BOSTON (AP) – Jeff Jagodzinski met his new Boston College players for the first time Wednesday and pledged to bring a “very dynamic offense” as the successor to Tom O’Brien as football coach.

Jagodzinski, who received a five-year contract, said he would stay with the Green Bay Packers, where he is offensive coordinator, until their season ends. They play Minnesota on Thursday night with a slim chance at a playoff berth.

“If you had a bad draft in the NFL, it catches up to you,” said Jagodzinski, BC’s offensive coordinator in 1997 and 1998 under O’Brien. “If you have bad recruiting years, it catches up to you.”

The Eagles (9-3) play in the Meineke Bowl on Dec. 30 against Navy (9-3) in Charlotte, N.C., under defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani, the interim head coach. They’ve won bowl games the last six seasons, the longest active streak.

Athletic director Gene DeFilippo called Jagodzinski’s enthusiasm “infectious” and said he knew early in their interview that his next coach was “special.”

O’Brien “did a wonderful job and has a lot of stability with this program,” Jagodzinski said.

“Gene and Tom have really set the standards high here and, little by little, we’re going to be pushing the standards higher and higher and higher and raise that bar.”

Jagodzinski’s appointment was announced Tuesday, 12 days after O’Brien became coach at North Carolina State after 10 years at BC. Both teams are in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“It will be a very dynamic offense,” said Jagodzinski, a Wisconsin native. “I’m going to do that by hiring the right people. … It’s going to be fun to watch and I can’t wait to implement it.

“I want this place to be electric. We’re going to have a very, very exciting offense and it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.”

The 43-year-old Jagodzinski said he won’t rush to hire a staff and indicated current BC assistants will be considered. Some may join O’Brien, 58, at North Carolina State. DeFilippo said Jagodzinski’s assistants would be paid more than O’Brien’s.

DeFilippo also interviewed quarterbacks coaches Mark Whipple of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kevin Gilbride of the New York Giants but was impressed by Jagodzinski’s passion.

“I could tell in the first 20 minutes of our interview that he was very, very special,” DeFilippo said. “We’d worked together for two years previously and we’d stayed in touch through the years, so I knew Jeff pretty well.”

At BC, Jagodzinski coached quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, now with the Seattle Seahawks. Before joining the Packers, where he coaches Brett Favre, he spent two seasons in Atlanta as tight ends coach in 2004 and offensive line coach last year, helping players protect Michael Vick.

“Anytime you can work with a guy who’s coached Brett Favre, that’s a dream come true,” said Matt Ryan, the ACC leader in yards passing who has one year of eligibility left.

BC’s players had a tearful parting with O’Brien but welcomed Jagodzinski to Wednesday’s team meeting with extended applause.

“He started to get beet red and then started to give a fist pump,” Ryan said, “so I think everybody really fed off of that. … I’m excited but, at the same time, I know that we have a goal of going out there and trying to get a 10th win.”

The players hope Jagodzinski can lead them to a BCS bowl, something that didn’t happen under O’Brien despite his 75-45 record and streak of postseason wins.

“I feel that’s something he can really do for us,” junior linebacker Brian Toal said.

“I think we’re going to go out there and play in the bowl game with a lot of passion and show coach (Jagodzinski) what we’re all about.”

Jagodzinski left BC after the 1998 season and spent the next five years as Green Bay’s tight ends coach.

“I told my wife when we left Logan (Airport) the last time, “I’ll be back someday,”‘ he said. “If it was any other place I really don’t think I’d be leaving.”

AP-ES-12-20-06 2156EST


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