Breaking news this morning, as Syracuse Athletics has dismissed Orange head football coach Scott Shafer. This was first reported by Sports Illustrated's Thayer Evans, who says Shafer will still be on the sidelines against Boston College this coming Saturday. The report was later confirmed by Syracuse Athletics.
The reasons for Shafer's dismissal are pretty clear to any SU observer. After a 7-6 record to start his tenure as Orange head coach, Shafer has gone just 6-17 since, with his only FBS wins coming against Wake Forest and Central Michigan (twice each). Thoughts were that some "improved" recruiting numbers and more competitive games against top 10 competition (see: 10-point losses to Clemson and LSU this season) could buy him another year. But non-competitive games against peer programs -- and especially what happened against NC State (and what happened after too) -- were just too much to gloss over anymore.
If you recall, Syracuse dismissed former head coach
Greg GERG Robinson with one game to go, and he went out and upset Notre Dame in his final game back in 2008. So perhaps this is a good omen for what occurs in Saturday's matchup with the rival Eagles.
This is Mark Coyle's second major coaching decision since taking the reins at Syracuse this summer. The first was the official timeline for Jim Boeheim's successor, Mike Hopkins, to take over the program. And now, this next one -- deciding who is truly fit to take over Orange football and bring it back to some sort of prominence -- could potentially define his legacy as athletic director.
Evans tweeted out a list of candidates (below) that at least hold some interest. And there are obviously plenty more to explore too. Syracuse is the 13th open FBS job this year, with at least a few more still to come as the 2015 season wraps up.
Potential Syracuse targets: Scott Frost, Lane Kiffin, Joe Moglia, Joe Moorhead, Mike Sanford & Dave Warner.— Thayer Evans (@ThayerEvansSI) November 23, 2015
As always, interesting times to be an Orange fan. We wish Shafer, his family and his staff the best of luck in the future.
UPDATE: As expected, entire staff (many of whom are very close to Shafer) will be replaced.
Mark Coyle called staff into his office this morning to inform it it would not be retained.— Nate Mink (@MinkNate) November 23, 2015