Former Boston College head coach Jeff Jagodzinski joins Notre Dame High School staff

Former Boston College head coach Jeff Jagodzinski joins Notre Dame High School staff

June 6th, 2017 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

Jeff Jagodzinski works with Notre Dame football players on getting lined up during practice at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Mon., June 5, 2017. Notre Dame hired the former coach of Boston College to be their offensive line coach.

Photo by Erin O. Smith

Jeff Jagodzinski was looking at going home to Wisconsin, completing a full circle by returning to his old high school as its new head football coach.

It didn't feel right, though, and for one of the few times in his life Jagodzinski happened to look at internet sites with openings for coaches. He saw a notice posted by Notre Dame High School athletic director Matt Pobieglo and responded, and the result was the Irish hiring the former Boston College head coach and National Football League assistant to coach their offensive line.

"He has a knowledge base and skill set most high school staffs don't have," Pobieglo said. "The biggest thing for us is that he's a good guy and a good person and he's here for the right reason."

Jagodzinski took Boston College to two Atlantic Coast Conference title games, and his first season the Eagles climbed as high as No. 2 in the national polls and finished 11-3. They were 9-5 in his second season, but he subsequently was dismissed after he interviewed for the head coach's job with the New York Jets.

His pro stops include Green Bay (tight ends coach 1999-2003 and offensive coordinator 2006) and Atlanta (tight ends coach 2004, O-line coach 2005).

The 52-year-old has reached pinnacles in his chosen profession but had no second thoughts about coaching at the high school level, even as an assistant.

"It's like here's another chapter of this crazy profession," he said.

He was asked more than once by Pobieglo and Notre Dame principal George Valadie why a man of his credentials would want to come to Notre Dame.

"I told George, 'Don't think of it as hiring a resume — just hire the man,'" Jagodzinski said Monday. "I had a chance to coach the offensive linemen today, and it was refreshing. They were eager and wide-eyed — you know, coachable — and that's satisfying to me."

It was just like coaching the guys who protected Matt Hasselbeck and Matt Ryan.

"I really haven't changed as far as technique and all that," Jagodzinski said. "It hasn't changed in 15 years. Blocking is blocking. I will show these guys a tape from 1998. It's the same drills at every level."

"It happened rather quickly, and then he hit the ground running," Pobieglo declared after saying that his newest coach was in the weight room.

"We corresponded by email. He came up for an interview. He met with Charles (Fant, the Irish head coach) and then Mr. Valadie," Pobieglo said. "We got him moved in Friday, and he's already at work."

Jadogzinski fills the position that was opened when Chandler Tygard took a position as offensive coordinator at Ravenwood High in Brentwood.

Fant never has been one to make comparisons and he and Tygard had a good working relationship, but he said, "Each person has his strengths, but there's no doubt that (Jagodzinski's) resume speaks for itself.

"We've already begun talking about infrastructure and how things are run. I want his input on so much stuff," Fant added. "He's only been in a couple of days and it's so much fun talking with him. I'm like a kid in a candy store. There's no way to pick his brain clean, but I'm going to take a shot."

Jagodzinski will be an assistant head coach along with Curt Jones, and his primary area of responsibility will be the offensive line.

"It's amazing how God puts you into places," he said. "I've been very, very fortunate to have been at some very prestigious places and places where they've had organizations and programs as good as you can get. I had a lot of people help me through the years. Sometimes things just come full circle on you."

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him on Twitter @wardgossett.


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