Syracuse Football: Scott Shafer Bringing Pizza Party Mentality To SU

USA TODAY Sports

While no official word on who likes what toppings, Michael Cohen's article on how Scott Shafer is "getting the band back together" for his new Syracuse Orange football coaching staff teaches us most importantly that we can expect them to get together and eat pizza.

While no official word on who likes what toppings, Michael Cohen's article on how Scott Shafer is "getting the band back together" for his new Syracuse Orange football coaching staff teaches us most importantly that we can expect them to get together and eat pizza.

They gathered at the Shafer residence in Portage, Mich., connected by football but bonded by something deeper. It was New Year's Eve 2006, and the gang filed in from their respective houses in and around Kalamazoo.

There were pizza boxes on the island counter in the kitchen. Bottles of wine were arranged next to the stove. The coaches and families of the Western Michigan football program gathered to ring in the new year before heading to Toronto — back to work — to play in the International Bowl six days later.

That staff turned a 1-10 Western Michigan Broncos team into a bowl team and did it while fostering a tight-knit, family atmosphere. It's something that Scott Shafer seems intent on doing again at SU.

"It's more important about who you work with than where you work," Joe said. "To me it's common sense that Coach Shafer would bring that cast of characters with him to Syracuse."

That's a lesson that Shafer himself echoed when talking about his year at Michigan when he said it's not about the buildings or the traditions but about the people you're going to spend the next 4-5 years with.

A lot of the incoming recruits who stuck with the program are sensing good things from this family-focused atmosphere that Shafer is building at SU and the current players will probably appreciate it as well.

As for the pizza toppings, if I had to guess, Scott Shafer goes with sausage & peppers. I don't know why yet, it's just a hunch.

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