To call Jeff Jagodzinski's first season as the head football coach at Boston College a success would be an understatement.
After all, the 2007 Eagles finished 11-3, becoming the first BC team to win 11 games since 1940. With a win over Michigan State in the Champs Sports Bowl (BC's eighth consecutive bowl game win, the longest active streak in college football), Jagodzinski surpassed Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen and former Clemson head coach Ken Hatfield for the most wins by a first-year head coach in Atlantic Coast Conference history. Jagodzinski and West Virginia's Rich Rodriguez were named by the American Football Coaches Association as the Region 1 Coaches of the Year.
Jagodzinski's debut was a season to remember for BC fans, as the Eagles began the year 8-0, the third-best start in school history. After their come-from-behind 14-10 win over No. 8 Virginia Tech that will go down as one of the most memorable games in BC football history, the Eagles climbed to No. 2 in both major polls, their highest ranking since being ranked No. 1 in 1942. The squad became the first BC football team to win 10 or more games in consecutive seasons, and the senior class became the most successful in school history. The team won the ACC Atlantic Division and advanced to the ACC Championship Game for the first time when they pulled off a stunning come-from-behind win at Clemson. They defeated Miami for the first time since the famous "miracle in Miami" game in 1984 and finished 10th in the final AP college football poll and 11th in the USA Today poll, their highest final ranking since the 1984 season.
After he was named BC's 33rd head football coach early in 2007, Jagodzinski hit the ground running. He retained the services of key assistants Frank Spaziani (defensive coordinator) and Bill McGovern (linebackers coach) and then assembled an impressive staff that includes former head coaches Jack Bicknell Jr. (assistant head coach/offensive line coach) and Steve Logan (offensive coordinator). Jagodzinski and his staff then went to work to teach and install an entirely new system to his team in time to face a tough schedule that included three consecutive league games to start the year.
Quarterback Matt Ryan flourished in the new system installed by Jagodzinski and Logan, becoming a Heisman Trophy candidate and eventually winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and the Manning Award after being named ACC Player of the Year. Safety Jamie Silva became a consensus All-America first-team selection, and the Eagles finished second in the country in rushing defense.
Jagodzinski continued to make academics a priority for the program, and the Eagles achieved the highest graduation rate (93%) of any team in the top 25. The team won the ACC Sportsmanship Award for football and continued its leadership role in campus and community service functions.
Named to his position Dec. 19, 2006, the 44-year-old Jagodzinski spent the previous season as the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers. Before Green Bay, he spent three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons after five years with the Packers (1999-2003) as tight ends coach.
Although Jagodzinski came to BC from the professional ranks, he spent 14 years as a college coach, including two successful seasons (1997-98) as offensive coordinator at Boston College. At BC, his offenses averaged more than 400 yards per game in each of his two seasons. In addition, during both years the Eagles allowed the fewest sacks in the Big East, going from last to first in 1997.
In 1998, Jagodzinski saw one of his pupils gain All-America honors as running back Mike Cloud earned first-team honors and ranked third in the country in rushing; Cloud subsequently was drafted in the second round by Kansas City in 1999. One of his linemen, All-Big East center Damien Woody, was a 1999 first-round draft pick of the New England Patriots, the 17th selection overall. Jagodzinski also coached Seahawks All-Pro quarterback (and former Green Bay backup) Matt Hasselbeck during his 1997 senior season at BC.
Jagodzinski served as Atlanta's offensive line coach in 2005, a promotion he earned after his first year in Atlanta, 2004, as tight ends coach. While in Atlanta, he worked with offensive line consultant Alex Gibbs, the architect of some of the best offensive lines in NFL history, including that of the 1997-98 Super Bowl champion Broncos.
Known as one of the NFL's most successful rushing offenses, the Falcons led the NFL in both rushing yards per game and rushing yards per carry during Jagodzinski's two years in Atlanta. As line coach in 2005, the Falcons' zone-blocking schemes led the way for RB Warrick Dunn's career-high 1,416 rushing yards, a Pro Bowl effort. In part behind timely blocks from the offensive line, Atlanta in 2004 set a franchise record with 2,672 rushing yards, a springboard to the team's berth in the NFC Championship game.
Alge Crumpler, Jagodzinski's primary pupil as tight ends coach in 2004, went to the Pro Bowl that season after catching 48 passes for 774 yards and a career-high six TDs. Crumpler's 16.1-yard per-catch average led all NFL tight ends in `04.
Prior to joining the Falcons, Jagodzinski spent five years (1999-2003) as the Packers' tight ends coach and was instrumental in launching the career of three-time Pro Bowl tight end Bubba Franks. In 2002, Franks recorded 54 receptions, the first 50-plus catch season by a Packers tight end since Boston College graduate Mark Chmura tallied 54 in 1995. Franks' mark fell just two shy of Paul Coffman's club-record 56 (1979).
Prior to his coaching stint at Boston College, Jagodzinski served on coaching staffs at East Carolina (1989-96), Louisiana State (1987-88), Northern Illinois (1986), and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (1985), his alma mater.
Before becoming part of the UW-Whitewater coaching staff,
Jagodzinski was a three-year starter and four-year player (1981-84) at fullback for the Warhawks. He earned a B.S. degree in education at Whitewater in 1985.
Jagodzinski attended West Allis (Wis.) Central High School, where he played football and baseball, earning all-conference honors in football and participating in the Shrine game, the state's all-star contest, following his senior season.
Born Oct. 12, 1963, in Milwaukee, Jagodzinski and his wife, Lisa, have five children: Josh, JoAnne, Jessica, Jacqueline and Jennifer.