Boston College Eagles football

Boston College Eagles football
2016 Boston College Eagles football team
First season 1893 (1893)
Head coach Steve Addazio
4th year, 2327 (.460)
Stadium Alumni Stadium
Seating capacity 44,500
Field surface FieldTurf
Location Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Conference ACC
Division Atlantic
Past conferences Big East
All-time record 63145336 (.579)
Bowl record 1311 (.542)
Claimed nat'l titles 1 (1940)
Conference titles 1 (2004 Big East)
Division titles 3 (2005, 2007, 2008 ACC Atlantic)
Heisman winners 1 (Doug Flutie)
Consensus All-Americans 12
Colors Maroon and Gold[1]
Fight song For Boston
Mascot Baldwin the Eagle
Marching band "Screaming Eagles" Marching Band
Rivals Syracuse Orange
Virginia Tech Hokies
Clemson Tigers
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Miami Hurricanes
UMass Minutemen

The Boston College Eagles football team represents Boston College in the sport of American football. The Eagles compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Begun in 1892, Boston College's football team was one of six "Major College" football programs in New England as designated by NCAA classifications, starting in 1938.[2] By 1981, and for the remainder of the twentieth century, BC was New England's sole Division I-A program.[3] It has amassed a 624–444–37 record and is 99–54 since the turn of the 21st century.

Steve Addazio is currently the team's head coach. Boston College is one of only two Catholic universities that field a team in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the other being Notre Dame. The Eagles' home games are played at Alumni Stadium on the Boston College campus in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. In addition to success on the gridiron, Boston College football teams are consistently ranked among the nation's best for academic achievement[4] and graduation.[5] In 2005, 2006 and 2007, the football team's Academic Progress Rate was the highest of any school that finished the season ranked in the AP or ESPN/USA Today Coaches' polls.


Early history (1893–1950)

Boston College football team, 1893.

In 1892, Boston College President Edward Ignatius Devitt, S.J., grudgingly agreed to the requests of two undergraduates, Joseph F. O'Connell of the class of 1893 and Joseph Drum of the class of 1894, to start a varsity football team. Drum would become the first head coach, albeit an unpaid position and O'Connell was captain. On October 26, 1893, BC played its first official game against the St. John's Literary Institute of Cambridge followed by its first intercollegiate game against MIT. BC won the first game 4–0, but lost 6–0 to MIT. Some of the original team's alumni had particularly significant careers: captain Joseph Drum became the first BC graduate to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Joseph F. O'Connell was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and running back James Carlin became president of the College of the Holy Cross.

Eastern Champions, 1928
1940 banner

The 1940 season can arguably be called the greatest year in the history of Boston College football. BC's undefeated (11-0) and untied team, captured the 1941 Sugar Bowl championship and earned the nickname "Team of Destiny".[6][7] Five members of that storied team have been inducted into the National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame: end Eugene Goodreault (50); guard George Kerr (47); center Chet Gladchuk, Sr. (45); fullback Mike Holovak (12); and halfback Charles O'Rourke (13). It included a 19–18 victory over Georgetown before 41,700 fans at sold-out Fenway Park, that was called one of the greatest games ever by famed sportswriter Grantland Rice.[8] Going into the game, the Hoyas had twenty-two consecutive victories spanning three seasons. BC trailed until the third quarter, when a 43-yard touchdown pass from Charlie O'Rourke to Monk Maznicki put the Eagles ahead. With just seconds remaining, BC had the ball on their own nine, fourth down and 18 to go. Georgetown set up to return the Eagles' punt. Instead of punting, O'Rourke scrambled in his own end zone for 45 seconds then took a safety. BC used the free kick to boot the ball far downfield and dashed the Hoyas' three-season unbeaten record. Legendary Coach Frank Leahy, who would go on to cement his legendary status during an eleven-year stint as head coach at Notre Dame, took his undefeated Eagles on to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans where they beat Tennessee. A banner on BC's campus commemorating the team uses the phrase "national champions", but Boston College was not awarded a national championship by any of the national polls at the time of the 1940 season. Although BC's claim to a title is not recognized by the NCAA or college football historians in general, one website, the College Football Data Warehouse, claims that selectors named Cliff Morgan and Ray Bryne rated BC #1 in 1940.[9] This web site states that BC's historic 1940 run resulted in a split championship with the University of Minnesota, but it's not clear whether the selectors awarded BC a title at the time of the 1940 season, or if they did so retroactively.[10] The NCAA lists only Minnesota as the national champion in 1940, and does not credit BC with any national championships in football.[11]

Mike Holovak era (1951–1959)

Mike Holovak was named head coach of BC in 1951.[12] During his tenure as head coach, the Eagles compiled a 49–29–3 record. Holovak won Coach of the Year honors in 1954 from New England football writers. Those efforts were good enough to earn him a new four-year contract on November 22, 1955, but even after four more winning seasons - he was fired on December 3, 1959, after a year in which Eagle fans had subjected him to constant verbal abuse.[13]

Ernie Hefferle era (1960–1961)

Ernie Hefferle, an assistant coach for the NFL's Washington Redskins, was hired as head coach of the Eagles following Holovak's firing. Hefferle's Eagles compiled a record of 7–12–1 in two seasons.[14] However, mounting pressure to win from the alumni and administration led to Hefferle's resignation after the 1961 season.[15]

Jim Miller era (1962–1967)

BC hired Jim Miller away from Detroit as its head coach in January 1962.[16] Under Miller, the Eagles compiled a record of 34–24 that included four winning seasons in those six years.[17] Miller resigned after the 1967 season.[18]

Joe Yukica era (1968–1977)

New Hampshire head coach Joe Yukica was hired to replace Miller at BC.[19] Yukica's Eagles compiled a 68–37 record, which included eight winning seasons.[20] Yukica left BC after the 1977 season to accept the head football coach position at Dartmouth.[21]

Ed Chlebek era (1978–1980)

