Sports, Football

Hafley Hires Sean Duggan to Take Over Linebackers Coaching

Sean Duggan is heading back to Chestnut Hill after a four-year hiatus. 

Former Boston College football captain and grad assistant Sean Duggan is the Eagles’ new linebackers coach. Head coach Jeff Hafley made the announcement on Wednesday, with high praise for Duggan, who he worked with this past season at Ohio State.

“After working with Sean at Ohio State, he was a guy who jumped out that if I ever landed a head job, I have to hire this guy,” Hafley told “He is smart, reliable, sees things on gameday and really understands the big picture. He is well advanced beyond his years and has a chance to be a superstar in our profession.”

Duggan, BC ’15, spent the 2019 season as a defensive graduate assistant in Columbus, Ohio. He worked under Hafley amid the Buckeyes’ dominant defensive campaign, in which they allowed an average of 13.7 points (fourth nationally) and 259.7 total yards per game (first).

Prior to taking the job at Ohio State, Duggan was the linebackers coach at Massachusetts. During 2018, his one year in Amherst, he oversaw a position group led by Bryton Barr. The two-year Minutemen starter racked up 140 tackles—nearly double the total of UMass’ second-leading tackler—nine of which were behind the line of scrimmage. Barr was selected to the New England Football Writers Association (NEFWA) All-Region team and received an NFL Mini Camp invite from the New York Giants.

Before returning to the Bay State, Duggan served as Hawaii’s linebackers coach from 2016 to 2017. Both years on the job, he mentored Jahlani Tavai, who tallied 128 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception, en route to All-Mountain West First Team honors in 2016. In addition to Tavai—who currently plays for the Detroit Lions—Duggan coached another future NFLer at Hawaii, albeit a lesser-known linebacker: Jerrol Garcia-Williams. While Garcia-Williams only appeared in 11 games at the next level, he was a veteran presence in the Rainbow Warriors’ linebacking corps back in 2016.

Duggan’s coaching career started where his playing days ended. He was a defensive graduate assistant at BC in 2015, when the Eagles conceded just 15.3 points (fourth nationally) and 254 yards (first) per game, despite finishing just 3-9.

A captain in 2014, Duggan rounded out his final season in an Eagles uniform with 36 total tackles and an interception. Notably, he recorded six tackles in a dramatic 33-31 win at Virginia Tech and five more in BC’s heartbreaking Pinstripe Bowl loss to Penn State. All in all, Duggan notched 115 tackles in his 45-game Eagles career. 

Hafley has previously worked with every assistant that he’s hired so far. Not only does Duggan check that box, but he’s also a familiar face for the entire BC fanbase.

Featured Image by Jess Rivals / Heights Editor

January 9, 2020