BOSTON — Boston College fired coach Steve Addazio after seven seasons in which the Eagles never surpassed seven wins.

Wide receivers coach Rich Gunnell will serve as interim coach, athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement on Sunday afternoon, a day after BC beat Pittsburgh to achieve bowl eligibility for the sixth time in seven years under Addazio.

“He inherited a program that had a down stretch and led us to six bowl games while recruiting high-character student-athletes that represented BC the right way,” Jarmond said. “Our student-athletes have been pillars of the community and in the classroom and that’s a credit to Steve and his staff.”

Addazio was 44-44 since taking over in 2013, earning a bowl-qualifying sixth win with the 26-19 victory over Pittsburgh. The 60-year-old coach spent much of his postgame news conference talking about the program’s future, insisting, “It’s not about me.”

“All I cared about was getting this team to six wins and getting another month with them. And then watching what I watched,” he said after celebrating with his players in the locker room. “That was the greatest gift that I got. You want to talk about me? That was a great gift.”

Addazio lamented the loss of quarterback Anthony Brown and linebackers John Lamont and Isaiah McDuffie, and spoke — in a familiar theme for him over the years — about the program’s youth. The Eagles have 62 players who are redshirt sophomores or younger.

“You know what I’m excited about? I’ve got a really good football team,” he said. “We’ve got most everybody coming back. This is going to be one hell of a football team moving forward. And we’ve got another month to tweak it and turn it and coach it and develop it. That is so exciting. I think this can be something special.”

Asked if he thought he was safe for another season, Addazio said, “It’s not about me. I’m fine.”

“I care about being with our guys. That’s the most important thing there is,” he said. “It’s not about me. It’s about them.”

The firing was first reported by Yahoo.com.

Addazio had worked as an assistant at Notre Dame and with the Florida teams that won the national championships in 2006 and 2008 before getting his first head coaching job at Temple in 2011. He stuck around just two years, leading the Owls to 9-4 and 4-7 records, before taking over a 2-10 team in Chestnut Hill

He quickly restored the Eagles to respectability.

But respectability is all they ever got.

BC won seven games in five of Addazio’s first six seasons, but he could never get the Eagles back to the level they reached in the early 2000s, when they were often ranked in the AP Top 25 and occasionally playing for a conference championship. This year, they lost to Kansas — a team that hadn’t beaten a Power 5 opponent on the road in 11 years — and needed to beat Pitt in the final regular-season game to qualify for a bowl berth.

Quarterback Dennis Grosel said he could see how important the game was to his coach.

“He’s a pretty reserved and tame guy most of the time. I know he wanted this one badly,” said Grosel, a sophomore who started the last six games after Brown was injured for the second time in three seasons. “We wanted this one for him also. It was nice to see him let some emotion out.”

Stuck in the middle of the Atlantic Coast Conference — except for 2015, when they were 0-8 (3-9 overall) and at the bottom — Addazio was perpetually politicking to keep his job. This is the third straight season in which BC officials discussed whether to bring him back; last year, they gave him an extension through 2022 that was more like a restructuring to make it easier to let him go if things didn’t improve.

They didn’t.

With much of the offseason focus on elevating the program to eight wins — or more — the program again finds itself fighting for relevance, at 4-4 in the ACC Atlantic Division and four games behind national championship contender Clemson.

Jarmond was asked last week whether a bowl berth was make-or-break for Addazio, and he declined to answer.

It turns out, it wasn’t enough.

RUTGERS: Greg Schiano is coming back to Rutgers.

Athletic Director Pat Hobbs announced the university and Schiano have reached a contract agreement, a week after talks to bring back the 53-year-old former Scarlet Knights head coach fell apart.

Rutgers had offered Schiano an eight-year contract worth $32 million, but the two sides could not agree on other financial commitments by the school toward improved facilities and infrastructure and both indicated they were ready to move on.

After that news broke last Sunday, Rutgers officials faced a wave of criticism from boosters, fans and former players. Schiano was coach at Rutgers from 2001-11. The Scarlet Knights went to a bowl game in six of his final seven seasons.

Rutgers finished off a 2-10 season, 0-9 in the Big Ten, on Saturday with a loss at Penn State. Nunzio Campanile has been the interim head coach since the firing of Chris Ash five games into his fourth season. Ash went 8-32 in three-plus seasons, including 3-26 in the Big Ten.

After Ash was fired, Schiano was immediately speculated as a candidate to replace him.

Schiano, a New Jersey native, went 68-67 at Rutgers and turned the Scarlet Knights into consistent winners in the old Big East after years of being one of the worst major college football programs in the country. Success under Schiano helped Rutgers land an invite to the Big Ten, and it joined the lucrative Power Five conference in 2014.

Schiano left Rutgers in 2012 to become head coach for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but his tenure lasted only two years. He resurfaced at Ohio State as defensive coordinator. He had reached an agreement to become Tennessee coach in 2017, but a fan mutiny on social media led the school to rescind its offer.

Schiano left Ohio State after last season when the Buckeyes struggled on his side of the ball, and briefly took a job as an assistant with the New England Patriots earlier this year. He stepped down soon after, deciding instead to take the season off.

SOUTH FLORIDA: South Florida fired Coach Charlie Strong after three seasons in which the Bulls won fewer games each year.

USF made the move two days after finishing a 4-8 season with a blowout loss to rival UCF. That left Strong 21-16 overall but 4-14 since starting the 2018 season with seven straight victories.

ARIZONA STATE: Offensive coordinator Rob Likens will not return next season.

Sun Devils Coach Herm Edwards announced the decision a day after Arizona State beat rival Arizona 24-14.

Edwards said receivers coach Charlie Fisher and tight ends coach Donnie Yantis also will not be back.

POLL: Alabama dropped to No. 9 in The Associated Press college football poll, snapping the Crimson Tide’s record streak of 68 appearances in the top five.

The top four teams in the AP Top 25 were unchanged, with LSU at No. 1, followed by Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia.

TEXAS: Coach Tom Herman shook up his staff, firing defensive coordinator Todd Orlando and demoting offensive coordinator Tim Beck after the Longhorns struggled to a disappointing 7-5 record in a season they were expected to contend for the Big 12 championship.

OBIT: Pat Sullivan, a former TCU and Samford head coach who won the 1971 Heisman Trophy as a quarterback at Auburn, has died. He was 69.

Sullivan’s family released a statement saying he “died peacefully at home” Sunday morning, surrounded by relatives. Sullivan had been diagnosed with throat cancer in 2003 and the statement said he “fought a long and difficult battle as a result of his treatments.”

Sullivan was a College Football Hall of Famer who played four seasons with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. He began coaching at Samford in 2007 and stepped down in December 2014, citing health issues and saying his life needed “more balance.”

He was TCU’s head coach from 1992-97 and then worked as UAB’s offensive coordinator before taking over at Samford. Sullivan was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1991.

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