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Syracuse Football: The Legacy Of Doug Marrone

He's in Buffalo, wearing blue and red ties, and talking about the future of the Bills. So what will Doug Marrone's legacy be for Syracuse Orange fans?


Take yourself back in time for a moment. Go back to December of 2008. Syracuse football was set to hire someone named Doug Marrone and just about every Orange fan ran to Google with one question in mind: Who the hell is Doug Marrone?

Fans were skeptical, quizzical, and a little shocked. Had Daryl Gross, PHD, the athletic director of athletic directors, just swung and missed, again? First Greg Robinson, now, who???

We gave Robinson four years, I'm not sure this new guy will even get that many.

Four years later and anyone asking that was off, by just a little bit. Marrone made it four years but only coached in three more games than his predecessor. Unlike Robinson, Marrone became the face of Syracuse football. A leader who turned around a culture, who made football fun again, and even won some games, too. Marrone was building something special on the Hill, no doubt about it.

Then this happened. Marrone wasn't forced out, he left. Yes, for the National Football League, but still, he left. And while the NFL is the NFL, there are a ton of questions about Doug Marrone and his legacy at Syracuse University.

Time to hit up Twitter for another edition -- an emergency edition - of the classic Tweetbag!

@PaulieDars: Still a savior. Can not argue he's leaving SUFB exponentially better than he found it. Plus, not fired like P and Gerg.

A common response and a solid argument. In 2009 SU football was a grease fire inside a tire fire. Today, its a program coming off another bowl win. No question, Marrone's legacy is totally different than the two men before him.


@ssmorol: still unwritten. If SU continues its upward climb, he'll be remembered for bringing us out of it. If not, he'll go down with the likes of coach P as one who brought us down.

Alright. Maybe it's too early to determine that. Should SU fall of the face of the college football world again -- which may be more likely than you're giving it credit to be -- fans may look back dismissively when it comes to Marrone.

But all of this is amazing though, isn't it? A week ago SU football was flying high into the ACC with Doug Marrone firmly in control at the helm. Now, he's gone and the future of the program is just as uncertain as ever. Paul Pasqualoni pretty much killed SU football over the course of 14 years. He's the reason Gross ran to Greg Robinson who then ran everything into the ground. Now? Marrone may end up, directly or indirectly, in the same breathe as both of them.

One reason a lot of fans talked themselves into Marrone in the first place wasn't because he was extremely qualified, but rather because he was a Syracuse guy.

@OrangeBob: Not the Boeheim-esque savior we had hoped for, but the coach who at least returned the program to a respectable level.

Respectable level is an understatement compared to where this program was, the results aren't even quantifiable. And, let's not forget, he did all of this for his alma matter.

@JT_Francis: Marrone is an NFL coach his did AM a favor by postponing his NFL coaching to save the program.

There are some weird dynamics here, though. Marrone did so much good but as soon as the Pinstripe Bowl was over it seemed he tried like hell to get out of here. And while that may sting for the SU fan, I think everyone can agree, an NFL head coaching job, any NFL head coaching job, is better than Syracuse -- and most other college football programs.

It's not like he left Central New York for Chestnut Hill, MA.

@idiotsonsports: legacy cant be tarnished by reaching pinnacle of the coaching ladder. Its one of only 32 jobs in the world

A good one to wrap things up on. As we watch Marrone do the rounds with the media in Buffalo, the sentiment seems to be, Marrone did enough good, he was enough of an SU guy, that he deserves a shot at the next level. I'm sure there is a little bitterness, but everyone seems fairly certain he made the right move and fans can't punish him for it.

Strictly a climbing the career-ladder thing....

@OrangeBob: More than the next coach DOC needs to prove that SU has plans to upgrade facilities. Maybe Melo has another 3 million.

Oh yeah, there's that.

It's no secret Marrone was one of the lowest paid BCS coaches, his assistants ranking low, too. Plus, the facilities are a mess -- even with the renovations to Manley Field House, SU is far below other schools in terms of what it has to offer players.

And maybe that's why Marrone struck while the NFL iron was hot? Maybe, after a few years of being on the inside, he understood how hard it is to win at Syracuse. The money, for whatever reason, is just not there for football. Did Marrone call up the Bills because he had had enough? Or did he go looking elsewhere because he knew NFL teams wanted him? It really could be both.

Given that, we should probably turn the question around here. Instead of examining what fans will think of Marrone in years down the line, we should be examining where Syracuse University football will be in years down the line. Is there a real lack of commitment or is there simply not enough money there to really change things? That should be figured out and figured out soon.

Otherwise, Syracuse may be doomed to repeat this process. Coach searching like in '05, '08, and now. Looking for a new coach because the old coach couldn't win or maybe because the old coach wanted out.