The Eagles hired Ed Chlebek away from Eastern Michigan to lead its football program in January 1978.[22] Despite a dismal 0–11 record in Chlebek's first season, BC rebounded to compile a 5–6 record in 1979 and a 7–4 record in 1980,[23] leading to a job offer from Kent State to Chlebek, which he accepted.[24] Chlebek's final record at BC is 12–21.[23]

Jack Bicknell era (1981–1990)

Jack Bicknell was hired as BC's head coach after previously serving as head coach at Maine.[25] The best player for the Eagles during this time period was quarterback Doug Flutie, who played for Boston College from 1981 to 1984. Flutie won the Heisman Trophy in his senior year. He gained national attention on November 23, 1984, when he led the Eagles to victory in a high-scoring, back-and-forth game against incumbent national champion Miami Hurricanes (led by star QB Bernie Kosar). The game was nationally televised on CBS the day after Thanksgiving, and had a huge audience. Miami staged a dramatic drive to take the lead, 45–41, in the closing minute of the game. Boston College then took possession at their own 22-yard line with 28 seconds to go. After two passes moved the ball another 30 yards, only six seconds remained on the clock. On the last play of the game, Flutie rolled out right away from the defense and threw a Hail Mary pass that was caught in the end zone by senior wideout Gerard Phelan, giving BC an insanely miraculous 47–45 win.[26] A persistent urban legend holds that this play essentially clinched the Heisman Trophy, the award given to the best player in college football that year, for Flutie; in fact, the Heisman voting was already complete by the day of the game. It has been called "the greatest moment in college football."[27] In November 2008, Doug Flutie was honored by Boston College with a statue of his famous "Hail Mary" pass to Gerard Phelan to beat Miami.[28]

Bicknell's final record at BC is 59–55–1.[29] He was fired after the 1990 season.

Tom Coughlin era (1991–1993)

Coach Coughlin

Tom Coughlin, wide receivers coach for the NFL's New York Giants, was hired as BC's head coach after Bicknell was fired.[30] Coughlin's Eagles compiled a record of 21–13–1.[31] The highlight of Coughlin's tenure was a 41-39 Eagles victory over top-ranked Notre Dame in 1993,[32] the first time the Eagles had ever defeated the powerhouse Irish and the first and only time in program history that[33] the Eagles had defeated a #1 team. Coughlin, who left BC for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars,[34] would go on to become head coach of the New York Giants, winning two Super Bowls.

Dan Henning era (1994–1996)

BC hired Dan Henning, formerly offensive coordinator for the NFL's Detroit Lions, as its head coach in March 1994.[35] Henning's tenure is remembered for a scandal that occurred during the 1996 season. On October 26, 1996, the Eagles were routed 45-17 by Syracuse. Following the game, head coach Dan Henning got word that several players may have bet against their own team in that game. No one came forward. After the Eagles lost a close game to Pittsburgh a week later, an irate Henning demanded that anyone involved in gambling come forward. He also notified school officials of his suspicions. The resulting inquiry resulted in the suspension of 13 players for the final three games of the season, and eight of them never played another down for the Eagles again.[36][37] As a result of the scandal and a mediocre 16–19–1 record as coach, Henning resigned at the end of the 1996 season.[38]

Tom O'Brien era (1997–2006)

In December 1996, BC hired a 1971 Navy graduate and the former Virginia offensive coordinator Tom O'Brien.[39] O'Brien arrived at The Heights with plans to revive the program after the team had been tarnished in the wake of the scandal. With good recruiting skills and a strong coaching staff around him, notably offensive coordinator Dana Bible and defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani, O'Brien turned the program into a consistent top-25 team. The team was also helped by increased exposure on the national stage due to the move to the ACC and, later, improved facilities in the form of the Yawkey Center.[40]

Following two mediocre seasons in 1997 (4-7) and 1998 (4-7),[41] O'Brien's vision of a re-built football program began to take shape. In 1999, the Eagles finished the regular season 8–3 including a 31–29 win at Notre Dame Stadium on November 20. BC had earned itself its first bowl berth since being ensnarled in the 1996 gambling scandal. Despite the excitement of its first postseason game in five years, Boston College laid an egg at the Bowl in Tucson, Arizona, getting squashed by the University of Colorado, 62–28. In 2000 BC finished the regular season at 6–5 with just enough wins to be bowl-eligible and found themselves in Honolulu for the Aloha Bowl where they downed Arizona State 31–17, giving O'Brien his first bowl victory as head coach.[41]

The year 2001 saw Boston College end a 21-game losing streak to ranked opponents when, in the Music City Bowl, the Eagles beat No. 16 Georgia 20–16 to finish at 8–5.[42] But the most memorable moment of the year came in another thrilling game against then-No. 1 Miami at Alumni Stadium. Trailing 12–7 BC stood at the Hurricanes 9-yard-line, poised to win with just over 20 seconds left in the contest, but an interception thrown by Eagles quarterback Brian St. Pierre cost the game. St. Pierre threw too low for receiver Ryan Read, and the pass ricocheted off a Miami defender's leg and fell into the hands of defensive back Ed Reed, who returned it 80 yards for a touchdown—preserving a win for the Hurricanes and keeping its hopes alive for a national championship, which they would eventually win. Despite the heartbreaking loss, the season had several highs including running back William Green rushing for 1,559 yards and being the top RB taken in the 2002 NFL Draft; eight wins for the first time since 1993; and finishing the season ranked (No. 21) for the first time since 1994.

Over the next few years the team posted respectable win-loss records and continued to win bowl games. In 2002, BC went 9–4 and won the Motor City Bowl, in 2003 they were 8–5 with a victory in the San Francisco Bowl and finished 9–3 in 2004 with a win in the Continental Tire Bowl.[41] The year 2004 would be the Eagles final campaign in the Big East, and it finished the season in a four-way tie atop the league after losing the home finale to Syracuse (thus costing the Eagles a coveted berth in a BCS bowl) — a year in which they closed the season ranked No. 21 in both major polls.

