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Hogan ‘fired’ as Cardinal O’Hara football coach

Cardinal O'Hara's BJ Hogan is out as the school's head football coach, but retains the title of athletic director. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

BJ Hogan received a text Friday morning, summoning him to meet with Cardinal O’Hara president Mike Connor. What followed took Hogan by complete surprise.

The head football coach at his alma mater since November of 2014, Hogan was informed that he would not be returning for an eighth season. It was made clear that Hogan is not resigning, but will be fired. He will retain his full-time position as the director of athletics at O’Hara. The decision was not at all mutual, Hogan said.

Connor, who could not be immediately reached Friday evening, cited game performance as the reason for Hogan’s dismissal, according to Hogan.

“I walked in (to the meeting) and they said they wanted to make a change in leadership to the football program based on, ‘on-field performance,'” Hogan said. “And I said if this was going to happen, it should have happened two days after our last game. I told them I am not resigning and they’re going to fire me. It’s a separate job from the AD job. … It happened so fast today, I’m still processing it. We told the team at 1:10 and I found out at 10:55. It came completely out of the blue.”

The Lions went 3-6 this past season after playing only one game in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hogan’s Lions went 1-9 in his first season in 2015, but he guided O’Hara to three straight winning campaigns from 2016-18. The Lions captured the Catholic League Blue Division title and finished 10-1 in ’16. They went 7-4 under Hogan in each of the next two seasons. The last three seasons the team managed a total of six wins, but that included the one-game season in 2020. The 2021 campaign could be seen as a rebuilding season, as the majority of Hogan’s players lacked varsity experience.

“Everyone I’ve talked to, the kids, everybody, is shocked,” Hogan said. “They don’t understand, but that’s part of the profession. I completely disagree with the decision, but I respect it. I’ve talked to probably 80 people so far and every one had the same reaction that you probably can’t print in the paper.”

Hogan said his staff will take over the offseason program while the school searches for his successor. It’s unlikely that he will have any involvement in the hiring process.

He said he has every intention of coaching again, whether it’s on the high school or college level.

“This isn’t it for me,” he said.

Hogan was a two-time All-Delco player in football and hockey at O’Hara, earning Player of the Year honors as a junior in 2000. He also was selected to the All-Delco baseball team as a senior. He played football at Widener where he earned All-MAC honors as a senior and helped the Pride to a pair of conference titles.

Prior to returning to O’Hara, Hogan had a successful run as an assistant coach at the collegiate level for 10 years, including six at the Division I FCS level at Tennessee- Chattanooga.

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