Boston College Names Jeff Hafley Head Football Coach

Boston College Names Jeff Hafley Head Football Coach

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – William V. Campbell Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond has announced the hiring of Jeff Hafley as The Gregory P. Barber ’69 and Family Head Coach of the Boston College football program. Hafley, the current co-defensive coordinator for No. 2 Ohio State, will be introduced to the media on Monday, Dec. 16 at 9 a.m. inside the Barber Room on the second floor of the Yawkey Athletics Center.

ACC Network will carry the press conference live on the Packer and Durham Show Monday at 9 a.m. The press conference will also be streamed live via @BCFootball on Twitter and on Boston College Athletics Facebook page.

Hafley becomes the 36th head coach in Boston College history.

“Jeff Hafley was someone we targeted from the outset and we could not be happier to welcome Jeff, Gina, Hope and Leah to Boston College,” said Jarmond. “Jeff’s shown throughout his coaching career he is a tremendous leader with high integrity and a gift for teaching. His passion, leadership and ability to recruit and develop student-athletes make him the right fit to lead Boston College to greater heights on and off the field.”

Hafley has led a dramatic turnaround in leading the defense for Ohio State this season as the Buckeyes won the Big Ten championship and will face No. 3 Clemson in the College Football Playoff.

A finalist for the Frank Broyles Award and the 247Sports Defensive Coordinator of the Year, Hafley has been one of the architects of a Buckeye defense that ranks first nationally in yards per play (3.9), second nationally in total defense (247.6 yards per game), third nationally in scoring defense (12.5 points per game), third nationally in sacks (3.92 per game), seventh nationally in rushing defense (99.5 yards per game), second nationally in passing yards allowed (148.1 yards per game) and first nationally in red zone defense (64.2%).

Hafley’s first season in Columbus saw Ohio State jump from 72nd nationally in 2018 to first nationally in 2019 in yards per play. Ohio State has not allowed more than 27 points in a game this season.

A standout defensive backs coach throughout his career in the NFL and collegiate ranks, Hafley’s work as the defensive backs coach at Ohio State has led to impressive results. The Buckeyes totaled 15 interceptions in 2019, tied for ninth nationally, while allowing just 25 pass plays of 20+ yards.

Before arriving at Ohio State, Hafley spent the previous seven seasons in the NFL and most recently three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers as defensive backs coach.

Prior to his time with San Francisco, Hafley was the secondary coach for two seasons in Cleveland, the secondary/safeties coach with Tampa Bay in 2013 and a defensive backs assistant with the Buccaneers in 2012.

Hafley, who will coach his 20th season in 2020, has extensive ties as an elite recruiter during his coaching stops at Pittsburgh and Rutgers. A native of Montvale, N.J., Hafley played four seasons as a wide receiver at Siena College from 1997-2000, graduating cum laude in 2001 with a degree in history.

He earned his master’s degree from Albany in 2003.

His coaching career includes 11 seasons in collegiate football before a move to the NFL in 2012, and then seven subsequent seasons there. After starting his career working as running backs coach for one season (2001) at Worcester (Mass.) Polytechnic University, Hafley moved on to the University of Albany for four seasons as defensive assistant and defensive backs coach (2002-05).

He then coached at the University of Pittsburgh for five seasons (2006-10) where he worked under the direction of Dave Wannstedt and helped mentor Darrelle Revis into a Jim Thorpe Award finalist in 2006.

Hafley was a defensive assistant/cornerbacks coach in 2006-07 and was secondary coach from 2008-10.

One season as the defensive backs coach at Rutgers, working under Greg Schiano, followed his positions at Pittsburgh. The Scarlet Knights ranked ninth nationally in passing defense in his one season there, 2011. Hafley helped develop future NFL standout defensive backs Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan during his time in Piscataway.

Hafley moved on to the NFL following his year at Rutgers and coached two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, serving as an assistant defensive backs coach in 2012 and secondary/safeties coach in 2013.

Two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, under coach Mike Pettine, followed. In 2014, his second season with the Browns, the team led the NFL in opponent passer rating (74.1), opponent completion percentage (57.1) and in passes defensed with 99, plus ranked second in the league with 21 interceptions.

Three seasons as defensive backs coach with the San Francisco 49ers – 2016, 2017 and 2018 – preceded Hafley’s position with the Buckeyes. He worked under Chip Kelly in 2016 and under Kyle Shanahan the past two seasons. In 2018, the 49ers ranked 11th in the league in passing defense. They were 14th in 2016 after ranking 27th in 2015, the year before Hafley arrived.

Hafley and his wife, Gina, have two daughters, Hope and Leah.

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