January 07, 2009

BC coach fired for Jets' interview: The coach of Boston College reportedly has been fired because he interviewed for the New York Jets' head coaching position.

It is because the school wants a coach long-term, or that he's not that good if the Jets interviewed him?

posted by jjzucal to football at 03:40 PM - 15 comments

The Jets curse strikes again.

posted by cjets at 04:02 PM on January 07

Early reports I read indicated that school would be on hood for last three years of contract. Anyone know if BC is going to try to fight it? You would think if they want someone long-term that they would put some buyout clause in his contract for leaving early.

posted by graymatters at 04:53 PM on January 07

I think it would be hard for them to recoup money, simply because they were the ones that fired him, not the other way around. There's a difference between interviewing for a job and actually taking it...he hadn't quit at BC yet.

posted by TheQatarian at 04:56 PM on January 07

While I obviously do not have inside information on his contract, given that he violated a direct order makes it more like he resigned rather than was terminated.

Hard to believe that any long-term contract would not have provisions for leaving early built into them, so I have to believe that there was language in his contract covering this. If there were no stipulations against interviewing for other jobs, and Jagodzinski was truly fired just for looking, they BC might be on the hook for some money.

I'm sure more details will be coming.

posted by dviking at 05:13 PM on January 07

I don't blame BC,or any other team.It's all about the almighty dollar and the lure of becoming an NFL Head Coach.Going to the NFL doesn't guarantee your going to last.Just look what happened to Crennel of the Browns and the other head coaches who got fired this year.And they had NFL backgrounds!Should of stayed at BC where he had job security.

posted by Ghastly1 at 05:50 PM on January 07

BC is on the hook for the money; there is nothing in Jagodzinski's in contract saying that he can't interview anywhere else. Therefore, he was fired without cause, which leaves BC having to pay for the last three years of his contract. That's what I understood from a report this evening.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:55 PM on January 07

Jagodzinski's mistake in the whole thing was to make his move before paying the AD the courtesy of telling him what was going on. In any career, it's never a good idea to surprise your boss with anything other than a party on his birthday.

BC's problem is that they have a somewhat exaggerated opinion of their place in NCAA football. They have a consistently good program that plays a somewhat weak schedule (ACC plus a local 1AA team or 2, plus Notre Dame). They are not a perennial BCS championship contender, although a top 25 ranking is usually attainable. It is not the place where a top flight coach who is looking for better things is likely to want to spend significant time. Hiring a coach with NFL credentials is a mistake for BC, because as soon as he sees an NFL job he might like, he will try for it. Thus, BC would do better to better define itself as a very good university with a decent football program. Their best fit would be to hire a coach who has had a good measure of success in a Division 1AA or Division 2 program. This sort of coach will be looking to enhance his reputation, and since this would take repeated success over a long term, he would not be likely to be in any hurry to move on.

Does BC owe Jagodzinski any money? It sounds to me like they will agree on some sort of settlement. Otherwise, it winds up in the hands of the lawyers, and since an awful lot of members of the Massachusetts Bar and Bay State judges are BC graduates, Jagodzinski might not have a chance.

posted by Howard_T at 06:03 PM on January 07

BC's problem is that they have a somewhat exaggerated opinion of their place in NCAA football.

No, I think they know exactly what their place in NCAA football is (and you've done a fine job summing it up), but they want to change that perception. Now they're putting their money where their mouth is. They believe that to make that jump, they need a top flight head coach (although this doesn't necessarily have to be a current big name) who looks at BC as a destination rather than a stepping stone. It's going to cost them with Jagodzinski, but if they can attract that coach, then they may accomplish their goal.

posted by bender at 01:05 AM on January 08

Too bad Jags didn't get to go for a third year at BC. Then he would be playing more of his own recruits and we could get a better sense of what kind of head guy he really is. I still think he was a good hire even though the situation has unraveled.

The winner of the Jags/BC game show: Matt Ryan, who was apparently well prepped for a pro career in Jags' first year at BC.

Sooner or later the people that guide and advise top coaching prospects ought to help their clients decide whether they are best suited for college or the pros and dedicate themselves to coaching in one or the other environment.

The jumping back and forth between college and the pros that we have seen a lot of in the last few years has been for the most part ill-advised. Jags actually did much better than most of the others. He had success in both worlds. Looks like he would prefer to be in the pros, though.

Those rascals Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer winning Super Bowl rings with the Cowboys put stars in a lot of pairs of eyes where they didn't belong.

posted by beaverboard at 08:50 AM on January 08

While I obviously do not have inside information on his contract, given that he violated a direct order makes it more like he resigned rather than was terminated

In a way, that's pretty much what he did although he did not violate any rules. Jeff Jagodzinski didn't seem as if he wanted to continue his coaching career with BC and with the way things transpired, why would he want to go back there anyways. He'll find a job somewhere in the NFL and he'll still be getting paid from BC so I have no reason to feel sorry for the man.

posted by BornIcon at 09:14 AM on January 08

bender, the only problem I have with your idea of BC wanting to change the perception of their football program is this funny idea they have of wanting their student-athletes to be exactly that. Students first, athletes second is their commendable way of doing things. BC has one of the highest graduation rates of athletes of all BCS universities. Their admissions requirements are stringent. It is very difficult for a coach to sell a program like that to highly skilled recruits. The best approach for a school like BC is to tell your recruits that they will get a first-class education, if they put in the necessary effort, and be part of a very good, but not great, football program that produces a few professional prospects each year. For any kid with decent high school grades and a set of parents who have their feet firmly on the ground, this should be enough.

posted by Howard_T at 10:54 AM on January 08

since an awful lot of members of the Massachusetts Bar and Bay State judges are BC graduates, Jagodzinski might not have a chance.

I'm guessing that this was significantly tongue-in-cheek. You don't really think that where people went to school has an impact on Massachusetts contract law, right?

To me, it sounds a little bit counterproductive. "We're looking for stability in our program, so we're going to fire you two years into a five year deal." I understand that there is a protocol involved in telling your employer when you are testing the waters, but to fire someone for wanting to experience an interview is way out of line. Whether or not he straight up told them he was interviewing, they seemed to know somehow that he was going to. The story said he was warned not to do it. I'm not an expert on employment law, but I'm pretty sure that no employer can preempt you from looking at another job. Sure, they can sue you for breach if you leave early, but not for thinking about it.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:51 PM on January 08

This just looks vindictive. If I'm a top head coach candidate, do I want to go somewhere where I'll be fired for seeking to advance my career? It's like a minor league team getting upset because a player wants to go to the majors.

Besides, the best bosses are always happy when an employee does well and moves on. The athletic director made himself look like a real dickhead with this power play.

posted by dusted at 12:59 PM on January 08

since an awful lot of members of the Massachusetts Bar and Bay State judges are BC graduates, Jagodzinski might not have a chance.

It was indeed tongue-in-cheek, but if you grew up with Massachusetts politics and the court system of the Commonwealth, you would understand that it is only partially so. The "old boy" network is very much in play.

posted by Howard_T at 02:01 PM on January 08

I suspect this will be handled through some sort of buyout paid by the university for the last three years of the deal, at a discount compared to what would have been paid in the aggregate over the remainder of the contract. The university gets the advantage of a smaller payment and a clean break of the relationship, while the coach gets the certainty of a one-time payment (rather than relying on the university to make periodic payments over time) and freedom to seek other employment without worrying about the university withholding payments based on his income from a new job. And both parties get to go their separate ways without the specter of litigation hanging over their respective heads.

posted by holden at 02:06 PM on January 08

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