BOSTON Boston College has fired football coach Frank Spaziani after four years of progressively worse records and two straight seasons without a bowl appearance.
New athletic director Brad Bates made the announcement on Sunday, a day after the Eagles (2-10, 1-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) finished the season with a 27-10 loss at North Carolina State.
"A personnel decision of this magnitude affects many people and is never taken lightly, but I felt a change was necessary," Bates said in a news release sent shortly after an e-mail to season ticket-holders.
The decision was widely expected, and Spaziani all but spoke openly about his understanding that it would be his last year. Asked on Saturday if he would make his case to stay, Spaziani told reporters in Raleigh, N.C. after Saturday's game, "I do have a case."
Spaziani, 65, spent 12 years as a BC assistant, the last 10 as defensive coordinator, before taking over when Jeff Jagodzinski was fired for interviewing for an NFL job. The Eagles won eight games his first season, seven the next and four last year.
A New Jersey native who played for Joe Paterno at Penn State, Spaziani had three years remaining on a contract that paid him 1.1 million per year.
Including the bowl game he coached after Jagodzinski was fired, Spaziani had a record of 22-29 at BC.
"It is with gratitude that we recognize the many contributions Coach Spaziani has made to Boston College during his 16 years in Chestnut Hill," Bates said. "He displayed unwavering dedication and loyalty to our institution and our football student-athletes, while consistently representing Boston College with class and dignity. He and his staff have devoted countless hours to our student-athletes and the BC community. We thank them and wish them well."
Bates was hired last month to replace Gene DeFilippo, who retired after 15 years. The new AD said he would begin searching for a new football coach his first major hire in the job immediately.
"We will be seeking a leader whose vision of our football program mirrors the mission of our university, who values the development of our student-athletes and whose goal is to return our program to national prominence," he said. "Our fans and the entire University community value the rich tradition of Boston College football, and we are committed to making it a successful program."