On December 6, 2006, O'Brien decided to leave the Eagles and replace Chuck Amato as head coach at NC State.[43]

Jeff Jagodzinski era (2007–2008)

O'Brien was replaced by then Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski.[44]

In Jagodzinski's first year, the Eagles were picked to finish 2nd in the Atlantic in the ACC Preseason Poll. The Eagles raced out to a 7–0 start behind the arm of Matt Ryan and a stout, senior-laden defense. The Eagles climbed to #2 in the BCS Standings before squaring off against #8 Virginia Tech on a rainy night at Lane Stadium. The Eagles struggled on offense all night and trailed the Hokies 10–0 late in the 4th quarter. In a miraculous comeback, Ryan threw two touchdown passes in the final 2:11 of game to give BC the victory. Ryan's second touchdown pass, a 24-yard tear-drop pass to a wide open Andre Callender in the back of the end-zone, caused ESPN's Chris Fowler to exclaim "Lane Stadium goes silent!" The come-back win vaulted Ryan into the Heisman discussion. BC clinched the ACC Atlantic Division with yet another dramatic win, this time over rival Clemson. Matt Ryan was once again the hero, finding a wide-open Rich Gunnell for a 43-yard TD pass with 1:46 to go to give the Eagles the 20–17 lead. Clemson's 54-yard FG attempt to tie the game fell short, clinching the victory for Boston College. The Eagles eventually lost the ACC Championship Game to the Hokies. BC played in the Champs Sports Bowl against the Michigan State Spartans, winning 24–21. 2007 marked the second time in Eagle history that the team won 11 games, the other being the undefeated 1940 season. Matt Ryan won the Manning Award and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, becoming BC's first major award recipient since Mike Ruth won the Outland Trophy in 1985. Ryan finished 7th in the Heisman race, garnering 9 first place votes. Jamie Silva was a Consensus All-American, BC's first since William Green in 2001.

The 2008 season saw the Eagles return to the ACC Championship Game, this time behind a defense that ranked 5th in Total Defense. The Eagles fell once again to the Hokies. In both 2007 and 2008, the Eagles had defeated the Hokies in the regular season meeting only to lose in the ACC Championship Game.

Following the 2008 season, Jagodzinski was fired for interviewing with the New York Jets.[45]

Frank Spaziani era (2009–2012)

Coach Spaziani

Frank Spaziani, promoted from defensive coordinator of the Eagles, was hired as BC's head coach in January 2009.[46] Prior to the 2009 season, star LB and reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year Mark Herzlich was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.[47] Herzlich was forced to miss the entirety of the 2009 season.[47] Herzlich became an inspirational figure as he battled his way back, earning the Disney's Wide World of Sports Spirit Award, an award presented annually to college football's most inspirational player or team.[47] Boston College created a chapter of Uplifting Athletes to benefit Ewing's Sarcoma research. The chapter participates in an annual "Lift for Life" (where players compete in various physical challenges) to raise money. On October 3, 2009, Herzlich publicly announced on College Gameday that he was cancer-free. Herzlich completed the comeback when he took the field once again on September 4, 2010, against Weber State.[47]

It was announced on December 1, 2009, that the Boston College football team, along with 29 other athletic programs on campus, would officially switch its athletic outfitter from Reebok to Under Armour.[48] On July 1, 2010, BC became the tenth Football Bowl Subdivision team to wear uniforms from the Baltimore-based outfitter, joining Auburn, Hawaii, Maryland, North Texas, South Carolina, South Florida, Texas Tech and Utah.[49]

In 2011, the Eagles finished 4–8 and failed to qualify for a bowl for the first time in 12 years. Following the 2011 season, junior LB Luke Kuechly won the Butkus Award,[50] the Lombardi Award, the Lott Trophy, and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. Kuechly is the first Eagle to win these awards. Offensive Coordinator Doug Martin was brought in by head coach Frank Spaziani prior to the beginning of the 2012 season, but upon finishing 2-10 Spaziani was fired.[51]

Steve Addazio era (2013–present)

Spaziani was replaced by Steve Addazio, formerly head coach at Temple.[52] In 2013, Coach Addazio led the Eagles to an impressive turnaround season, finishing the regular season bowl-eligible with a 7–5 record.[53] Senior running-back Andre Williams became only the 16th player in NCAA history to run for over 2,000 yards, winning the Doak Walker Award and finishing 4th in the Heisman Trophy voting.[54] He was named a unanimous All-American. In addition, he was a unanimous first team All-ACC selection and a finalist for the Walter Camp Award. Williams set multiple school records, breaking nearly every single-season rushing record and many career-rushing records but also included the single-game rushing record at 339 yards against NC State as well as tying the single-game scoring record at 5 rushing TD's in a game against Army.[54] The Eagles played the Arizona Wildcats in the 2013 Independence Bowl, losing by a score of 42–19 to finish the season at 7–6 (4–4 ACC).[55] Andre Williams finished with 2,177 yards rushed on the season, good for 5th most all-time in the NCAA.[55]

In his second year, Addazio led the Eagles to a consecutive 7–5 regular season, their second bowl-eligible season in as many years. With many key players having graduated, including Heisman finalist Andre Williams, quarterback Chase Rettig, wide receiver Alex Amidon, and linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, Addazio helped replace some lost production with graduate transfer quarterback Tyler Murphy, who was recruited by Addazio at Florida, as well as converting backup quarterback Josh Bordner to the wide receiver position. The running back core went from a single back (Williams) to a group of five threats: sophomores Myles Willis and Tyler Rouse, true freshman Jonathan Hilliman and Sherm Allston, as well as Tyler Murphy himself, who was more dangerous with his legs than his arm during the season. Murphy finished the season leading all quarterbacks in the league with 1,184 yards rushing, breaking the school record for most rushing yards by a quarterback, previously held by Doug Flutie. The season was highlighted by a historic upset victory over 9th ranked USC, in which Murphy rushed for 191 yards in the 37–31 victory. The Eagles nearly managed another two upsets against Clemson and Florida State, but came up just short in both games. Boston College played Penn State in the 2014 Pinstripe Bowl, losing in overtime 31–30 to finish the season 7–6 (4–4 ACC).

