Addazio talks about 'difficult' decision to leave Owls

Boston College coach Steve Addazio spent just two seasons leading the Owls. "Sometimes nothing you do was good enough," he said. CHUCK BURTON / AP
Boston College coach Steve Addazio spent just two seasons leading the Owls. "Sometimes nothing you do was good enough," he said. CHUCK BURTON / AP
Posted: August 29, 2013

Former Temple football coach Steve Addazio didn't establish roots in Philadelphia for long, but he said his home of the previous two years will always be a special place in what has been a nomadic coaching career.

Addazio, 54, earned his first college head coaching job at Temple in the 2010 season, and he is now guiding Boston College, which opens its season by hosting Villanova in Saturday's noon matchup.

Addazio said he understands that his quick departure from Temple didn't sit well with many alumni, players, and fans. Even in the transient college coaching profession, two years is a short time.

"You know how this goes. You leave, and sometimes nothing you do was good enough, and everybody wants to find reason and blame," Addazio said in a phone interview. "It was very difficult to leave, and I really liked it there, and there were great people there."

Addazio's blue-collar personality fit well in Philadelphia.

"I really loved it. I loved Temple, loved Philadelphia, and really felt like I could be myself there and have my own personality there, and I got great support and just really enjoyed it," he said.

Yet as much as he enjoyed Temple, it wasn't home. And at Boston College, he gets to coach in the more established Atlantic Coast Conference.

Addazio hails from Farmington, Conn., which he said is about 1 hour, 20 minutes from Boston College. He also owns a house on Cape Cod, which he said is about 1 hour, 15 minutes away.

A four-year football player at Central Connecticut, Addazio had assistant coaching stops at Western Connecticut, Syracuse, Notre Dame, and Indiana. Then he received his best break at Florida, where he was an assistant coach from 2005 to 2010 and was part of two national championship teams.

Temple came calling after the 2010 season.

"I had some other [head coaching] opportunities before that. But rest assured when the Temple job came, that was the right time and the place for me," he said.

Despite the warm weather in Gainesville, Fla., Addazio yearned to return to the Northeast.

And when the Boston College job came open, that was even closer to home than Temple.

"Coming to Boston College was a chance to come to the Northeast and go all the way home," he said. "I always wanted to be back home and wasn't looking to leave Temple. But this was a unique opportunity for me."

On Broad Street, Addazio took over a team that was 8-4 in Temple's final year under Al Golden, who left for Miami. Under Addazio, the Owls went 9-4 that first season and won the school's first bowl game in 32 years, beating Wyoming, 37-15, in the New Mexico Bowl.

Last season, Temple was transitioning from the Mid-American Conference to the Big East and fell to 4-7.

"We took a couple of licks last year, but that happens when you jump leagues. But I think Temple is in great shape going forward, and I think [new coach Matt Rhule] will do a great job," Addazio said.

In the end, Addazio said, he understands that he wouldn't be closer to home without his two-year stay in Philadelphia.

"This job wouldn't have been possible without Temple, and Temple wouldn't be possible without Florida," Addazio said. "I feel very fortunate to be in the situation I am in."

Contact Marc Narducci at Follow @sjnard on Twitter.

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