By JIMMY GOLEN AP Sports Writer

BOSTON (AP) — Boston College turned to assistant and former Eagles receiver Rich Gunnell as interim coach Monday while it looks for a permanent successor to Steve Addazio and tries to return to the days when it was nationally ranked.

“We’re not taking a step back, this is a step forward,” athletic director Martin Jarmond said a day after Addazio was fired following seven seasons in which the BC never won more than seven games. “This is a launch pad now.”

Gunnell was a receiver on the BC teams that Matt Ryan led to Atlantic Coast Conference title games in 2007 and ’08. Gunnell caught a touchdown pass from Ryan in the final two minutes at Clemson to clinch a spot in the 2008 ACC championship game — one of the high points in the program’s recent history.

BC lost to Clemson 59-7 this year and never beat the Tigers in under Addazio, who was fired Sunday.

Gunnell has spent the last four years as the wide receivers coach in Chestnut Hill. He will not interview for the full-time job, Jarmond said; Gunnell declined to say why.

Instead, the school will conduct a national search for Addazio’s full-time replacement. Jarmond said he hoped to have a decision by the early recruiting deadline on Dec. 18.

In the meantime, the school is talking to bowl games about where it will play this postseason. The Eagles earned the right to play in a bowl after beating Pittsburgh 26-19 on Saturday.

“We’re excited about it,” Jarmond said. “It really just got started because we got our sixth win.”

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