The Boston College defensive coaches have work to do in building a consistent winner, though they are not without successes prior to 2014.
Over the final two years of the Dark Period™, the Eagles defense declined to such a point that it was a distant shadow of its former self. For example, Boston College’s run defense went from best in the nation in 2010 to 113th in 2012. When a unit is as non-competitive as that, it is going to take time to rebuild, and this is the duty of Don Brown and his assistants.
Boston College Defensive Coaches: Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator
Brown has been a football coach for over three decades, spending all of that time in the collegiate ranks. For most of the last thirty years, Don Brown has been either a defensive coordinator or a head coach.
In 1998, he won a national championship at UMass as the defensive coordinator — the head coach was Mark Whipple, who the Eagles will face on August 30. Brown himself would coach the Minutemen to two conference championships between 2004 and 2008.
Before joining Boston College, Brown was the defensive coordinator at Maryland and UConn, and both of those teams saw excellent return on his coaching abilities. By the time he left both of those institutions, their defenses were vastly improved, and many Eagles fans are hoping for a similar outcome.
Brown also doubles as the staff’s linebackers coach.
Boston College Defensive Coaches: Ben Albert, Defensive Line
Albert also has some UMass roots, but that is because he played for the Minutemen in the early 1990s. Following his playing career, he got his first coaching gig as the defensive line assistant in 1995.
Since then, Ben Albert has held similar positions at all of his stops, which included Richmond, Rutgers, and Delaware. At the latter, he was the associate head coach.
In 2010, Albert spent one season with the Jacksonville Jaguars before returning to college; he was Steve Addazio’s outside linebackers coach both of his years at Temple, and joined the head coach at Boston College in 2013.
This season, Albert’s defensive line is going to be replacing a great number of faces.
Boston College Defensive Coaches: Kevin Lempa, Defensive Backs
Lempa is the most experienced coach on the entire Boston College staff, having been in the ranks for over 40 years. He is in the middle of his third stint with the Eagles.
His coaching days began in the mid-1970s at Southern Connecticut State, the school for which he played wide receiver. Lempa would bounce around at lower-level schools until 1981, when Jack Bicknell made him the outside linebackers and special teams coach. He was here for all ten seasons of Cowboy Jack’s reign.
Lempa would spend some time at Dartmouth and Hawaii, sandwiching a three-year stretch with the San Diego Chargers, before returning to Boston College in 2003 under Tom O’Brien. At that point, he was the defensive backs coach.
He was out with the next coaching change, but returned to the Heights a third time in 2013, again as defensive backs coach under Steve Addazio.
Boston College Defensive Coaches: Sean McGowan, Sam Linebackers/Nickel Package
Note: McGowan also serves as the Eagles’ special teams coordinator.
Like several other faces on this coaching staff, including none other than the head coach himself, Sean McGowan is a Connecticut native, yet he played his college football in the Bronx at Fordham from 1995 to 1998.
After graduating, he got his first shot at coaching with D-III Occidental before bouncing through Pitt, Duquesne, and West Virginia Tech (not a typo). McGowan would then spend the next seven seasons as a defensive assistant at New Hampshire before joining Addazio at Temple in 2011. He has been a linebacker-focused coach ever since.
Boston College Defensive Coaches: Michael Livingston, Graduate Assistant
Livingston is a UConn man who has seen the light and converted into an Eagle. He worked on the Huskies’ staff under Don Brown as a student manager and assistant before following his coordinator to the Heights.
In particular, his focus is to assist “in coaching the secondary and special teams.”
Boston College Defensive Coaches: Ryan Przydzial, Graduate Assistant
Przydzial is in his first year as an official member of the staff, having been a volunteer defensive coach in 2013 while serving as a grad assistant now. His specialty will be the defensive line and assisting Coach Albert.
He played for the now-defunct Northeastern Huskies, another coaching stop of Don Brown, where he was an offensive lineman. Amongst his other local coaching stops include Catholic Memorial in West Roxbury, the alma mater of incoming freshman Kevin Bletzer.