Boston College indeed hired a coach with Notre Dame roots.
But with Irish fans on red alert as they feared their top defensive assistant was headed to Boston, new Eagles athletic director Brad Bates reached past past current defensive coordinator Bob Diaco for former Irish assistant Steve Addazio, who traded his Temple head coaching job for the one in Chestnut Hill.
“I am proud to announce Steve Addazio as the new head coach at Boston College,” Bates tweeted. “We are excited to have Steve Addazio leading BC football and look forward to an extraordinary future.”
With that, Notre Dame players, coaches, and fans all likely breath a sigh of relief. But with the coaching carousel spinning wildly today, the Irish might not be out of the woods just yet. Multiple reports point to Purdue hiring Darrell Hazell of Kent State to be their next head coach. But with Brett Bielema‘s shocking departure from Wisconsin to Arkansas, former Irish defensive coordinator and current Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez gets to take a look at candidates all across the country, and could zero in on Diaco as well.
If Alvarez does indeed look to South Bend, he’ll be seeing a defensive coordinator that looks an awful lot like a younger version of himself. Both East Coast born, Alvarez and Diaco each headed to the heartland for their college football, with Alvarez playing at Nebraska while Diaco starred at Iowa. Each spearheaded a Notre Dame resurgence as defensive coordinators, with Alvarez the right hand of Lou Holtz during the 1988 championship run. Like Alvarez, Diaco was given more leadership responsibilities during the title run season, promoted to assistant head coach in the offseason, similar to Holtz’s year-long tutorial with Alvarez before he took over the Wisconsin program.
Of course, Alvarez took over a moribund Badger football team that was an afterthought in a NFL-crazed state. He built one of the Big Ten’s flagship programs and governed over a seamless transition to Bielema, who built on Alvarez’s foundation, with Alvarez taking over the Wisconsin athletic department. Entrusting the Big Ten’s representative in the last three Rose Bowls to a first time head coach could be a risky move.
Whether Alvarez looks towards Diaco, or chooses from a pretty rich talent pool with Badger ties — Seahawks defensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, former Vikings head coach Brad Childress, Pitt head coach Paul Chryst, or Jaguars defensive coordinator Mel Tucker among the early names floating around — remains to be seen.
So while Diaco was awarded the prestigious Broyles Award as college football’s best assistant, any ascent to the head coaching ranks will have to wait.
How long? Well, we will find out as the coaching carousel continues to spin.