At one point on Saturday afternoon, following the loss to Wake Forest, three of the biggest Boston College sports blogs, ATL Eagle, BC Interruption, and Around the Res each featured headline posts exclaiming the same sentiment: Fire Spaz. The "hash tag" #FireSpaz was all over twitter and more than a few of my friends' facebook status were calling for Spaz's head. With a 1-4 start and heading into the difficult part of the schedule, it is hard to argue with this. The talent is in place on this team, but the coaching staff and the Head Coach are failing to get this team to reach its full potential.
I was a senior when Jeff Jagodzinski was fired as head coach of BC and Frank Spaziani was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach. I was skeptical of the hire, but was willing to give Spaz the benefit of the doubt. He had dedicated ten years of his life to coaching BC football, stayed on through two different staffs, led BC to a bowl win against Navy and came recommended by current (Mark Herzlich) and former (Matt Ryan) players at the time of his hire. When he entered his first year as the head coach there was buzz and a hope that Spaz could help get us to the next level, the threshold of which BC football had reached under Jagodzinski. But those hopes were, at least for this blogger, by disastrous losses against Virginia Tech (-26 first half yards) and Clemson, where Spaz, when asked about what he expected in the second half, famously quipped "It could get ugly."
That year, 2009, BC went 8-5. In 2010, BC went 7-6 with a five game losing streak in the middle of the season. Frank Spaziani has lost one more game each year since he took over as head coach and is now 1-4 through five games. Against FBS opponents he is 14-15 with the loss to Wake Forest putting him under .500. Since taking over, against teams that finished the season with a .500 record or better, Frank Spaziani is a paltry 1-10. In 2006, when Tom O'Brien left BC for NC State, Spaz was passed over for the head coaching job. As many have said, what made him anymore qualified in 2009 than in 2006. The fact is Gene DeFilippo felt jilted by Jeff Jagodzinski and hired Spaz because he was the safe hire and he knew he would finish his coaching career at BC. Spaz was not hired because of his coaching abilities or because he could motivate players to win, Spaz was hired for his loyalty. There is nothing wrong with hiring for loyalty, but there is something wrong when that is the only attribute that qualifies them.
When Spaz was first hired, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Since then I have found myself further and further pushed into the anti- Spaz camp. At the beginning of this season I was firmly entrenched in the belief that BC would never again reach its full potential or compete in the ACC until Spaz was gone as head coach. I wanted and hoped to be proven wrong about that, but Spaz has consistently shown over his years as head coach that he is patently unable to win football games. His attitude is consistently defeatist, he exudes the opinion that "we are what we are," that is, that BC cannot compete against the upper tier teams, and constantly deflects the blame for losses from himself to, most often, the players. What kind of coach does that?
Spaz has already lost the support of many alumni. He is losing the support of the students. Rumors suggest that he is losing the support of the players. If BC hopes to return to the days not just of Jagodzinski, but even of Tom O'Brien, a change needs to be made at the top of the program. Frank Spaziani has done much for this football program and for that I will always be grateful as a BC fan. But this football program is reaching lows not seen in 25 years and if BC wants to remain relevant and wants to break through to the next level, then Frank Spaziani needs to be removed.