BOSTON (AP) -- 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 email 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."
"Obviously this is a sad day for my family and me," Spaziani said in a statement released by the school. "Boston College has been my home for more than 16 years, and I have been fortunate to work with some amazing student-athletes. I will always treasure my relationships with them and the BC staff. Boston College is a tremendous place, and I am extremely thankful for my time there. I wish the current and future Eagles nothing but the best."
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. He did not address the team on Sunday, preferring to meet with players individually during the week.
"I’m very appreciative for him granting me this opportunity," linebacker Steele Devitto said. "He’s been here 16 years. He will be missed. He’s made a significant difference to Boston College and he’s very appreciated. I wish him the best."
The assistant coaches remain under contract, but none of them is a candidate for the head job, Bates said. He would not comment on potential candidates; Harvard coach Tim Murphy has been mentioned as a possibility.
"This is an incredibly significant hire," Bates said. "It’s not about me. It’s not about my stamp (on the program). This is about a football program that has a storied history of achievement. It’s about our current and future students.
"I’m really a caretaker of the great things that have happened in the past of this program, and hopefully a catalyst in returning to those standards."