May 30, 2024

Why Did Hafley Leave BC? ‘It’s the Green Bay Packers’

Green Bay, Wisconsin – Why did Jeff Hafley leave Boston College, where he led the Eagles to a bowl win in his fourth season, to become the Green Bay Packers’ defensive coordinator? Hafley explained his reasoning in a lengthy opening speech at his debut news conference at Lambeau Field on Thursday. Here it is, minimally edited.
“It’s great to be here.” It’s really fantastic to be here. I’ve been here for about a week and a half and have jumped right in. I’d like to clarify why I came and answer any queries. A lot of reporters have tried to contact me and ask, “Why did you leave?” Why did you leave a head job? It’s really more about this place than anything else.
“And one was Matt (LaFleur).” I’ve known Matt for a while. I worked with his brother (Mike), Kyle (Shanahan), Robert (Saleh), and other people he knew, so I was aware of Matt. I’ve respected what he’s accomplished. I have observed what he has done here. I guess he’s 56-27. wonderful coach, wonderful leader, amazing individual, and great family man. All of these are critical factors in my decision to work for another head coach and leave my previous head coaching position. So Matt is a major cause.
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“And then Brian (Gutekunst) was watching the talent that he had accumulated over the last five years. When I actually started watching the footage, I saw the last few draft classes and the work he’s done and would continue to do in the future, which was clearly very intriguing to me.
“When you look at what this team accomplished and the challenges they overcome early in the season, it says a lot about Matt, the organization, the staff, and the players. A young team, they stuck together and won in the end. When our season finished, watching the playoff games and the finale of the season was quite stunning and exciting for me.
“And finally, as a guy who grew up loving football, it’s the Green Bay Packers.” This is like the Mecca of football for me, and most people who grew up enjoying football. Even now, just being here and driving into Lambeau every day feels weird. The community, possibly the best fans in the world, made a really, really difficult decision a lot easier – leaving Boston College, players that I loved, staff that I liked, and the leadership at the school – and that’s why I decided to come.
“And now that my head has cleared up a little bit and I can see things much more clearly than when I was making that decision, there’s no doubt that I made the right one. I’m excited to be here, to be among all of you, to be a part of the staff, to work with some of the new people we’ve brought in, and I can’t wait to get started.” What he didn’t discuss, but ultimately got around to, was the possibility to coach football and get out of the rapidly changing game of college football.

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