Kickoff Countdown: Could Doug Marrone leave Syracuse for the NFL?

Could Marrone leave for the NFL?

During the football season, The Juice Online will address questions about the team in our “Kickoff Countdown” segment.

Today’s question: A Sports Illustrated article mentions Doug Marrone as a possible NFL head coaching candidate. Could you ever see him leaving Syracuse for the pros?

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King has been chatting with NFL executives in the last two weeks, and several names have come up in their discussions about filling head coaching vacancies.

Could Marrone leave for the NFL?

Near the top of that list was Syracuse’s very own, Doug Marrone.

When Syracuse was at the bottom of the Big East and written off after a 2-4 start, it would’ve been difficult envision something like that happening.

Then again, that was October. This is now.

Since then, Marrone’s team has reeled off five wins in six games, and still has an outside chance at a BCS bid.

» Related: What we learned from SU’s win over Temple

While no one is really expecting Marrone to leave, there are some factors that will affect Marrone’s decision:


This is the most obvious factor. One of the jobs that Marrone would be considered for is (presumably) the New York Jets upcoming vacancy. Rex Ryan is scheduled to make nearly $3 million this year. Meanwhile, Marrone’s base salary at SU was $1.2 million in 2012.


It’s well documented that Marrone’s dream job was coming back to The Hill to be the head coach. He’s got tremendous pride being an SU grad and, perhaps, like Jim Boeheim, may never want to leave Syracuse. Sometimes you just never want to leave home.


This could go both ways. Marrone has a lot of NFL experience, including being offensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints for three seasons. So maybe there is a desire to go back and be the man in charge. On the other hand, perhaps he likes the college ranks more than his NFL experience. Only he knows the answer to this.

» Related: What has been the biggest surprise for SU this season?


When Marrone arrived at Syracuse, the program was in shambles. Greg Robinson destroyed SU’s recruiting hot bed, the team hadn’t sniffed a bowl game during his tenure, and fan morale was as low as it’s ever been. Marrone has rescued the program back to relevance, but that wasn’t his ultimate goal. He wants to turn Syracuse back into the glory days of the 90s when SU was consistently competing for a BCS bid and in the national conversation. SU is certainly on the way back to that, but definitely is not there—yet.


Greg Schiano and Jim Harbaugh are just two of the latest examples of college coaches to succeed in the NFL. It seems like college head coaches may be the next wave of head coaching hiring, and Marrone may want to ride that wave.


I use this headline again for a different reason. As I wrote before, Marrone’s stock has never been higher while the head coach of SU. The Orange are headed to its second bowl in three years after going half a decade without even getting close. The Orange is on one of its best win streaks under his leadership. Perhaps now is the time to cash in the chips and take the money.

Those are some of the factors. Now the question.

Could you see a situation where Marrone left Syracuse for the NFL, either after this season, or later? Voice your opinions below or Tweet us your opinions!

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]