Top Story, Football

Eagles Offensive Coordinator Scot Loeffler Hired as Bowling Green Head Coach

After Boston College football finished the regular season on a three-game skid, fans and alumni assumed that there’d be a coaching change this week. Well, they got one—although it wasn’t quite what they expected.

On Wednesday morning, Eagles offensive coordinator and deputy head coach Scot Loeffler was named Bowling Green’s new head coach, replacing Mike Jinks, who posted a meager 7-24 record during his three-year tenure with the team. The move marks the first time in Loeffler’s career that he’ll be occupying a head coaching position—one that’s been held by esteemed coaches in the past. In fact, three of the last five to call the shots in Doyt L. Perry Stadium are currently serving as Power Five head coaches: Dino Babers (Syracuse), Dave Clawson (Wake Forest), and Urban Meyer (Ohio State).

Loeffler took the offensive coordinator job at BC back in 2016 and was promoted to deputy head coach for the 2018 campaign. He took over the seventh-worst scoring offense in college football—a unit that was averaging 17.2 points per game—installed an up-tempo offense, and helped turn the Eagles into one of the highest scoring (32.0 points per game in 2018) and most entertaining teams in the ACC, let alone the country. Loeffler’s three-year stay was just the latest stop in his coaching carousel: In total, he has worked as an assistant for eight different teams.

Of course, in 2009-10, he coached alongside Steve Addazio at Florida, joining Meyer’s staff as the Gators’ quarterback coach. Even though the Barberton, Ohio native only spent one year at Florida, his work didn’t go unnoticed. Loeffler—who previously coached Tom Brady at Michigan and Jon Kitna, Daunte Culpepper, and Drew Stanton as a Detroit Lions assistant—mentored Tim Tebow, helping the senior polish his mechanics for the upcoming NFL Draft. By the year’s end, the Heisman Trophy winner ranked first in the nation in passing efficiency. Looking back, Tebow’s playing style didn’t translate to a lengthy pro career, but what Loeffler was able to do with the dual-threat quarterback further convinced his colleagues that he was special, especially one in particular.

Addazio hired Loeffler as his quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator when he moved to the Mid-American Conference to coach Temple. During their one year together in Philly, the two revamped the Owls’ offense. Temple racked up 30.6 points per game in 2011—5.6 more than it averaged in the final season of Al Golden’s five-year stint. The Owls’ offense was built from the ground up—literally. Jumping from 58th to seventh in the nation’s rushing ranks, Temple boasted one of the most lethal running games in all of college football.

Addazio’s Owls rounded out the season with a New Mexico Bowl victory, tallying their ninth and final win of the season. But the dominance was short-lived, and so was the Addazio-Loeffler partnership—for the time being, at least.

scot loeffler

Loeffler was hired as Auburn’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach that winter, before moving to Virginia Tech the following season. When he got to Blacksburg in 2013, he was asked to groom the turnover-prone Logan Thomas and restore the Hokies’ reputation as one of the more offensively adept teams in the ACC. It took time, but eventually, Loeffler had VTech where it was in the late 2000s, averaging 31 points per game during the 2015 campaign.

In his final two years with the Hokies, they recorded 75 or more snaps a game. At the tail end of his first year at BC, Loeffler returned to running a high-octane offense—the Eagles reached that mark against Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl and logged 29 first-half points en route to their first postseason victory since 2007. From that point forward, BC rolled out a no-huddle offense on a game-to-game basis.

Although the Eagles’ first half of the 2017 season was nothing short of putrid—BC averaged 16.3 points per game in the opening six games of the year, its lowest scoring output since 1978—everything came together at Louisville. A.J. Dillon rushed for 272 yards and four touchdowns, bursting open the playbook and jumpstarting BC’s 5-1 regular season finish. From then on, Loeffler established a rhythm on offense, calling for similar formations in succession, all while alternating between the run and the pass to keep defenses on edge. Throw in an array of gadget plays, and the Eagles’ methodical offense was finally fun to watch again.

BC racked up 40 or more points against three different ACC opponents—a number that it hadn’t reached in a game since 2009—during the back half of the campaign, setting the stage for yet another offensive explosion this fall. Loeffler’s unit logged 35 or more points on five separate occasions this year, notably pouring on 55-plus points in the first two contests of the campaign, before averaging just 16.3 points per game in the final three games of the regular season.

Not only is Addazio losing 21 players to graduation—10 of which received All-ACC honors on Monday—but he’s also losing his play caller and deputy head coach.   

Featured Image Courtesy of BC Athletics

Graphic by Andy Backstrom / Heights Editor

November 28, 2018