2-10 mark this year forced Bates’ hand.
Interestingly, although Spaziani was plunked into a difficult position when he initially took the job, his squad showed signs of life early in his tenure. Former athletic director Gene DeFiliippo fired then-head coach Jeff Jagodzinski simply for interviewing for an NFL job (you’ll notice neither have done anything in the last few years) and when Spaziani stepped in many of the players recruited under Jagodzinski left campus.
In fact, Spaziani had no quarterback with any starting experience, but still managed to net eight wins in his first season and seven in his second.
He helped to extend Boston College’s streak of making a bowl game to 12-straight years.
However, once his own recruits started trickling into the system and his players started to gain experience, the wins began disappearing, and the consecutive years appearing in a bowl game disappeared altogether.
It doesn’t help when one of the few extremely talented players you have actually managed to recruit, BC’s all-time leading rusher, Montel Harris, is kicked off the team following an unspecified violation of team rules. Harris transferred to nearby Temple and put up 12 rushing touchdowns on the year.
When asked how he felt to be handed his pink slip, Spaziani was understandably devastated. Sixteen years in one place.
“Obviously this is a sad day for my family and me,” Spaziani said in a statement released later Sunday. “Boston College has been my home for more than 16 years, and I have been fortunate to work with some amazing student-athletes. I will always treasure my relationships with them and the BC staff. Boston College is a tremendous place, and I am extremely thankful for my time there. I wish the current and future Eagles nothing but the best.”
Sixteen years after Spaziani stepped foot on the Boston College campus, an offseason full of film sessions, two-a-days, hours in the weight room and all sorts of scrimmages and recruiting trips will take places without his stamp of the process. While he heads home to update his resume, the coaching search begins at Boston College immediately.
Quotes from ESPN were used in this report
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