Sports, Football

McNulty Places Emphasis On Tradition And History As New Offensive Coordinator

Newly hired Boston College football offensive coordinator John McNulty started his introductory press conference Tuesday with a nod to New England.

“I hope this news doesn’t upstage Brady’s announcement here in Boston,” McNulty said Tuesday afternoon. “But it’s truly an honor to be given this opportunity.”

McNulty answered questions on Tuesday about his decision to leave South Bend for Chestnut Hill. The former Notre Dame tight ends coach said it was an easy decision, noting that he declined multiple NFL offers before accepting the opportunity to join head coach Jeff Hafley as BC’s offensive coordinator.

McNulty said he didn’t feel as if any of those situations were right and didn’t have any interest in leaving his current job at Notre Dame until Hafley came knocking. McNulty described the opportunity to go to BC as a “no-brainer” given the program and its background.

“When it came down to Coach Hafley and this program, that kind of changed everything,” he said.

BC will be the 11th program McNulty has worked at since he started as a coach in 1991. He said that one thing that stuck out to him about the Eagles was quarterback Phil Jurkovec, and he said he believes that Jurkovec brings potential for immediate success.

“The number one thing is to have an experienced quarterback that has shown that he can do it at a high level,” McNulty said. “That is a huge advantage—that he’s returning. … And I want to spend as much time as I possibly can with the whole offense to make sure they’re comfortable.”  

Hafley confirmed that he consulted Jurkovec during the hiring process, and the coach said fixing an offense that underperformed last year was a necessity. The Eagles found the endzone 37 times last season.

“We need to improve on offense next year,” Hafley said. “And that starts with me. That’s why this hire was huge for me, because it all falls on me. And we need to play better on offense next year. Every one of us would say that.”

Hafley said he didn’t take the hiring process lightly and considered around eight candidates, from both within the program and outside of it. He said that he faced pressure to get the hire done quickly but took his time until he found the right fit.

McNulty said he was planning on maintaining an element of surprise ahead of BC’s first few games in September. He did speak about his first impressions, though, and his predictions for how he’ll use the team’s tight ends, coming in as a former tight ends coach at Notre Dame. He said about 50 percent of BC’s schemes will have two or three tight ends and the rest will have one. 

“I do think we need some two–tight end sets,” McNulty said. “And then if three works, then so be it. … But I saw a lot of dynamic guys today, a lot of guys that I think could help us.”

McNulty has seven months to teach his offense and work with coach Hafley in preparation for Sept. 3, when BC will play Rutgers in the Eagles’ season opener, but he said his years of experience will prepare him for the upcoming season.

“Obviously I understand a lot about the fabric and history of this place and how special it is,” McNulty said. “I take it very seriously because it’s also a great responsibility. And after talking to some of these players, they’re very hungry to get started, and I couldn’t be happier to be here.”

February 3, 2022