Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley is close to finalizing a deal with Boston College to be its next head football coach, per Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports.
Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic confirmed the news.
Hafley, 40, is in his first year as Ohio State's co-DC. The Buckeyes defense has been dominant under his watch, allowing just 12.5 points per game. That mark ranks third-best in Division I-FCS.
Hafley was a secondary coach at numerous stops prior to his Ohio State tenure, including the San Francisco 49ers from 2016-2018. He's been coaching college or pro ball since 2001, when he graduated from Siena College. He played wide receiver for the Saints from 1997-2000.
Hafley has never been a head coach at any level, but his track record at Ohio State speaks for itself after the 13-0 Buckeyes won the Big Ten and rolled into the College Football Playoff as a No. 2 seed.
He will replace Steve Addazio, who was fired after going 44-44 from 2013-2019. The Eagles went 7-6 in four of his seven seasons and 6-6 last year. The Eagles are headed to the Birmingham Bowl under interim head coach Rich Gunnell. Addazio is now Colorado State's head coach.
Hafley is tasked with guiding the Eagles to past glory days, with one period being a four-year stretch from 2004-2007 when they finished 21st or higher in the final Associated Press poll.
The 2007 team led by quarterback Matt Ryan posted the high-water mark with an 11-3 record and a No. 10 spot in the AP poll. The Eagles started that season 8-0 and reached No. 2 in November.
BC's best all-time result was after the 1984 season, when Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie guided the Eagles to a Cotton Bowl victory and a No. 5 AP ranking.
The door is open for BC (or any other ACC team not named Clemson) to achieve a greater level of success. The conference has fallen on hard times outside the perennial national powerhouse Tigers, and there's a chance for someone to be the best of the rest on a consistent basis until the Tigers' seemingly impenetrable dynasty ends someday.
UVA was the only other ACC team to finish in the top 25 of the College Football Playoff rankings outside Clemson, going 9-4 and ending at 24th. No other ACC team won more than eight games.
BC's first game next season will be on Saturday, September 5, 2020, against an old rival in Division-I FCS Holy Cross, which won the Patriot League.