Northwestern seems to suddenly be very close to hiring its new offensive coordinator.
According to some Friday night reporting by Matt Fortuna of The Athletic and Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats are finalizing a deal with current Boston College offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian in order to fill their currently open top offensive position.
Northwestern’s offensive coordinator search has zeroed in on Mike Bajakian from Boston College, multiple people with knowledge of the situation tell @TheAthleticCFB.— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) December 7, 2019
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Source: Northwestern finalizing a deal to make former BC OC Mike Bajakian its new offensive coordinator.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 7, 2019
The 45-year-old Bajakian, who played quarterback in college at Division III Williams (he graduated four years before Morton Schapiro became the president of the school) has spent the ensuing 23 years coaching, making a variety of stops at both the collegiate and the professional level.
After becoming an offensive quality control coach with the Bears in 2004, a position at which he remained for three years, he followed Butch Jones as his offensive coordinator, heading to Central Michigan from 2007-2009, Cincinnati from 2010-2012, and finally Tennessee from 2013-2014 before heading back to the NFL for a four-year stint as the QB coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
At both Tennessee and Cincinnati, his offenses improved in SP+ each year he was the coach. And this season, as the offensive coordinator and QB coach for recently fired head coach Steve Addazio, he took a group that had been 88th in that measure in 2018 and improved them to 37th.
The Eagles put up 30.9 points per game, 453.1 yards per game, and 5.9 yards per play, even amassing a program-record 691 yards in a 58-27 win over Syracuse. All of that was despite a midseason injury to starting quarterback Anthony Brown, who left against Louisville and missed the entirety of the season’s final six games.
Starting running back AJ Dillon had 1731 yards and 14 touchdowns on 5.3 yards per carry for the season. As a team, BC rushed for a whopping 267.8 yards per game, passed for 183.4 yards per game, and totaled 48 touchdowns (20 through the air) to just six interceptions and five lost fumbles.
The architect of that impressive offense, thanks to the firing of his head coach, appears to need somewhere to go. And based on Fortuna and Thamel’s reporting, Mike Bajakian looks to be heading to Evanston and Pat Fitzgerald’s Northwestern Wildcats.