Steve Addazio has accepted the head coaching position at Boston College, Temple announced Tuesday night, ensuring the football team’s third coaching change in as many years.
Players, staff and administrators all said they were shocked by the news, as Addazio has maintained his commitment to Temple’s future all season.
“I don’t want to put forward this thing like Rome’s built in a day and next year we’ll be good to go. It’s a process,” Addazio said at a press conference on Nov. 28. “I just like where we’re headed. We’re going to get better and continue to grow.”
Addazio wasn’t available for comment following the announcement of his departure.
Addazio went 13-11 in two seasons at Temple. He went 9-4 in his first season in 2011, including the program’s first bowl win since 1979 in a 37-15 victory at the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.
“Steve Addazio has done a tremendous job with Temple football in his two years at the university, and we wish him nothing but the best,” Athletic Director Bill Bradshaw said in a press release.
Addazio will fill the hole at Boston College left by former coach Frank Spaziani, who was fired after the Eagles’ 2-10 finish this year, his fourth season with the team. Spaziani went 21-29 at Boston College.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, players received a message saying there would be a team meeting at 5 p.m. Players and staff met at the team meeting room at Edberg Olson Hall where Addazio informed the team of his departure personally. Players said Addazio was upfront and short with them, claiming the decision was what was best for his career and his family. There was little mingling between Addazio and players after the announcement, players said.
Shortly after 5 p.m., players were seen walking from the meeting on their phones or huddled in groups talking. Multiple players took to Twitter to express their feelings on the move.
Freshmen linebackers Tyler Matakevich and Rob Dvoracek Tweeted “wow” at 5:18 p.m. and 5:35 p.m., respectively. Junior defensive back Abdul Smith Tweeted “At the end of the day these coaches only look out 4 themselves. They sell you on a lie that only benefits them.”
Redshirt-junior quarterback Chris Coyer Tweeted “Well. Here we go again. 3 coaches in 5 years. Whatever just grinding that much harder to get where we wanna go next year”
“I was in shock, just like everybody else,” Matakevich said. “I had no idea he was going to leave.”
Addazio’s move ensures the current crop of seniors will play for three coaches during their time at Temple. Former coach Al Golden left the team after the 2010 season before Addazio was brought in.
“I’ve been around for a while. I understand it’s a business,” redshirt-senior offensive lineman Sean Boyle said. “Obviously there was confusion with the team, because no one saw this coming. But we’ve been through it before.”
Boyle said he’s confident the team will adapt to the change.
“Every guy that comes in has their own philosophy and playbook,” Boyle said. “But at the end of the day football is football. The players have to perform, not the coaches.”
A national search for Addazio’s replacement will begin immediately, the press release indicated.
Joey Cranney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @joey_cranney.