Conference affiliations

Alumni Stadium

Main article: Alumni Stadium

Since 1957, Alumni Stadium has been the home of the Eagles. Located on BC's Lower Campus, the stadium has a capacity of 44,500.

In 2005, the Yawkey Athletics Center was constructed at the north end-zone side of the stadium. The Yawkey Center houses the football offices and weight room. A replica of Doug Flutie's 1984 Heisman Trophy is on display in the BC football museum on the first floor of the Center.


Holy Cross

Alumni Field, precursor to Alumni Stadium, ca. 1920

In 1896, Boston College and Holy Cross began what was to become one of the most storied rivalries in college football. For much of the early to mid 20th century, BC and The Cross drew some of New England's largest sports crowds. In 1913, BC began playing home games at Alumni Field.

To accommodate larger crowds, the Holy Cross game was routinely held at larger venues off campus, with the 1916 matchup taking place at the newly constructed Fenway Park. A record 54,000 attended the 1922 game at Braves Field, home of the Boston Braves baseball team. On November 28, 1942, BC lost in a huge upset to the Holy Cross Crusaders by a score of 55–12. This led to the BC players not attending their scheduled victory celebration at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub, which burned down that night and killed 492 people. By the late 1970s the Holy Cross game had become more of a tradition than a rivalry, as Holy Cross football had long since ceased being a major power. By 1980, the game was no longer part of the student ticket package, and was mostly attended by alumni. In 1986 Holy Cross changed the direction of its football program, joining the Division 1-AA Patriot League, and terminated the series. BC had won 17 of the last 20 games. With Holy Cross' reinstitution of full athletic scholarships, the series will be resurrected in 2018 after an over three-decade hiatus.


With the exception of Holy Cross, no team has played Boston College more than the Syracuse Orange. The teams first played in 1924 and started playing an annual game in 1961. In 2004, the Eagles last year in the Big East, the Orange pulled off a surprising upset that kept the Eagles from going to their first BCS game. BC's departure from the Big East put the future of the rivalry in doubt. However, the Eagles and the Orange agreed to play an annual out-of-conference game through 2021. In 2010, the Eagles won the first meeting between the schools since 2004 by a score of 16–7. In September 2011, the ACC announced that they had accepted bids by Syracuse and Pitt to become the 13th and 14th members of the ACC.[56] Syracuse's admission into the ACC in 2013 reignited this storied rivalry. In both school's final regular season game, Boston College had a chance to return the favor from 2004, and prevent the 5-6 Orange from becoming bowl-eligible. Despite the Eagles taking a 31-27 lead with nearly 2 minutes and no time-outs remaining, Syracuse managed to score a touchdown with 6 seconds left, sealing the win and their 6th of the season, becoming the 11th ACC bowl-eligible team of the year. The Eagles returned the favor the following year, winning a 28–7 contest in Chestnut Hill on senior day.

Syracuse currently leads the all-time series 29–19.

Notre Dame

The Holy War

In recent years, Notre Dame has become one of BC's football rivals. Today, ND is the only other Catholic university playing NCAA Division I FBS football. The match up was dubbed the "Holy War" in 1975, and has acquired a number of other nicknames over the years. The two teams battle for the Frank Leahy Memorial Bowl and the Ireland Trophy. Notre Dame currently leads the all-time series 13–9.

The Eagles and the Fighting Irish have met once in the postseason; Notre Dame defeated Boston College in the 1983 Liberty Bowl by a score of 19–18.

The schools are scheduled to meet in 2015, playing a neutral site game at Fenway Park, part of Notre Dame's ongoing Shamrock Series.[57] The teams are scheduled to meet five times over the next ten years; every other year from 2015–2019, and every third year from 2019–2025. Boston College will host in 2017 and 2025, and Notre Dame will host in 2019 and 2022, as well as hosting the neutral site game at Fenway Park in 2015.[58]

Memorable moments in the BC-ND rivalry

The series produced one of the top moments in college football history[27] when in 1993, David Gordon kicked a wobbly 41-yard field goal as time expired to beat top-ranked and undefeated Notre Dame 41–39, ending Irish hopes for a national championship. Notre Dame would not be ranked #1 again until late in the 2012 season. During the 2002 matchup in Notre Dame, Indiana, Notre Dame came into the game undefeated at 8–0, wearing their celebrated green jerseys (which since 1981 had only been worn against archrival USC or in bowl games). BC won 14–7, putting an end – again – to Notre Dame's dreams of an undefeated season. The series was played annually from 1992 to 2004 and from 2007 to present.

Virginia Tech

BC and Virginia Tech first played in 1993 and have played every year since, except for 2004. Now both in the ACC, two schools are cross-division rivals, meaning they play each other every year despite not being in the same division.

The schools played each other twice in one season in both 2007 and 2008; in both years, the Eagles won the regular season meeting while Hokies won the rematch in the ACC Championship Game.

Virginia Tech is famed for its seeming invincibility in Thursday night games at Lane Stadium. Since 1994, the Hokies are 11–3 at home on Thursday nights. The Eagles delivered 2 of those 3 losses and until 2009 were the only team to beat Virginia Tech at Lane Stadium on a Thursday night.[59]

The 2007 Thursday night meeting between the Eagles and Hokies was undoubtedly the most exciting game of the rivalry. Matt Ryan led the #2 Eagles to an improbable comeback, scoring 2 TDs in the final 2:11 of the game to give BC a 14–10 victory over the #8 Virginia Tech.

In 2013, the Eagles ended a five-game losing streak to the Hokies, pulling off a 34-27 upset at Alumni Stadium on the heels of Andre Williams.

Most recently, the Eagles traveled to Blacksburg and gained their second victory over the Hokies in as many years in a 33–31 tight contest, thanks to the efforts of transfer-QB Tyler Murphy.

