Boston College has hired Jeff Hafley.
Seventeen FBS head coaching jobs have come open in the 2019-20 cycle as of this writing, seven of them at the Power 5 level. Six of those seven have been filled, and the seventh is Boston College.
Boston College originally targeted making a hire early next week and remains on track to do so, sources tell FootballScoop. The December signing period opens Wednesday.
In making the first football coaching hire of his career, Boston College athletics director Martin Jarmond has taken his time in finding the right person to lead the Eagles football program into the future. Jarmond fired Steve Addazio on Dec. 1, the day after BC's regular season finale, and Addazio has already found work as Colorado State's head coach while his old job remains vacant.
There is a reason for that.
Jarmond is still considering multiple candidates, sources told FootballScoop. At least two of them are sitting FBS head coaches, and one is Navy's Ken Niumatalolo, sources said.
Niumatalolo is set to lead his team into his 12th Army-Navy game as the Midshipmen's head coach on Saturday, and a win in Philadelphia would allow him to pass Army's Earl "Red" Blaik for the most head coaching wins in the 120-year history of the series.
Niumatalolo has been Navy's head coach since Dec. 2007 and part of the program for all but three seasons dating back to 1995. The Naval Academy's all-time wins leader with 96 career victories, he has been famously hard to pry out of Annapolis, though he has entertained the idea of leaving twice in recent years.
In 2015, Niumatalolo went deep into discussions to take the BYU job. After spending days considering the opportunity, he ultimately opted to remove himself from the process and the job then went to Kalani Sitake. Questions about Niumatalolo's option offense were reportedly a source of trepidation for BYU.
He was also in discussions with Arizona before Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate more or less submarined his hiring with a single tweet, Niumatalolo ultimately walked away from negotiations, and the job went to Kevin Sumlin.
It is not known at this time whether Niumatalolo would bring the option to Boston College or change his scheme. It's also not known, should Niumatalolo insist on running the option in Chestnut Hill, if that would be a deal breaker for Jarmond.
Another complicating factor to a potential hire has nothing to do with football.
Boston College is a Catholic school, and Niumatalolo is open about his Mormon faith. In fact, the coach accepted a major volunteer position within the Church of Latter-Day Saints earlier this year. Sources have told FootballScoop that Jarmond has emphasized integrity and a strong faith background in his search for BC's next head coach, while also stressing that the new coach does not necessarily have to be Catholic. However, a football coaching hire must be approved by university administrators and accepted by the school's community at large, and so it remains to be seen whether hiring a devout Mormon would be too big a bridge for a Catholic school to cross.
Further complicating matters: Niumatalolo is not the only candidate, and in fact may not even be the top candidate.
Sources said Jarmond interviewed another sitting head coach late this week. Sources tell FootballScoop if Jarmond winds up making this hire, everyone in college football would take notice.
Jarmond has already completed interviews with multiple of the top assistant coaches in the country as well.
Boston College has some great options in front of them. Expect a decision to be made in the coming days.
As always stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching job information.