Boston College coach Jeff Hafley is expected to become the Green Bay Packers' new defensive coordinator, sources told ESPN.
Hafley went 22-26 in four seasons at Boston College, holding them to playing eligibility in three of his four years. Boston College finished 7-6 this year with a win over No. 22 SMU in the Fenway Bowl.
Hafley has resisted previous NFL coaching opportunities in the past. But his reasons for taking this coordinator job are rooted in both the overall state of college football and the opportunity to work for one of the NFL's most respected franchises.
“He wants to coach football again in a league that revolves around football,” a source told ESPN. “College coaching has become fundraising, nothing, recruiting your own team and transfers. There's no time to coach football anymore.
“A lot of the things he went back to college for are gone.”
Hafley becomes the third college coach to leave with his consent this year for a coordinator job. He follows Ken Womack from South Alabama and Morris the linguist from Buffalo. Both have earned coordinator jobs at Alabama, and the moves reflect the gap between the top schools pulling away from other schools in terms of resources. This is only amplified in this era where name, image and likeness deals are crucial to recruiting and roster retention.
The Packers' future has proven very attractive to Hafley, as they have a strong young core and a bright future. He is a longtime friend of Packers coach Matt LaFleur and a longtime fan of the Packers franchise.
He will replace Joe Barry and will be the third different defensive coordinator as LaFleur enters his sixth year as head coach of the franchise.
Although LaFleur and Hafley have never worked together directly, they have some mutual connections. Hafley was the Browns' defensive backs coach in 2014-15 under then-head coach Mike Pettine, who was LaFleur's first defensive coordinator in Green Bay (2019-20). Hafley also worked with 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, one of LaFleur's mentors. Hafley was the 49ers' defensive backs coach from 2016-18 before becoming co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State.
The rest of the Packers' defensive coaching staff is under contract for the 2024 season and none of them were let go when the Packers parted ways with Barry. So there's a good chance some of them – or all of them – will return to work under Hafley.
Hafley is a veteran NFL assistant coach who worked seven years in the NFL coaching various secondary positions before returning to college football as Ohio State's defensive coordinator in 2019.
Hafley became Boston College's head coach following the 2019 season, taking over the COVID-19 overtime season of 2020. He had one losing record in four years — 3-9 in 2022.
Boston College's three previous coaches had failed to win nine games, with the school's last nine-win season under Jeff Jagodzinski coming in 2008.
Hafley's time at Boston College included three of the best recruiting classes in BC history. In 2022, she led BC to its first win over an Associated Press ranked opponent since 2014 when BC beat No. 16 NC State. BC's win this year was the school's first since 2016.
Information from ESPN's Rob Demovsky was used in this report.
“Beer enthusiast. Subtly charming alcohol junkie. Wannabe internet buff. Typical pop culture lover.”