Virginia Tech currently leads the all-time series 15–8.


The Eagles and Clemson Tigers first played each other in the Cotton Bowl at the end of the 1939 season, a game won by the Tigers. The schools played 11 more times until 1960. When BC joined the ACC in 2005, the games between the Eagles and the Tigers were especially memorable. Both the 2005 and 2006 games went to overtime and the 2007 game featured late-game heroics from Matt Ryan in a division-clinching victory.

Starting in 2008, the Boston College Gridiron Club created the O'Rourke-McFadden Trophy to honor the friendly rivalry between the Eagles and the Tigers.[60] The trophy is named after BC's Charlie O'Rourke and Clemson's Banks McFadden, star players of their respective teams when the Eagles and Tigers first played in the 1940 Cotton Bowl. The MVP of the game receives a replica leather helmet. Montel Harris was named the MVP of the 2010 meeting.

Most recently in 2014, the #24 ranked Tigers staved off a BC upset bid in Chestnut Hill, winning a tight 17–13 contest. The Eagles had a chance to take the lead with four straight passes to the end zone, but failed on all attempts, two of which were dropped by wide open receivers. The win was the fourth in a row for Clemson.

Clemson currently leads the all-time series 13–9–2.


BC and UMass are in-state rivals. The first game played between the two schools took place in 1899 and was played at a neutral location. Boston College won 18–0.[61] At the time, UMass was known as Massachusetts Agricultural College. The relative proximity between the schools encouraged them to schedule additional matches in the subsequent years.

BC and UMass met again in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1901, 1902, and 1912, with UMass winning all three contests before the series was halted.[61] The two universities did not meet again on the football field until 1966, when they began a seventeen-year series in which the teams would play each other in the last week of UMass' football season. UMass was in a lower division than BC during the entirety of the rivalry. As such, Boston College dominated the stretch, winning fifteen of the seventeen games, routinely blowing out the overmatched Minutemen.

After 22 years, the rivalry was renewed as UMass traveled to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts to play Boston College once again. UMass was yet again outmatched, losing 29–7. The universities agreed to play two more times over the next seven years, and Boston College won both games easily.

In April 2011, UMass announced plans to join the Mid-American Conference and move up to the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, the highest level of college football in the country. Boston College had been a member of this division for decades, and there was much speculation that the two schools may cultivate a renewal of the rivalry. This was confirmed when it was reported in September, 2011, that they had agreed to play a three-game biannual series beginning in 2014.[62] Two of the games will be played at BC's Alumni Stadium and the other will be held at Gillette Stadium.

Most recently, the two teams met in September 2016, with BC winning 26-7.


National championships

Boston College claims one national championship (1940) on the basis of selections by Cliff Morgan and Ray Byrne; the AP Poll voted BC No. 5 in 1940. (The Coaches Poll did not come into existence until 1950.)

Year Coach Selector Overall Record Bowl
1940 Frank Leahy Various Selectors 11–0 Won Sugar
Total National Championships 1

Divisional championships

Divisional play began in the Atlantic Coast Conference at the start of the 2005 football season following BC's inclusion in the conference. BC earned a share of the ACC Atlantic Division title in 2005 and in 2008. Florida State represented the division in the inaugural ACC Championship Game by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker in 2005, while BC represented the Atlantic in 2008.

Year Division Overall Record Conference Record
2005 † (shared with Florida State) ACC Atlantic 9–3 5–3
2007 ACC Atlantic 11-3 6-2
2008 † (shared with Florida State) ACC Atlantic 9–5 5–3
† Denotes co-champions
Total Division titles 3

Conference championship games

Boston College has appeared in the ACC Championship Game as the winner of the Atlantic Division twice. BC has come up short in both games at the hands of the Virginia Tech Hokies, 30-16 in 2007 and 30-12 the following season.

Year Division Championship ACC CG Result Opponent PF PA
2007 ACC Atlantic L Virginia Tech 16 30
2008 ACC Atlantic L Virginia Tech 12 30
Totals 2 0-2 28 60

Bowl games

Boston College has been to 24 bowl games, currently holding a 13–11 record. The Eagles posted an 8-game bowl winning streak from 2000 to 2007 and went to 12 consecutive bowl games from 1999 to 2010. BC's 8-game bowl win streak was the nation's longest active streak before it was snapped in 2008.[63] The 12-year streak was tied with Oklahoma for the 6th longest active streak in country.[64]

Season Coach Bowl Game Date Opponent Result
1939 Frank Leahy 1940 Cotton Bowl Classic January 1, 1940 Clemson Tigers L 6–3
1940 Frank Leahy 1941 Sugar Bowl January 1, 1941 Tennessee Volunteers W 19–13
1942 Denny Myers 1943 Orange Bowl January 1, 1943 Alabama Crimson Tide L 37–21
1982 Jack Bicknell 1982 Tangerine Bowl December 18, 1982 Auburn Tigers L 33–26
1983 Jack Bicknell 1983 Liberty Bowl December 29, 1983 Clemson Tigers L 19–18
1984 Jack Bicknell 1985 Cotton Bowl Classic January 1, 1985 Houston Cougars W 45–28
1986 Jack Bicknell 1986 Hall of Fame Bowl December 23, 1986 Georgia Bulldogs W 27–24
1992 Tom Coughlin 1993 Hall of Fame Bowl January 1, 1993 Tennessee Volunteers L 38–23
1993 Tom Coughlin 1994 Carquest Bowl January 1, 1994 Virginia Cavaliers W 31–13
1994 Dan Henning 1994 Aloha Bowl December 25, 1994 Kansas State Wildcats W 12–7
1999 Tom O'Brien 1999 Bowl December 31, 1999 Colorado Buffaloes L 62–28
2000 Tom O'Brien 2000 Aloha Bowl December 25, 2000 Arizona State Sun Devils W 31–17
2001 Tom O'Brien 2001 Music City Bowl December 28, 2001 Georgia Bulldogs W 20–16
2002 Tom O'Brien 2002 Motor City Bowl December 26, 2002 Toledo Rockets W 51–25
2003 Tom O'Brien 2003 San Francisco Bowl December 31, 2003 Colorado State Rams W 35-21
2004 Tom O'Brien 2004 Continental Tire Bowl December 30, 2004 North Carolina Tar Heels W 37-24
2005 Tom O'Brien 2005 MPC Computers Bowl December 28, 2005 Boise State Broncos W 27–21
2006 Frank Spaziani 2006 Meineke Car Care Bowl December 30, 2006 Navy Midshipmen W 25–24
2007 Jeff Jagodzinski 2007 Champs Sports Bowl December 28, 2007 Michigan State Spartans W 24–21
2008 Jeff Jagodzinski 2008 Music City Bowl December 31, 2008 Vanderbilt Commodores L 16–14
2009 Frank Spaziani 2009 Emerald Bowl December 26, 2009 USC Trojans L 24–13
2010 Frank Spaziani 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl January 9, 2011 Nevada Wolfpack L 20–13
2013 Steve Addazio 2013 AdvoCare V100 Bowl December 31, 2013 Arizona Wildcats L 42–19
2014 Steve Addazio 2014 Pinstripe Bowl December 27, 2014 Penn State Nittany Lions L 31–30
Total 24 Bowl Games 13-11

