Skip to main content

Packers hire Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley as next defensive coordinator

Green Bay is reaching into the college ranks for its next defensive coordinator.

The Packers hired Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley as their defensive coordinator, the team announced Wednesday night.

NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported Green Bay was hiring Hafley earlier on Wednesday.

Hafley enjoyed some relatively quick success in his time at Boston College, going 6-5 in 2020 and 6-6 in 2021, earning an extension to stay with the Eagles through 2026. Since then, though, things have taken a downward turn; The Eagles finished 3-9 in 2022, and just barely managed to return to bowl eligible status with a 6-6 record -- despite playing a schedule with a strength ranking of 76th out of 133, per ESPN -- in 2023.

Simply, Hafley was on the hot seat entering 2024. Instead of leaving his fate to the increasingly unpredictable environment of modern college football, the coach is seizing the opportunity to latch on with an NFL team.

He'll head north to Green Bay, where Packers fans became intimately familiar with an unpredictable Joe Barry defense that finished 17th in total defense and 10th in scoring this season, but also gave up 24-plus points in losses to Atlanta (7-10), Detroit (12-5), Minnesota (7-10), the New York Giants (6-11) and Tampa Bay (9-8). Barry's unit also surrendered a stunning 30 points in a tight win over the lowly Carolina Panthers (2-15), who finished with the worst offense in the NFL in both yards and points per game.

Barry's defense held up well enough for the Packers to reach the Divisional Round, but crumbled upon arrival, surrendering a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter of a 24-21 defeat at the hands of the eventual NFC champion San Francisco 49ers.

Hafley will be handed a simple, yet complex task in Green Bay: Extract quantifiable, consistent production from a defense that isn't lacking for talent. He brings with him extensive coaching experience at both the collegiate and professional ranks, serving as defensive backs coach at the University of Pittsburgh and Rutgers before making the leap to the NFL as defensive backs assistant in Tampa Bay from 2012-2013. He also made stops in Cleveland and San Francisco before returning to college with Ohio State (where he served as defensive backs coach and co-defensive coordinator in 2019) before accepting the top job at Boston College.

With Matt LaFleur's offense -- a unit headlined by quarterback Jordan Love and a cast of young pass catchers -- just starting to take flight in 2023, now is the time for the coach to find a proper replacement for Barry on the defensive side. He's hoping Hafley is the answer he and Packers fans everywhere have been needing.

Related Content