Green Bay Packers Make Surprise Move, Tap Boston College’s Jeff Hafley as New Defensive Coordinator



Kelley L Cox, USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers have made a surprising move by appointing Jeff Hafley, the head coach of Boston College, as their new defensive coordinator, as announced on Wednesday night by Packers coach Matt LaFleur.

Hafley, who brings a wealth of experience coaching defensive backs with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, and San Francisco 49ers, has spent the last five seasons in college football. His most recent stint was a four-year tenure with Boston College. Before that, he served as co-coordinator at Ohio State for one year.

This unexpected hiring decision caught many off guard, as no media outlet had reported on LaFleur interviewing Hafley. The prevailing expectation was that the Packers’ coach was targeting an NFL assistant coach, former head coach, or coordinator for the position.

Hafley steps in to replace Joe Barry, who was dismissed after the Packers’ playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Despite not having previously worked together, there is a connection between LaFleur and Hafley. Hafley served as the defensive backs coach in San Francisco under former defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who is a close friend of LaFleur and currently the head coach of the New York Jets. Saleh’s insights likely played a role in LaFleur’s decision.

Hafley’s time in San Francisco also overlapped with Mike LaFleur’s tenure as an assistant coach and involved interactions with Packers college scouting director Matt Malaspina. These connections may have influenced LaFleur’s confidence in Hafley’s abilities.

Reports suggest that Hafley’s position at Boston College was uncertain, and the Packers may have to negotiate a buyout from his existing contract. Despite his success in leading Boston College to a 6-6 record and a victory in the Fenway Bowl, concerns about the team’s performance and upcoming challenges, such as losing key players to graduation, may have influenced Hafley’s decision to move to the NFL.

Among the candidates interviewed by LaFleur were notable names like former Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley, Buffalo Bills inside linebackers coach Bobby Babich, Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Aden Durde, Denver Broncos defensive backs coach Christian Parker, and Baltimore Ravens defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson, along with inside linebackers coach Zach Orr.

Hafley’s diverse experience under various defensive coordinators, including former Packers coordinator Mike Pettine, adds an interesting dimension to the Packers’ defensive coaching staff.

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