Recent seasons


The 2007 season saw a new coach in Jeff Jagodzinski and an appearance in the 2007 ACC Championship Game.


The 2008 season saw the Eagles matched up once again with the Virginia Tech Hokies in the ACC Championship Game. The Eagles fell short again and accepted a bid to the Music City Bowl to face SEC foe Vanderbilt. The Eagles fell to the Commodores, snapping its 8-game bowl win-streak (at the time the longest active streak in the nation). Senior QB Chris Crane was injured in the second quarter of the game against Wake Forest; redshirt freshman Dominique Davis guided the Eagles to wins against Wake Forest and Maryland to secure BC's second ACC Atlantic Division title.


Boston College was without star LB Mark Herzlich for the entire 2009 season while Herzlich battled Ewing's Sarcoma. Following Herzlich's announcement that he was cancer-free on College Gameday,[65] the Eagles beat the Florida State Seminoles in dramatic fashion. The Eagles finished the season 8–5, 2nd place in the ACC Atlantic Division. Sophomore RB Montel Harris broke the school's single-game rushing record for yards and TDs in BC's win over NC State; Harris rushed for 264 yards and 5 TDs.[66]


After the early season struggles of Dave Shinskie, the Eagles turned to freshman QB Chase Rettig. Rettig's first start was on the road against #16 Florida State, a game the Eagles lost 19–24. The Eagles went on to win their final 5 games to finish the regular season 7–5. Montel Harris injured his knee in the win against Virginia and missed the rest of the season.[67] The Eagles played Nevada in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, losing 13–20. After the season, Offensive Coordinator Gary Tranquill was let go and Kevin Rogers was hired. Sophomore LB Luke Kuechly was a finalist for the Butkus Award and was a unanimous All-American. The Eagles' win over the Clemson Tigers marked the Eagles first win since the creation of the O'Rourke-McFadden Trophy (created in 2008). Prior to the season, star WR Colin Larmond Jr. suffered a knee injury that forced him to miss the entire 2010 season.[68]


The Boston College 2011 season was a frustrating one. The Eagles went 4–8 and failed to become bowl-eligible for the first time in 12 years. Preseason ACC Player of the Year Montel Harris, after breaking the school's career rushing record, was sidelined with a knee injury. New offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers left the team following the loss to UCF for health reasons; Tight Ends Coach Dave Brock was promoted to interim OC and Quarterbacks Coach. Graduate Assistant Ben Johnson was promoted interim Tight Ends Coach.[69] Despite the team's struggles, junior LB Luke Kuechly was the recipient of the 2011 Butkus Award, the 2011 Lombardi Award, the 2011 Lott Trophy, and the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy.[70] Kuechly would go on to be drafted #9 overall to the Carolina Panthers. The season featured a win on the road against the Miami Hurricanes; the only other Eagle win at Miami was Doug Flutie's Miracle in Miami. Following the win over Miami, Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo announced that Frank Spaziani would return as coach for the 2012 season. DeFilippo declared that Spaziani "is the best coach that we've had in the 15 years that I've (DeFilippo) been here."[71]


Despite a 3,000+ yard performance by Junior QB Chase Rettig and a breakout record-setting season for Junior WR Alex Amidon, the 2012 team struggled mightily as they went 2-10. On November 25, 2012, it was announced by Athletic Director Brad Bates that head coach Frank Spaziani was relieved of duties as head coach of the Eagles.[72] Temple Coach Steve Addazio was named his replacement on December 4, 2012.[73]


With a new coach and a new mentality, the Eagles turned around from the previous season's lackluster 2–10 performance by going 7–5 and becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 2010. Senior running back Andre Williams finished 4th in the Heisman trophy voting after becoming the 16th player in NCAA history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season and was named the 2013 Doak Walker Award winner. In addition, Williams was also a Walter Camp Award finalist and a unanimous All-American as well as a unanimous first team All-ACC selection. During the season, Williams broke multiple school records for rushing, notably the single season record (2,177 yards), the single game record (339 yard), single game scoring record (5 TD's) and consecutive games with 250+ yards (3 games). Williams and the Eagles faced the Arizona Wildcats in the 2013 AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl but came up short by a score of 42–19 to finish the season 7–6 (4–4 ACC). Williams rushed for 2,177 yards on the season, good for 5th most all-time in the NCAA.


