Orange Watch: Start of a Pasqualoni-like run with Shafer at Syracuse?


Item: Was that a revival meeting or a formal introduction of a college football coach?

The press conference to announce Scott Shafer as Doug Marrone’s replacement last Friday was not only the first online live streamed event of its kind (a football coach’s hiring at SU) by the university athletic department (with no hiccups to boot!), but it was the most festive of such events since Jake Crouthamel announced that unknown Cleveland Browns linebacker coach Dick MacPherson would succeed Frank Maloney between games of the 1980 Carrier Classic in the Dome’s fourth month of existence.

Shafer is now SU’s head coach

As Coach Mac in 15 short minutes started to cozy up to the media and crowd of onlookers with his New England folksiness 33 plus years ago, exuding positive feelings that he would author the Dome-era turnaround of the program’s fortunes, Coach Shafer, with Coach Mac beaming approvingly from his seat in the Iocolano-Petty Football Wing, didn’t take long to cozy up to this gathering with his initial question of, “How’s everybody doing today?” eliciting laughter and setting the tone for a remarkable, range-of-all-emotions 30 minute first impression of the new Orange football CEO.

» Related: SU introduces Shafer as head coach

It also brings to mind the last time a coach was promoted from the staff out of necessity in Jan. 1991, due to the late nature of Coach Mac taking the job with the NFL New England Patriots. Paul Pasqualoni, a workaholic like Shafer, stood out on his way up the ranks from linebackers coach to the head job, and ended up with successful 14-year tenure.

As the hands-on defensive coordinator for the past four seasons, Scott Shafer also more than stood out as the candidate to promote late in the recruiting process, and based on the assumption of hiring a top offensive coordinator and keeping the recruiting class and coaching staff as close to intact as possible, he’s off to the races in year one.

And, writing for The Juice, our favorite line from the Shafer press conference as he described his offensive philosophy was: “I envision an offense with a lot of juice. A lot of Orange juice.”

Item: Will fans complain about the 2013 home football schedule?

Yes, one more Dome game is to be announced and it’s likely a lesser-known name, and if you live in central New York you’re going to have to make the drive to see the Penn State “neutral-site” opener at MetLife Stadium.

But with LSU bowl game conqueror Clemson highlighting the list and making its Dome debut, SU fans also get Wake Forest, former Big East colleagues Boston College and Pittsburgh for ACC games in the Dome this season, along with lowly Tulane.

The BC game, by-the-way, is likely looking at a semi-permanent, annual last-game-of-the-season slot, the Friday after Thanksgiving.

With Florida State due in the Dome in 2014 along with presumably Louisville (replacing Big Ten-bound Maryland) and N.C. State from the Atlantic Division, it would be great if the ACC served up Miami or Virginia Tech as the Coastal Division crossover home game to rekindle those Big East days.

» More Orange Watch: Confluence of events led to Marrone’s departure

Here’s a look at the 2013 ACC home/away opponents:


  • Boston College
  • Clemson
  • Wake Forest
  • Pittsburgh (primary crossover h/a opponent)


  • Florida State
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina State
  • Georgia Tech (seasonal crossover opponent)

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.