Jeff Jagodzinski became the first ACC head coach ever to win 11 games in his first season on the job
Last week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired a defensive coordinator with a sterling track record and extensive top-job experience in Jim Bates. Now they've done the same for the offensive side of the ball.
On Thursday, the Buccaneers announced the hiring of new offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski, former head coach at Boston College and offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers. As is team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
With Jagodzinski joining Bates at the top of Raheem Morris's staff, the Buccaneers new head coach has a wealth of experience and football knowledge to tap into as he leads the Buccaneers into a new era.
Jagodzinski joins the Buccaneers after two extremely successful seasons at Boston College. In 2007, his first year at the helm, the Eagles won 11 games for the first time since 1940 and conquered Michigan State in the Champs Sports Bowl. In the process, Jagodzinski set a new ACC record for most wins by a head coach in his first season. In 2008, Boston College followed up with a 9-5 record and a trip to both the ACC title game and the Music City Bowl. After the season, Jagodzinski interviewed with the New York Jets for their vacant head coaching position.
Jagodzinski's past success — in both the NFL and the college ranks — suggests he can construct a balanced offense in Tampa that will succeed on the ground and through the air.
As the offensive line coach with Atlanta in 2005, and the tight ends coach in 2004, Jagodzinski helped the Falcons rank first in the NFL in both rushing yards per game and yards per carry in both seasons. Atlanta's ground game picked up an average of 163.1 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry over that two-year span. As the Falcons' line coach in '05, Jagodzinski had the opportunity to work with team consultant Alex Gibbs, the former Denver Broncos mainstay who was the architect of some of the most successful offensive lines in NFL history.
In an indirect manner, Jagodzinski's impact on the Falcons continued even after he left Atlanta for Green Bay in 2006 and BC in 2007. Eagles quarterback Matt Ryan flourished in the offense Jagodzinski installed at Boston College in 2007 and was eventually taken third overall in the 2008 draft by Atlanta. After winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and ACC Player of the Year honors in 2007, Ryan proved to be one of the best rookie quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen. Ryan started all 16 games for the Falcons in 2008, compiled an 87.7 passer rating and helped the Falcons rebound stunningly from a 4-12 record in 2007 to an 11-5 mark and a playoff berth in '08.
Jagodzinski also had great success building an NFL passing game the season before he took over at Boston College. As Green Bay's offensive coordinator in 2006, he ran the Packers' ninth-ranked aerial attack, a unit that gained 237.2 yards per game. The Packers also finished ninth in the league in overall offense in 2006 after ranking 18th the year before.
Though it was just a one-season stop thanks to the head coaching opportunity at BC, Jagodzinski's year as the Packers' coordinator was his second coaching stint in Green Bay. From 1999-2003, he served as the Packers' tight ends coach; he was originally hired by Ray Rhodes in 1999 and then retained by Mike Sherman for the next four seasons. During that time, Jagodzinski developed tight end Bubba Franks into a three-time Pro Bowler, and he would later help Atlanta tight end Alge Crumpler to the NFL's all-star game in 2004.
In addition to his years as a head coach and an offensive coordinator (a position he also held with Boston College from 1997-98), Jagodzinski has a wealth of experience as an offensive line tutor. That's another significant plus for the Buccaneers, who believe their young and talented O-line will be one of the team's strengths in the coming years.
Jagodzinski oversaw the Eagles' offensive line during his two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Boston College in the 1990s. In each of those two campaigns, the Eagles averaged more than 400 yards of offense per game and allowed the fewest sacks in the Big East. In 1997, Boston College allowed the most sacks in the conference; Jagodzinski took the line from worst to first in just one year.
Jagodzinski had previously coached the O-line at East Carolina from 1989-96, first as the tight ends coach/assistant offensive line coach for three seasons and then as the offensive line coach for the last five. He tutored the same position at Louisiana State (1987-88) and Northern Illinois (1986) after launching his coaching career as the running backs coach at his alma mater, Wisconsin-Whitewater. Jagodzinski played four seasons at fullback for UW-Whitewater, earning his degree in education in the process.
The 45-year-old Jagodzinski hails from West Allis, Wisconsin. He and his wife, Lisa, have one son, Josh, and four daughters, JoAnne, Jessica, Jacqueline and Jennifer.