Syracuse head football coach Scott Shafer has been dismissed, the University announced Monday morning. Shafer will coach SU’s final game of the season against Boston College on Saturday.
Syracuse lost its eighth straight game over the weekend against NC State 42-29, dropping it to 3-8 on the season. The Orange went 3-9 last year under Shafer a year after winning the Texas Bowl.
“I want to thank Scott, his wife Missy, and their family for their seven years of dedication and service to SU Athletics and Syracuse University,” Syracuse athletics director Mark Coyle said in a statement. “Scott has worked tirelessly to educate our students on and off the field and to build our program. However, I feel a change in leadership is needed at this time. A national search will begin immediately.”
It was the first major move for Athletics Director Mark Coyle, who came over from Boise State earlier in the year. Coyle’s goal in his introductory press conference was to have SU compete for the ACC Championship and elite bowl games. It became clear to Coyle quickly that Shafer was not the coach to lead Syracuse to that territory.
Shafer took over as head coach in 2013 following the departure of Doug Marrone to the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Shafer served as the defensive coordinator under Marrone, and coached the defense to be one of the better units in the NCAA.
But this season, the Orange faltered with a young defense, and ranked at the bottom of the ACC in most major statistical categories.
Candidates to replace Shafer include Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia, Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost and Bowling Green coach Dino Babers.
This story was first reported by Sports Illustrated.