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BC will fire Jagodzinski

Posted by Mark Blaudschun, Globe Staff  January 7, 2009 01:03 PM

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Jeff Jagodzinski will be fired as the Boston College football coach today in a meeting with athletic director Gene DeFillippo, according to sources close to the program.

After meeting with the New York Jets yesterday in New Jersey regarding their opening for a head coach, Jagodzinski called DeFilippo last night, setting up a face-to-face meeting this morning. They will finalize the details of his termination in the meeting. Jagodzinski has three years remaining on the contract.

A press conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Yawkey Athletics Center.

BC officials are expected to move swiftly to replace Jagodzinski, who won 20 games in two seasons as the program's head coach. Defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani is the leading candidate to replace Jagodzinski, although athletic department officials will also conduct a search outside the program for possible candidates.

Although there is nothing in Jagodzinski's five-year contract that bars him from talking to NFL teams, DeFilippo had made it clear when he hired Jagodzinski two years ago that he wanted a coach for the long term, not someone who would use the job as a steppingstone to an NFL job.

Winning two Atlantic Coast Conference Atlantic Division titles boosted Jagodzinski's stature as well as BC's. But the picture was not perfect, and when the Eagles ended this season with back-to-back losses in the ACC Championship game to Virginia Tech and in the Music City Bowl to Vanderbilt, Jagodzinski apparently decided this would be the right time to test the NFL waters while he was still linked more to the pros than to college football.

According to an NFL source, Jagodzinski made inquiries among his NFL contacts and set up the interview with the Jets, who had just fired Eric Mangini, and sought advice from NFL people familiar with the interview process. Jagodzinski then made plans to meet with the Jets, but without telling DeFilippo, who found out about it Saturday, which caused a major rift.

DeFilippo told Jagodzinski that if he talked to the Jets, he almost certainly would not have a job at BC when he came back. Jagodzinski regarded that as an ultimatum and told his staff Sunday that he would be gone for a few days, that he had to make a major decision, and he would get back to them Tuesday.

DeFilippo waited to hear from his coach, wondering whether he had indeed talked to the Jets and forced the issue. Late yesterday afternoon, DeFilippo learned through published reports that Jagodzinski had indeed had his interview. DeFilippo made it clear that while he still liked Jagodzinski, his trust in him had been diminished.

According to sources familiar with the situation, Jagodzinski would consider an offensive coordinator's job in the NFL. One possible landing spot is Seattle, where new coach Jim Mora Jr. is looking for an offensive coordinator. Mora and Jagodzinski have a connection from their days with the Atlanta Falcons; Mora hired Jagodzinski for his Falcons staff in 2004.

Sources in Seattle say the Seahawks have interest in Jagodzinski.

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