American Football Database
Frank Spaziani
File:Frank Spaziani 2012 02.jpg
Spaziani in 2012
Current position
TitleDefensive coordinator
TeamNew Mexico State
Annual salary$150,000
Biographical details
Born (1947-04-01) April 1, 1947 (age 75)
Playing career
Position(s)Linebacker, quarterback
Head coaching record

Frank Spaziani (born April 1, 1947) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the defensive coordinator at New Mexico State University. He served as the head football coach at Boston College from 2009 to 2012, compiling a record of 22 wins and 29 losses. Prior to becoming head coach, Spaziani served on the Eagles' coaching staff for 12 years, the last 10 as defensive coordinator.

Early life and playing career

Spaziani is a native of Clark, New Jersey, and a graduate of Arthur L. Johnson High School.[1] Spaziani played quarterback and linebacker for the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1965 to 1968. He was a member of the teams that went to the 1967 Gator Bowl and the 1969 Orange Bowl.[2] He was the subject of one of Joe Paterno's notable early quotes: the Nittany Lions' coach said of Spaziani, "Don't get the idea that I like him because he's Italian. I like him because I'm Italian."[3]

Spaziani was also a starting pitcher for the Penn State baseball team.

Coaching career

Canadian Football League

Spaziani coached in the Canadian Football League (CFL) as a defensive coordinator for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (two seasons) and Calgary Stampeders (three years).[2] He helped to lead the Blue Bombers to the 1992 and 1993 Grey Cups and the Stampeders to the 83rd Grey Cup in 1995.

Boston College

In 1997, Spaziani left the Calgary Stampeders for a position as running backs coach for the Boston College Eagles.[4] Coached by Spaziani, Boston College's Mike Cloud was a consensus first-team All-America selection and a finalist for the 1998 Doak Walker Award. Cloud also set a Big East and school single-season rushing record with 1,726 yards in 1998.

In 1999, he replaced Tim Rose as defensive coordinator, becoming Boston College's seventh defensive coordinator in the 1990s.

In 2001, the Boston College defense ranked 12th nationally in passing defense, 10th in pass efficiency defense, 19th in scoring defense and 25th in total defense. In 2002, they were ranked 13th nationally in passing defense, 25th in pass efficiency defense, 23rd in scoring defense and 37th in total defense. In 2003, they were ranked second in the Big East in total defense and second in rushing defense. In 2004, they were ranked first in the Big East. The Eagles ranked second in the Big East and 31st in the country in total defense and first in the Big East and 12th in the country in scoring defense. Mathias Kiwanuka was the 2004 Big East Defensive Player of the Year.

Spaziani was named interim head coach for Boston College twice. In December 2006, after the departure of Tom O'Brien, he coached Boston College to a win versus Navy on December 30, 2006, in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.[2] However, Jeff Jagodzinski was hired as the permanent head coach. Spaziani was also named interim coach after Jagodzinski was fired on January 7, 2009, for interviewing for the open head coaching position with the New York Jets. Known for concocting elaborate defensive schemes, "Spaz" was given an honorary PhD from the school in 2008 and as head coach the following year, students were often seen wearing lab coats to games in his honor. On January 13, 2009, Spaziani was officially hired as the Eagles' permanent head coach.[5]

Spaziani was fired on November 25, 2012, following a season in which Boston College went 2–10, the worst record since 1978.[6] Despite claims by former Athletic Director Gene DeFillipo that Spaziani was the best coach in his time at BC, "Spaz" has the worst record as Boston College football coach since 1980[7]Template:Circular reference

New Mexico State

On January 8, 2016, Spanziani was hired to be the defensive coordinator for the New Mexico State Aggies football team.[8]

Personal life

Spaziani is married to Laura Spaziani (née Heikel); they have two sons and one daughter.[2] They reside in Hingham, Massachusetts. He is a brother of Sigma Pi fraternity International.[9]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Boston College Eagles (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2006)
2006 Boston College 1–0[n 1] 0–0[n 1] W Meineke Car Care 20 20
Boston College Eagles (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2009–2012)
2009 Boston College 8–5 5–3 2nd (Atlantic) L Emerald
2010 Boston College 7–6 4–4 T–4th (Atlantic) L Fight Hunger
2011 Boston College 4–8 3–5 5th (Atlantic)
2012 Boston College 2–10 1–7 6th (Atlantic)
Boston College: 22–29 13–19
Total: 22–29
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

Coaching tree

Assistants under Frank Spaziani who have become NCAA or NFL head coaches:


  1. Armstrong, Kevin (May 6, 2009). "Spaziani ready to make most of chance as BC's new head coach". CNN Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Profile: Frank Spaziani". Boston College. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
  3. "Joe Paterno: Quickest Quipster In Sports". The Tuscaloosa News. June 28, 1969.,5583801&dq=frank+spaziani+joe+paterno&hl=en. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
  4. Ryan, Bob (November 5, 2009). "Spaziani is handling things like an old pro". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
  5. Boston College Names Frank Spaziani New Head Coach, January 13, 2009.
  6. Patterson, Chip. "Boston College fires Frank Spaziani". Eye on College Football. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  7. Boston College Eagles football
  8. Jason Groves (January 8, 2016). "NMSU FOOTBALL: Martin hires former Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani to lead defense". Las Cruces Sun-News. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  9. Langhammer, Jay (Spring–Summer 1984). "Sigma Pi Sports". The Emerald of Sigma Pi 72 (1): 16–17.


External links

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