Nov 11, 2023; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Boston College Eagles head coach Jeff Hafley acknowledges the fans during the first half against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Packers hire Boston College’s Jeff Hafley as defensive coordinator

The Green Bay Packers hired Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley as defensive coordinator on Wednesday.

Hafley, 44, was a defensive backs coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012-13), Cleveland Browns (2014-15) and San Francisco 49ers (2016-18) before his second stint in the college ranks.

“We are excited to welcome Jeff, his wife, Gina, and their daughters, Hope and Leah, to the Packers and the Green Bay community,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said in a statement. “Jeff has had success at every stop of his coaching career with an impressive track record of developing players at every level. We look forward to him leading our defense.”

Hafley was co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Ohio State in 2019, when the Buckeyes had one of the top defenses in the nation in several statistical categories. He was a finalist for the Frank Broyles Award as the top assistant football coach in NCAA Division I.

Hafley was 22-26 in four seasons at Boston College, going 7-6 in 2023, including a win over No. 22 SMU in the Fenway Bowl.

“I loved my four years at Boston College,” Hafley said in a statement released by Boston College. “This is an exceptional place to coach given the caliber of student-athletes we recruit, the facilities, and the support from the University and BC fans. I will miss the players who gave so much of themselves these past four years, and my wife Gina and I will certainly miss the BC community and the many friends we have made here.”

Hafley coached at the college level from 2001-11 before his NFL coaching experience.

In replacing the fired Joe Barry, Hafley becomes the third different defensive coordinator as LaFleur enters his sixth season as Packers head coach.

–Field Level Media

Jul 22, 2021; Charlotte, NC, USA;  Boston College Eagles  coach Jeff Hafley speaks to the media during the ACC Kickoff at The Westin Charlotte. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College helped player transfer after he declined vax

The entire Boston College Eagles football team is vaccinated against COVID-19, coach Jeff Hafley said, in accordance with a school policy requiring inoculation.

One player who was set to return to the Eagles this season refused the vaccine and Hafley’s response was to help that player find a new program and transfer.

“I never gave my opinion about it,” Hafley said Thursday during ACC media day. “I just said, ‘This is the school rule. If you don’t want to get it, I’ll support you.’ We had one player who didn’t want to get it, and we helped find him a new home.”

Hafley kept that ex-Eagles player anonymous.

ACC commissioner Jim Phillips said this week that more than half of the league’s 14 full-time programs have already reached the suggested 85 percent mark for player vaccinations.

That 14 didn’t count Notre Dame, a part-time member for football. But like Boston College, Notre Dame is mandating that all its students be vaccinated in order to return to campus.

Hafley’s first season as Boston College’s head coach coincided with the pandemic-disrupted 2020 season. Before taking the job, Hafley was Ohio State’s secondary coach and co-defensive coordinator in 2019 and held a number of other NFL and collegiate assistant roles.

–Field Level Media