In his second year, Addazio led the Eagles to a consecutive 7–5 regular season, their second bowl-eligible season in as many years. With many key players having graduated, including Heisman finalist Andre Williams, quarterback Chase Rettig, wide receiver Alex Amidon, and linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, Addazio helped replace some lost production with graduate transfer quarterback Tyler Murphy, who was recruited by Addazio at Florida, as well as converting backup quarterback Josh Bordner to the wide receiver position. The running back core went from a single back (Williams) to a group of five threats: sophomores Myles Willis and Tyler Rouse, true freshman Jonathan Hilliman and Sherm Allston, as well as Tyler Murphy himself, who was more dangerous with his legs than his arm during the season. Murphy finished the season leading all quarterbacks in the league with 1,184 yards rushing, breaking the school record for most rushing yards by a quarterback, previously held by Doug Flutie. The season was highlighted by a historic upset victory over 9th ranked USC, in which Murphy rushed for 191 yards in the 37–31 victory. The Eagles nearly managed another two upsets against Clemson and Florida State, but came up just short in both games. Boston College played Penn State in the 2014 Pinstripe Bowl, losing in overtime 31–30 to finish the season 7–6 (4–4 ACC).


In his third year, Addazio led the Eagles to a 3–9 record overall, going 0–8 in ACC play, to finish last place in the Atlantic Division.


In Addazio's fourth year, the Eagles finished the regular season at an improved 6–6, going 2–6 in ACC play, to finish sixth in the Atlantic Division. Notable was the preseason loss of third-year Defensive Coordinator Don Brown, under whose stewardship in 2015 the Eagles led the nation in total defense and were top #10 in numerous other defensive categories. Brown left to coach the same position for the Michigan Wolverines.

Year-by-year results


Current coaching staff

Name Position Season at
Boston College
Steve Addazio Head coach 4th
Scot Loeffler Offensive Coordinator 1st
Jim Reid Defensive Coordinator 1st
Ben Albert Defensive Line 3rd
Justin Frye Offensive Line 3rd
Al Washington Outside Linebackers 4th
Anthony Campanile Defensive Backs 1st
Todd Fitch Wide Receivers 1st
Frank Leonard Tight Ends 3rd
Brian White Running Backs 2nd
Frank Piraino Strength & Conditioning 3rd

Head coaches

Years Head Coach Record Winning Pct
1893 Joseph Drum 3–3–0 .500
1894 William Nagle 1–6–0 .143
1895 Joseph Lawless 2–4–2 .250
1896 Frank Carney 5–3–0 .625
1897–1899, 1901 John Dunlop 15–17–2 .441
1902 Arthur White 0–7–1 .000
1908 Joe Reilly & Joe Kenney 2–4–2 .250
1909 Thomas H. Maguire[74] 3–4–1 .375
1910 James Hart 0–4–2 .000
1911 Joseph Courtney 0–7–0 .000
1912–1913 William Joy 6–7–2 .400
1914–1915 Stephen Mahoney 8–8–0 .500
1916–1917 Charles Brickley 12–4–0 .750
1918 Frank Morrissey 5–2–0 .714
1919–1926 Frank Cavanaugh 48–14–5 .716
1927 D. Leo Daley 4–4–0 .500
1928–1934 Joe McKenney 44–18–3 .677
1935 Dinny McNamara / Harry Downes 3–1–0 / 3–2–0 .667
1936–1938 Gil Dobie 16–6–5 .593
1939–1940 Frank Leahy 20–2–0 .909
1941–1942 Denny Myers 35–27–4 .530
1943–1945 Moody Sarno 11–7–1 .579
1946–1950 Denny Myers 35–27–4 .530
1951–1959 Mike Holovak 49–29–3 .605
1960–1961 Ernie Hefferle 7–12–1 .350
1962–1967 Jim Miller 34–24–0 .586
1968–1977 Joe Yukica 68–37–0 .648
1978–1980 Ed Chlebek 12–21–0 .364
1981–1990 Jack Bicknell 59–55–1 .513
1991–1993 Tom Coughlin 21–13–1 .600
1994–1996 Dan Henning 16–19–1 .444
1997–2006 Tom O'Brien 75–45–0 .625
2006 Frank Spaziani (interim) 1–0 1.000
2007–2008 Jeff Jagodzinski 20–8–0 .714
2009–2012 Frank Spaziani 21–29–0 .420
2013–present Steve Addazio 23-27-0 .460

Defensive coordinators

Offensive coordinators

Assistant head coaches

Awards and honors

Individual award winners

Consensus All-Americans

Boston College has had 12 consensus All-Americans.

Doug Flutie ('84), Luke Kuechly ('10), and Andre Williams ('13) were all unanimous selections.

Retired numbers

Boston College Eagles retired numbers
No. Player Pos. Career
22 Doug Flutie QB 1981-84
68 Mike Ruth L 1982-85

Retired jerseys

The Eagles have retired eight jerseys:[76]

College Football Hall of Fame

Six former BC Players and three former Coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Five players from the 1940 "Team of Destiny", as well as the Coach, are among the inductees. (Year Inducted)

Conference honors

Eagles in the NFL

As of December 2011, the Eagles have 20 former players on NFL rosters. Among the more notable: Matt Ryan '07 (Falcons), Matt Hasselbeck '98 (Colts), Dan Koppen '03 (Broncos), Mathias Kiwanuka '06 (Giants), Mark Herzlich '11 (Giants), B.J. Raji '09 (Packers), Nate Freese '13 (Detroit Lions).

Since 2000, the Eagles have had 22 players selected in the NFL Draft. Of those picks, 8 were first round selections. BC had consecutive top 10 picks in 2008 and 2009; Matt Ryan was selected 3rd overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 2008 and B.J. Raji was selected 9th overall by the Green Bay Packers in 2009. Luke Kuechly is the most recent Eagle to be drafted, selected by the Carolina Panthers with the 9th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

"O-Line U"

The Eagles have a reputation of producing high-quality NFL Offensive Linemen, earning the school the nickname "O-Line U".[77] Notable alums of O-Line U include Tom Nalen '93 (5x Pro Bowl Selection, 2x Super Bowl Champion), Ron Stone '92 (3x Pro Bowl Selection, 2x Super Bowl Champion), Damien Woody '98 (1x Pro Bowl Selection, 2x Super Bowl Champion), Dan Koppen '02 (1x Pro Bowl Selection, 2x Super Bowl Champion), and Chris Snee '03 (3x Pro Bowl Selection, 2x Super Bowl Champion).

