The Green Bay Packers parted ways with defensive coordinator Joe Barry at the end of the 2023 season.
Before hiring former Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley last week, the Packers brass conducted extensive interviews with potential replacements for Barry.
The Packers announced Wednesday night that Hafley will replace Barry, who was sacked last week after three seasons as Green Bay’s defensive coordinator. Hafley went 22-26 in four seasons at Boston College, including a 7-6 record this season and a Fenway Bowl victory over SMU.
“I loved my four years at Boston College,” Hafley said in a statement issued by the school. “This is an excellent place to coach because of the quality of student-athletes we recruit, the facilities, and the support of the University and BC fans. I’ll miss the players who gave so much of themselves over the last four years, and my wife Gina and I will definitely miss the BC community and the many friends we’ve made here.”
The 44-year-old Hafley is the third collegiate head coach to leave for an assistant position, following Maurice Linguist from Buffalo and Kane Wommack from South Alabama to join new Alabama coach Kalen DeBoer’s staff
His decision also reopens the coaching carousel, giving Boston College the only vacancy in any Football Bowl Subdivision program.
Hafley formerly worked as an NFL secondary coach for Tampa Bay (2012-13), Cleveland (2014-15), and San Francisco (2016-18) before becoming Ohio State’s co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach in 2019.
“Jeff has had success at every stop of his coaching career, with an impressive track record of developing players at every level,” Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur said in an announcement of the job. “We look forward to him leading our defense.”
Hafley takes over a defense that struggled for most of the season until rallying late.
During the regular season, Green Bay’s defense ranked 10th in points allowed per game (20.6), 17th in yards allowed per game (335.1), and 23rd in yards allowed per play (5.4), including eight past first-round draft picks.
Green Bay’s season concluded with a 24-21 NFC divisional playoff loss to San Francisco, in which the 49ers drove 69 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown with 1:07 left.
Green Bay Packers Fan Applies For Defensive Coordinator Job, Receives Epic Response From Team President Mark Murphy.
Like any coaching search, the Packers interviewed several candidates before selecting Hafley as their next defensive coordinator.
According to KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson, Ravens linebackers coach and recently hired defensive coordinator Zach Orr declined the Packers’ offer to join LaFleur’s staff. Orr has been with the Baltimore Ravens organization for a decade, having signed as a player in 2014 before retiring due to injury concerns and joining John Harbaugh’s staff.
This is the second time in recent years that the Packers’ rumored top candidate has turned them down for a different role, following Jim Leonard’s decision to remain in Madison after the team fired former DC Mike Pettine in 2021.
But, according to a Twitter user called Dan McDermott, his cousin also applied for the Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator position, despite having only fantasy football experience.
McDermott discusses the spectacular answer his cousin received from Packers President Mark Murphy, who took a direct jab at the rival Chicago Bears.
My cousin Bill applied for the Green Bay Packers’ Defensive Coordinator position. He received a handwritten letter from President and CEO Mark Murphy. It reads: “Bill. Thank you for your cover letter and resume for our Defensive Coordinator position. While your fantasy football experience is amazing, I regret to inform you that we have decided to take a different approach. I understand the Bears have an opening, and you appear to be a fantastic fit for them. Thank you again. Sincerely-Mark”