Sources: BC set to fire coach

Updated: January 7, 2009, 4:14 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski did indeed interview with the New York Jets and he therefore will not be retained by the school, two people close to the situation told ESPN's Joe Schad on Tuesday.

Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo, who told Jagodzinski he would be fired if he interviewed, had not spoken with the coach as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, but he was hoping to meet with Jagodzinski face-to-face Wednesday.

"It's just a matter of putting two and two together," Chris Cameron, BC's associate director for media relations, said Tuesday night. "He was told by Gene on Saturday that if he went on the interview he'd be fired."

On Wednesday, Cameron sent out a statement that read: "The BC Media Relations Office will issue a media advisory if/when a press conference is planned to address the football situation ... Meanwhile, there is nothing new to report."

The school scheduled a news conference for 3 p.m. Wednesday.

ACC blog

Boston College will need to seriously regroup after Jeff Jagodzinski put the program in flux, writes ESPN.com's Heather Dinich. Blog

ESPN reporter Wendi Nix reported that defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani likely will be named the interim head coach at some point, but not at Wednesday's news conference. Spaziani has been a Boston College assistant for 12 years, the past 10 as defensive coordinator.

DeFilippo, sources say, believed that Jagodzinski was "disloyal" by not speaking with him before scheduling the Jets interview. One source said on Tuesday that Jagodzinski's decision to follow through on the interview made his fate "a done deal."

DeFilippo said late Tuesday afternoon that he called Jagodzinski in the morning and was waiting for a return phone call. At that time, he didn't know if Jagodzinski already had met with the Jets, who are seeking a replacement for Eric Mangini.

"Haven't heard a word,'' DeFilippo said, according to the Boston Globe.

Sitting in his office late Tuesday afternoon, a relaxed DeFilippo told The Associated Press he last spoke to Jagodzinski on Sunday.

"Sometimes two people who really, really like each other can disagree on an issue. That's OK. Nothing wrong with that," DeFilippo said. "I really like Jags a lot and I've enjoyed working with him here for two years and he did a wonderful job here.

"So we're going to sit down, hopefully, and talk and we'll see where we come out."

The Jets declined comment Tuesday through a team spokesman, neither confirming nor denying that Jagodzinski was interviewing for the coaching vacancy.

Sources told the Globe that Jagodzinski has made multiple inquiries into returning to the NFL, where he was a coach for eight seasons before taking over the head-coaching job at BC. The newspaper reported that Jagodzinski has put out feelers for offensive coordinator positions as well as head-coaching spots.

The Globe also reported that Jagodzinski had told members of his staff that he would give them an update sometime on Tuesday. But nobody had publicly acknowledged speaking to the coach.

A source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN's Kelly Naqi that DeFilippo had no idea that Jagodzinski had an interview scheduled with the Jets. The AD found out when a reporter called him on Saturday morning to get his comment on it. DeFilippo immediately called Jagodzinski and asked if it were true, according to the source, and the coach confirmed it.

"The surprise factor definitely played a big role in this situation," the source said.

DeFilippo told Jagodzinski to meet with him in person that afternoon and -- with another representative from BC present -- told Jagodzinski that he'd be fired if he went through with the interview. The source said Jagodzinski made it abundantly clear at that meeting that he was going to go through with the interview, so it was just a matter of time before his termination would become official.

The source said BC was unaware if Jagodzinski had been inquiring about other job openings in the NFL.

Jagodzinski has not responded to ESPN's requests for comment.

Meanwhile, the Jets' search continues. Owner Woody Johnson formally met with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer on Tuesday, a person familiar with the search told The Associated Press.

Johnson was out of the country last Friday when general manager Mike Tannenbaum began the first round of interviews with Schottenheimer and assistant head coach/offensive line coach Bill Callahan.

Callahan will sit down with Johnson on Wednesday, according to the person, who requested anonymity because the individual wasn't authorized to discuss the search to replace Mangini.

Johnson and Tannenbaum will fly to Arizona on Thursday to interview Cardinals offensive line coach Russ Grimm. The former four-time Pro Bowl guard with Washington is in his second season with the Cardinals, who play at Carolina in the NFC divisional playoffs Saturday.

The Jets had no other interviews scheduled as of early Tuesday night.

The Jets will interview Indianapolis defensive coordinator Ron Meeks on Friday at the team's practice facility in Florham Park, N.J.

Meeks, 54, has been in charge of the Colts' defense for the past seven seasons and was a candidate for the Washington job last offseason that went to Jim Zorn. He's the first minority candidate to speak with New York, putting the Jets in compliance with the NFL's Rooney Rule.

New York met on Saturday with Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who has also interviewed for the vacancies in Cleveland and Detroit. The Jets have also received permission to speak with Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, but haven't set a date for an interview. The Ravens play at Tennessee in the AFC divisional playoffs Saturday.

Jagodzinski, 45, led the Eagles to the Atlantic Coast Conference title game in his two seasons, losing both times to Virginia Tech.

BC finished this season with a 9-5 record after a 16-14 loss to Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 31, ending an eight-game bowl winning streak for the Eagles. They were 11-3 in Jagodzinski's first season.

Jagodzinski spent two years as BC's offensive coordinator, starting in 1997 when Matt Hasselbeck was the quarterback. Hasselbeck is now with Seattle, which must put together a staff under new coach Jim Mora.

Jagodzinski was an assistant under Mora in Atlanta and has experience as an NFL offensive coordinator with Green Bay in 2006.

Joe Schad covers college football for ESPN. Information from ESPN reporters Kelly Naqi and Wendi Nix, and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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