The university's football program has long produced notable draft picks as well, seemingly year after year. Offensive linemen have admitted to taking pride in continuing the tradition for younger players after a player has been drafted.

Notable players

This sports-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Future non-conference opponents

Announced schedules as of January 19, 2016

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
at UMass vs Notre Dame vs UMass at Notre Dame vs Holy Cross at UMass at Notre Dame at Ohio State vs Ohio State vs Notre Dame
vs Buffalo vs Richmond vs Holy Cross vs Richmond vs Ohio vs UConn at UConn
vs UConn at Northern Illinois at Purdue vs Purdue
vs Wagner at UConn

[79] M

See also


  1. "Boston College Colors - Office of Marketing Communications - Boston College". 2011-08-18. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  2. The NCAA classified Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale as NCAA University Division (Major College) in 1937. Boston College and Holy Cross were added in 1938.
  3. In 1980, the Ivy League schools were reclassified as Division I-AA. Holy Cross followed suit in 1981.
  4. "Duke, BC Lead Academic Honor Roll". Boston College Athletics. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  5. "Eagles Among Nation's Elite in Graduation Success Rate: Football rated third-best in the country; 16 BC teams receive 100% GSR score". Boston College Athletics. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  6. "1940 Football 'Team of Destiny' - National Champions". Boston College Athletics. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  7. "1940 Team of Destiny". John J. Burns Library. Fall 2001. Archived from the original on 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  8. Quirk, Rory. "Georgetown Football History and Tradition".
  9. "cfbdatawarehouse". Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  10. "Recognized National Championships by Year". Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  11. NCAA list of recognized national champions
  12. "Boston College Athletics - Legendary Football Player and Coach Mike Holovak Dies". 2008-01-28. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  13. "Mike Holovak, 88; star back for BC became second-winningest coach of Patriots - The Boston Globe". 2008-01-28. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  14. "Ernest Hefferle Coaching Record | College Football at". Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  17. "Jim Miller Coaching Record | College Football at". Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  18. "The Heights 15 December 1967 – Boston College". 1967-12-15. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  19. "The Heights 12 January 1968 – Boston College". 1968-01-12. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  20. "Joseph Yukica Coaching Record | College Football at". Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  21. D. Keith Mano. "Hell No, He Won't Go! Dartmouth's Joe Yukica Fights for His Right to Coach Football". Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  22. "The Heights 23 January 1978 – Boston College". 1978-01-23. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  23. 1 2 "Ed Chlebek Coaching Record | College Football at". Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  26. "Doug Flutie Hail Mary Pass | The Miracle in Miami". 2015-11-18. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  27. 1 2 "College football's best of the last 20 years." USA Today. November 19, 2002.
  28. BC unveils life-sized tribute to Flutie Archived December 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., November 13, 2008.
  29. "Jack Bicknell Coaching Record | College Football at". Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  30. "The Heights 19 February 1991 – Boston College". 1991-02-19. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  31. "Tom Coughlin Coaching Record | College Football at". Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  32. Associated Press (1993-11-21). "Boston College Kicks Notre Dame Off Top : College football: Gordon, who had failed on two game-winning chances earlier in his career, beats No. 1 Irish, 41-39, on game's last play. - latimes". Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  36. Jeff Merron (June 2, 2007). "Biggest Sports Gambling Scandals". Archived from the original on March 30, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  37. "Boston College continues to sort out mess from gambling scandal". July 25, 1997.
  38. Weiss, Dick (November 26, 1996). "BC's Henning Resigns". Daily News. New York.
  41. 1 2 3
  43. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  47. 1 2 3 4
  49. Favat, Brian (December 1, 2009). "BC Announces Deal With Under Armour". BC Interruption
  50. A.J Black (December 4, 2011) "Boston College Linebacker Luke Kuechly Wins Butkus Award" BC Interruption.
  54. 1 2
  55. 1 2
  56. Dinich, Heather (September 19, 2011). "ACC Adding Big East's Syracuse, Pitt".
  57. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-25. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  59. Stevens, Patrick (October 29, 2008). "Virginia Tech's Thursday Night Magic". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 2008-12-02.
  60. "BC Football and Clemson Begin New Tradition". October 29, 2008.
  61. 1 2
  63. "Hahnfeldt's late FG edges BC to deliver Vandy first bowl win in 53 years". December 31, 2008.
  64. Cardiello, Steven (November 15, 2011). "Boston College Football's Bowl Streak Snapped". BC Observer.
  65. Mark Herzlich announces that he is cancer free.
  66. "Harris sets two single-game BC records". October 17, 2009.
  67. Petraglia, Mike (November 20, 2010). "Montel Harris has MRI on Left Knee, Fate Determined Sunday".
  68. Dinich, Heather (August 23, 2010). "Colin Larmond Jr. out for season".
  69. Blaudschun, Mark (September 12, 2011). "BC's Rogers takes leave of absence". The Boston Globe.
  70. "Luke Kuechly Wins Lombardi Award". December 8, 2011.
  71. "Boston College AD Gene DeFilippo Offers Strong Support for Football Coach Frank Spaziani". The Boston Herald. November 25, 2011.
  72. Benbow, Julian (November 25, 2012). "AD Brad Bates Lowers Boom on Boston College Football Coach Frank Spaziani". The Boston Globe. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
  73. "Steve Addazio Named Football Coach". Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  74. "Dr. Maguire Chosen". The Boston Daily Globe. September 28, 1909.
  75. Favat, Brian (December 5, 2012). "Ryan Day To Be Named Boston College Offensive Coordinator", BC Interruption. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
  76. "Retired jerseys and numbers" at Boston College website, retrieved 6 March 2013
  77. Megargee, Steve (April 10, 2006). "Boston College rules the trenches".
  79. "Boston College Eagles Football Schedules and Future Schedules". Retrieved 2015-11-08.

External links

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