Syracuse Taps Star Of "Heroes" To Run Defense

This is Scott Shafer, the new Defensive Coordinator for Syracuse:

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And here is Noah "Horn-Rimmed Glasses" Bennet from Heroes:

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Save Syracuse, Save The World.

Shafer's made-for-TV looks are welcome change of pace from the "unconventional- looking" staff that Coach Marrone has hired to date.  But enough about his handsome features, who is he and how'd he get the gig?

Shafer met with Syracuse University head football coach Doug Marrone on Wednesday. Shafer is expected to be on campus Friday and introduced during a press conference perhaps on Monday.

Shafer spent the past year at Michigan. He resigned after one season. Prior his one season in Ann Arbor, Shafer served as defensive coordinator for one season at Stanford. He served as defensive coordinator for two seasons at Western Michigan before going to Stanford.

Hmm...his recent resume leaves something to be desired.  Michigan's 3-9 season was less-than-good, especially on defense:

The Wolverines ranked 10th in the Big Ten in scoring defense at 28.9 points per game, ranked ninth in passing defense and ranked ninth in total defense. They also tied for last in the conference in turnovers forced.

In Big Ten play, Michigan gave up more than 40 points on four occasions, including 42 to Ohio State, 45 to Illinois, 46 to Penn State and 48 to Purdue. Illinois, Penn State and Purdue had never before scored that many points against the Wolverines.

Still, taking away what was a very bad season under tough circumstances in Ann Arbor, Shafer does have a lot of success under his belt.

In 2006, he was nominated for the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant. His Western Michigan unit set a Mid-American Conference record that season for fewest rushing yards allowed per game and led the NCAA in sacks.

Shafer started his coaching career as a grad assistant at Indiana before spending three years working up the ladder at Rhode Island.  He then moved on to Northern Illinois where he spent 8 seasons, four of which as the team's DC.  After a brief stint at Illinois, Shafter moved to Western Michigan, then Stanford and finally Michigan.

Here's what Shafer said about his defensive philosophy when he took the UM job:

"Scheme is overrated, I've always believed that. What's not overrated is getting your kids to play with great effort, great attitude and great enthusiasm. Those are things we can control on a daily basis, and that will be my primary goal. . . . The philosophy of our defense is attack-oriented, attack and react. We want to be a defense this is multiple, that is always putting pressure and forcing the hand of the offense. We want to be a penetrating defense. If you're going to (ask) what our objectives are? The one thing we want to do is stop the run, force them to throw the ball on first down, create negative plays on first down . . . and get ourselves in position to force them to throw the ball. Get them one-dimensional. We don't want to be a defense that sits back. We want to be a defense that creates turnovers and scores touchdowns."

Like Donnie said, expect the announement sometime early next week.  Oh and in case you're wondering, Shafer's son is named Wolfgang.  So that's something too.

As Donnie notes, he's still got three coaching spots to fill - running backs, tight ends and wide receivers.

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