Coleman Hutzler to Head Boston College Special Teams

On Tuesday, Boston College football officially named Coleman Hutzler as the new special teams coordinator for the Eagles in 2015.

The story was first reported by Eric Hoffses on Sunday, who made the discovery. It was not until today that Boston College broke the story themselves.

Hutzler replaces Sean McGowan, who coached special teams on the Heights during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He also had the responsibility of coaching the Sam linebackers as well as coordinating the nickel defensive packages. McGowan will not return to the coaching staff next season.

Coleman Hutzler was the special teams coordinator for the Florida Gators in 2014, previously coaching special teams at New Mexico in 2012 and 2013. The 30-year old coach served in an unofficial role as a Florida special teams assistant during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. It was in 2010 that Addazio and Hutzler were both involved in the Florida Gators program.

With Jim McElwain’s hire at Florida last month, as part of the sweeping changes going on in Gainesville, Hutzler was not retained. Coleman Hutzler will also coach Sam linebackers next season.

The change in special teams coordinator possibly had something to do with the performance of the Boston College kickers in 2014. Coleman Hutzler inherits a unit that was last in FBS in extra point kicking percentage of 81 percent, having missed eight during the course of the season, including the most infamous miss of all in overtime of the Pinstripe Bowl. As a unit, the combined efforts of Alex Howell, Mike Knoll, and Joey Launceford made 12 of 19 field goals, 12th-best in the ACC.

Yet, while the job the kickers did was one of the worst in memory for Boston College, the rest of the special teams unit performed admirably under McGowan in 2014. Alex Howell did a respectable job as the team’s punter while the Eagles did well relative to the rest of the ACC in terms of kick and punt return yardage and coverage.

In his previous position, it was said that Coleman Hutzler was hired with the specific task of “fixing” the Gators’ special teams unit. He would have a similar charge at Boston College, but any objective evaluation of this past season would reveal that it was just one specific part of Eagles special teams that needed fixing. It would seem a bit unfair for McGowan to have lost his job because three guys forgot how to kick a ball through yellow poles when the rest of the unit under his control did fine.

Yet, that is the nature of the business, and as Bill Belichick might say, “it is what it is.” Perhaps McGowan will land on his feet somewhere else, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Assuming there is not a completely new crop of kickers on the Eagles next season, the issue for Coleman Hutzler to address is how to get these young men to put the past behind them and leave the head games in 2014.