The majority of ACC coaches should be safe going into 2023, but a few may be feeling a little uncomfortable.
Tony Elliot (Virginia) and Brent Pry (Virginia Tech) Getting Warm: This pair of coaches from the Commonwealth state are in almost identical situations. Both entered their first year of being head coaches in 2022 after being top coordinators at a perennial power, both programs are going through a massive transition from a previous regime, and both could only muster 3 wins a piece last year. There is a level of patience in both programs, but if there is no improvement in 2023 I wouldn’t be surprised if an administration fires either Pry or Elliot to start over again.
Dino Babers (Syracuse) Heating Up: Didn’t it feel like yesterday the Orange were finishing up a 10 win season with a ranking of 15th? That was 5 years ago, and Syracuse hasn’t been close to it since. After 3 losing seasons, it was refreshing to kick off 2022 with a 6-0 start. Unfortunately, they would go on to lose six out of their last seven games, including the Pinstripe Bowl against Minnesota. It is believed that Baber’s large extension, that was given to him after 2018, is up in 2024. 7 or 8 wins in each of the next two years could give him a small additional extension, but an overall losing record could have Babers and Syracuse parting ways.
Jeff Hafley (Boston College) Hot: To understand why Jeff Hafley is on the hot seat is deeper than his overall record being 15-20. Hafley took over at Boston College after the firing of Steve Addazio, who was 44-44 during his tenure for the Golden Eagles. During Addazio’s 7-year stint, BC had five, 7-win seasons and only 1 losing record. They were the definition of average but they were consistently making bowl games. The administration felt the program was in a rut and they wouldn’t be able to take the next step under Addazio, which resulted in his firing. Fast Forward to 2023 and Hafley isn’t doing much better. His best year was during the pandemic season when they went 6-5 playing all but one conference game. Then followed the next two years with a total of 9 wins. Year four is make-or-break for Coach Hafley, all of his recruits are in the program, can he turn it around?