Sports, Football

Matt Applebaum to Return as BC’s Offensive Line Coach

Thirteen days after former Boston College football offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo parted ways with the Eagles, BC head coach Jeff Hafley announced the program’s next offensive line coach on Wednesday—Matt Applebaum. 

Applebaum returns to BC to lead the offensive line after having spent the 2020 and 2021 seasons in Chestnut Hill as BC’s offensive line coach during Halfey’s first two years on the Heights. Applebaum spent the 2022 season as the Miami Dolphins’ O-line coach, helping them reach the playoffs for the first time in six years, but was fired on Feb. 2, prompting his return to the Heights.

In 2023, Applebaum won’t have an All-ACC starting offensive line at his fingertips like he did in 2021. Instead, Applebaum will inherit an offensive line that in 2022 ranked third to last in the FBS in opposing sack yardage with 360 yards on the year and allowed 46 sacks for an average of 3.83 sacks per game, good for 129th in the FBS. In 2022, BC finished dead last in the nation in total rushing yards with 758 and rushing yards per game with 63.2, en route to a 3–9 season.

With Applebaum at the helm of the O-line in 2021, the Eagles averaged 165.2 rushing yards per game and allowed just 2.17 sacks per game, good for fourth best in the ACC. The 2020 Applebaum-led O-line started all 11 games together and were a conduit for BC’s pass-protection game. BC had the third-best passing attack in the ACC in 2020 with 284.2 passing yards per game. 

Over the course of his career on the Heights, Applebaum coached nine total All-ACC selections, and two All-Americans—Alec Lindstrom and Zion Johnson, who was selected by the Los Angeles Chargers with the 17th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Lindstrom and Johnson were All-ACC First Team selections in 2021. 

Redshirt junior offensive lineman and two-year starter Christian Mahogany will reunite with Applebaum in Chestnut Hill next season as the centerpiece of BC’s O-line. He was voted to the All-ACC Second Team in 2021, but missed the entire 2022 season with an ACL tear. Mahogany announced he would be returning for his fifth season in 2023 on Twitter on Dec. 14.  

For BC, the 2022 season was one of many woes, many of which Applebaum will be tasked to fix. BC’s 2022 O-line sustained numerous injuries in addition to Mahogany’s and changed its combination a total of eight times. Right tackle Kevin Cline missed all but two games with a torn ACL, tackle Finn Dirstine missed the second half of the season with an injured shoulder, and center Drew Kendall missed BC’s 43–15 loss to Wake Forest with a broken wrist.

Prior to his career at BC, Applebaum spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons as Towson’s offensive line coach. In 2019, the Tigers finished atop the CAA in scoring and total offense. Applebaum spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons at Davidson where he coached the offensive line in 2016 before he was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2017. He also coached Southeastern Louisiana’s offensive line in 2015 and Bucknell’s offensive line in 2013.

February 15, 2023