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Hafley Surpassed All Expectations in Year One

We have officially reached the end of Jeff Hafley’s first season as the head coach of Boston College football. 

The team finished with an overall record of 6-5 while being 5-5 in the ACC conference this season. 

Three of these losses came against national powerhouses in the likes of Notre Dame, Clemson, and UNC. The blowout loss to Virginia Tech is one of those games you just have to move on from. 

The final game of the season, the loss to Virginia, was an interesting game in and of itself. The Eagles were without top-QB Phil Jurkovec and starting RB David Bailey. However, QB Dennis Grosel threw for 520 yards which tied the single-game record held by none other than Doug Flutie. The defense was lackluster and it was hard for the offense to keep up with Virginia’s high-scoring when recording negative seven yards rushing in a game. 

The Clemson game provided a glimpse as to what this team is capable of in the future. The Tigers were the No. 1 ranked team in the country at the time, and have star-studded, future NFL players up and down the roster. BC held a 28-13 lead at halftime and showed what they are capable of as a team. The sheer talent and experience of Clemson sadly showed up in the second half, as they exploded for 21 unanswered points and survived the upset. 

Hafley, who most recently coached at Ohio State, had to deal with a huge change in the level of talent present on his team. Boston College has some great players (Zay Flowers, Phil Jurkovec, Isaiah McDuffie, Alec Lindstrom, etc.), but not in comparison to places like Ohio State, and quite a few other ACC teams for that matter.

Nonetheless, Hafley came in and rejuvenated a program and a team that had been so stagnant in the last few seasons of the Steve Addazio era. 

BC was predicted to finish near the bottom of the ACC this season, but Hafley and his staff surpassed many of the expectations that were placed on them this season. 

As soon as Hafley arrived on campus in December, you could feel the energy that he brought with him. His own personal Twitter account is active as he recruits players and announces their commitments on his page. He even made a few appearances at BC hockey games in January and made his famous “#GetIn'' speech that truly got everyone on campus excited for BC football again.

It was unfortunate that fans were not able to pack Alumni Stadium for Hafley’s first season to show how much the community is behind him in support. The first day fans are allowed back in the stadium on a game day, the place will be rocking. 

The culture that Hafley has instilled in this program, from how the players conduct themselves on and off the field is something special. Especially with the COVID situation, the team not having a single player test positive since June is an incredible feat.

Earlier this week, it was announced that BC will forgo a potential bowl game this season. Later, it was known that the decision stemmed directly from the players, and that Hafley and his staff were in complete support of their decision. 

In a press conference, Hafley said that the mental and physical well-being of his players is of the utmost importance to him and his staff, and considering that his players have been on campus away from their families since June, he supports their decision to take time off for the holidays. 

We already can’t wait for the continuation of the Hafley era here on campus, as BC is bringing in one of its strongest classes in a few years. BC football excitement has returned to The Heights, and we wish Hafley and his staff the best of luck heading into year two.

Be sure to follow @BCGavelSports for all of the latest updates on Boston College Athletics.

Phoenix born and raised. Lover of politics, coffee, and a panini presser from Eagles Nest. Bubble Suns are the best team in NBA history.