Boston College football has finalized its 2023 coaching staff, and a variety of changes are coming to the Eagles’ offense and defense after they finished the 2022 season 3–9. On Friday, BC head coach Jeff Hafley named Rob Chudzinski as associate head coach, Steve Shimko as offensive coordinator, and Sean Duggan and Aazaar Abdul-Rahim as co-defensive coordinators.
“2022—it’s over. It’s done,” Hafley said. “It wasn’t good enough. And that’s me. And it will be good enough going forward and people should be damn really excited.”
Chudzinski was previously BC’s special assistant to the head coach from 2020–22. The head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2013, Chudzinski has 14 years of NFL experience. Most recently, he served as the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive coordinator from 2015–17. The Colts’ offense was the 10th best in the NFL in 2016.
“He is going to develop our scheme, he’s going to develop a playbook, he’s going to develop the players,” Hafley said. “He’s one of the best offensive guys that have been around.”
Chudzinski started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Miami, his alma mater, and became an offensive coordinator at Miami from 2001–03, overseeing the Hurricanes’ BCS National Championship offense in 2001.
Shimko served as BC’s quarterbacks coach in 2022 and tight ends coach from 2020–21. The 33-year-old has coached two All-ACC tight ends—Trae Barry and Hunter Long—in his tenure on the Heights thus far.
“He had chances to leave to be a coordinator in college, he had a chance to leave to go to the NFL,” Hafley said. “I think he’s a rising star. He sees things extremely quickly. I think him and [Chudzinski] have an unbelievable working relationship.”
Prior to his tenure at BC, Shimko served as the Seattle Seahawks’ assistant quarterbacks coach from 2018–19 and Garden City Community College’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach during the 2016–17 season. Shimko began his career as a graduate assistant at Rutgers in 2013.
Chudzinski and Shimko will look to reinvent an offense that struggled in 2022 under former offensive coordinator John McNulty. The Eagles ranked dead last in the nation in rushing yards in 2022 with 63.2 and 123rd in scoring offense with 17.8 points per game. BC’s offensive line allowed 46 sacks last season for an average of 3.83 sacks per game, good for 129th in the FBS.
With the addition of wide receiver Ryan O’Keefe and the return of Christian Mahogany—alongside new offensive line coach Matt Applebaum—BC will look to turnaround its offense for the 2023 season with quarterback Emmett Morehead at its helm.
Hafley said he will become more involved in the defense in 2023 and run a scheme he’s comfortable with.
“This is the scheme that I was part of in San Francisco, this is a scheme that I ran at Ohio State, this is a scheme that I brought here,” Hafley said. “I’m gonna get more involved in the defense which I’m really fired up to do and it’s kind of reenergized me this last month.”
As for the co-defensive coordinators, Hafley said that hiring in-house was the right decision for the Eagles.
“I didn’t feel like bringing somebody in and having all of us teach them our scheme when those guys have been loyal and they’re phenomenal,” Hafley said of Abdul-Rahim and Duggan.
Abdul-Rahim was most recently BC’s associate head coach from 2021–22 and held the role of defensive backs coach and pass game coordinator as well. BC’s defense ranked third nationally in passing yards allowed in 2021 and also ranked among the top 30 teams in the country in total defense, red zone defense, first downs allowed, third down percentage, team passing, and defensive touchdowns.
In 2020, he served as BC’s defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator.
Prior to coming to BC, Abdul-Rahim was UMass Amhert’s defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach in 2019, Maryland’s cornerbacks coach in 2018, and the Terrapins’ defensive backs coach from 2016–2017.
Duggan will join Abdul-Rahim as a co-defensive coordinator in 2023. A former BC graduate, Duggan most recently served as BC’s linebackers coach from 2020–22, coaching three linebackers to All-ACC teams—Isaiah McDuffie and Max Richardson in 2020 and Vinny DePalma in 2022. DePalma is returning to the Heights in 2023 for his sixth year.
Duggan worked with Hafley at Ohio State in 2019 as a graduate assistant.
Paul Rhoads will become BC’s outside linebackers coach, rounding out the new staff and reuniting with Hafley, as the two worked together at Pittsburgh in the 2006–07 season.
“We went out and we went to work,” Hafley said. “Clearly we made changes on staff. It’s been really exciting.”