Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley is the leading candidate to become Boston College's next coach, and an official announcement could come as early as Saturday, sources told ESPN on Friday.
Hafley interviewed with Boston College this week and has been among the school's top targets since it began its search nearly two weeks ago. Boston College fired Steve Addazio on Dec. 1, a day after the team finished the regular season at 6-6. Addazio, who went 44-44 in seven seasons at Boston College, on Thursday was introduced as Colorado State's head coach.
Yahoo! first reported Friday that Hafley and Boston College are nearing an agreement.
Hafley, 40, is in his first season at Ohio State but has helped the defense dramatically improve. The New Jersey native spent the previous seven seasons with three NFL teams, including the past three as San Francisco 49ers defensive backs coach. He coached the secondary at both Rutgers and Pitt before entering the NFL.
Other Boston College candidates included Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea, Ohio State linebackers coach Al Washington, Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko, New England Patriots defensive line coach Bret Bielema and Indiana offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer, according to sources.
Hafley was a finalist for the Broyles Award, which goes to college football's top assistant coach. He worked with cornerback Jeff Okudah, a Thorpe Award finalist, and helped Ohio State rise to No. 2 in total defense a year after finishing 72nd. Ohio State will face Clemson on Dec. 28 in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl.