AMELIA ISLAND -Steve Addazio is a New England guy at heart.
It’s one of the reasons he chose to leave Temple and take over the head coaching job at Boston College this off-season. It’s also why the events of April 15th touched him so deeply.
It was on that day – Patriots' Day – in Boston that two suspects allegedly set off two pressure cooker bombs that killed three people and injured more than 250 people during the Boston Marathon.
“We were in a staff meeting when it broke and Ryan Day came in and said, ‘Coach, a bomb just went off at the [Boston] Marathon,” the 53-year-old Addazio recalled Tuesday during the ACC spring meetings in Amelia Island.
Earlier that day, Addazio and his staff had given his players the day off as part of the festivities and their attention immediately turned to their safety.
“We were like, ‘Where are all of our players?’ So we went on a mad dash to text and call all of our players to make sure that everyone was okay. It was anxious,” he added.
One of those players was his own son, Louie, a tight-end on team.
“My own son is on the team and I was wondering where was he?” Addazio said. “Oh, my gosh, I hope he wasn’t down there.”
Luckily, he wasn’t nor were any of his players, but the whole situation brought back some familiar feelings in the first-year coach.
“It was eerie … it reminded me of when I was at Notre Dame during 9-11,” he said. “We were in the same sort of situation. We were all bunkered down in meeting rooms when the planes hit.
I just remember saying to myself, ‘Wow, this is an eerily similar feeling. It was crazy. You found yourself glued to the TV and mesmerized by the news. It was a little paralyzing, to tell you the truth.”
The ensuing manhunt for one of the suspects in Watertown, which is a couple of miles from campus, forced the cancellation of the team’s annual spring football game that Saturday. A decision that Addazio feels was the right thing to do in lue of everything that had occurred.
“We just didn’t feel that it was appropriate at that point in time,” he added. “When you get invovled in those things, they seem so much larger than football.”
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