A quick take on Syracuse naming defensive coordinator Scott Shafer as their next head football coach:
WHAT HAPPENED: According to a CBSSports.com report, Scott Shafer will be the next head coach of Syracuse. He was previously the defensive coordinator, and in the 2010 season, the Orange was 7th in the country in defense. He replaces Doug Marrone, who accepted a head coaching position in the NFL on Monday. ESPN later reported that offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett will remain offensive coordinator.
* Good move from Syracuse. They acted quickly, and kept the momentum and philosophy of the program moving forward. Earlier today, both Eric Crume and Keon Lyn tweeted in support of Shafer staying on as head coach. Looks like they get their wish. Double goes for Syracuse recruiting. A complete coaching swap would’ve led to the defection of a lot of recruits. This allows SU to hang on to the guys they already have, while having some stability going forward.
* Among the alumni that have already supported this move? Rob Long. Antwon Bailey. Zack Chibane. Greg Paulus. I cherry picked this list because none of them are defensive players. Shows you the passion that Shafer has for the game—even special teams and offensive players know about his enthusiasm.
* Shafer was already starting to get looks as a head coach. He was a candidate for the Western Michigan job and if Syracuse had another good year on defense, would’ve been getting even bigger offers. This move keeps Syracuse ahead of the curve.
* I’m a little surprised that Hackett is staying. When Marrone spoke at his press conference, he said that he was looking for coordinators with “thorough NFL experience.” Hackett was a quality control coach with both the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before coming to Syracuse, so he fit the profile. But it was impressive that Syracuse was able to keep both guys. It also means that SU can keep the same offensive philosophy that was so successful this year.
* The way things went down, it seems like athletic director Daryl Gross knew this was happening, and had a contingency plan. He knew that Shafer was the next guy, and less than 11 hours after Marrone was formally introduced as the Bills’ head coach, Shafer was unofficially introduced as Syracuse’s.
* This is obviously a great opportunity for Shafer. But a nickel’s worth of free advice? Don’t call it your ‘dream job.’ I’ve heard that comes back to haunt you.