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Syracuse Football: Which Assistant Coaches Could Come Back?

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Scott Shafer's staff will reportedly be let go at the end of the season, but there are a few candidates who could still be fits with a new staff in 2016. Let's discuss who has the best shot at returning.

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

With the news that Scott Shafer will be dismissed from his role of Syracuse head coach, we also found out that Mark Coyle has informed the rest of the coaching staff they will not be retained, according to Nate Mink.

This isn't totally unexpected, as the new head coach will likely decide who his assistants are, and can retain some of the old assistants if he'd like.

Obviously this all depends on who the new coach is and what assistants he may bring with him already, but there are certainly some decent candidates already in Syracuse that have a shot at making the new staff. At best, probably one or maybe two of these guys will be back in 2016, but let's discuss.

Best Chance

Steve Gregory

Gregory's connections lie with Syracuse a lot more than with the previous coaching staff. He's the newest member of the group, played for the Orange under two previous regimes, and hasn't taken on the stain of a particular unit that underachieved. In fact, Gregory was brought on as a Special Teams Quality Control coach, and since he joined the staff, Brisly Estime has turned into one of the best return men in the country, averaging 18 yards per punt return with two touchdowns. He's the odds on favorite to stick around.

Decent Chance

Tim Daoust

Daoust heads one of the few units under Shafer's tenure that saw continued development year over year. From Chandler Jones to Jay Bromley to Ron Thompson today, Daoust has helped the Orange continue to fill holes in the defensive line and develop NFL talent. His strong ties to Shafer from their Western Michigan days may count against him if the new coach is trying to move in a different direction. He's also probably due for a defensive coordinator job, and that may force him to a G5 school to get that promotion, but Daoust is a good coach who would be great to have back.

Clark Lea

Like Daoust, Clark Lea has developed a considerable amount of talent at the linebacker positions. He inherited talented players in Marquis Spruill, Cameron Lynch and Dyshawn Davis, but helped them all reach their potential in the end. He also seems to be doing a strong job with the current young linebackers in Zaire Franklin and Parris Bennett. I'd guess he'll end up wherever Chuck Bullough goes next, but he'd be a strong addition to a different Syracuse staff too.

Bobby Acosta

This would mainly be for recruiting purposes, as we've touched on Acosta's strengths there before. Acosta has led the tight ends (in 2014) and wide receivers (in 2015) during his time in Syracuse, and both units have been far from remarkable in those years. He doesn't have any other FBS experience, so he probably won't have a long list of suitors as appealing as SU. But if the new head coach wants to keep a guy for recruiting purposes, Acosta is a pretty decent bet in some capacity.

Probably Not Here

Tim Lester

Syracuse's offense has improved from last year's disaster, but it's still far from good. The Orange rank 75th nationally in points per game and 117th in total offense. That's not enough for a new staff to want to keep Lester on as offensive coordinator, or really any P5 program if we're being honest. That being said, Lester does have some good numbers to show for his quarterback work, particularly this year with Eric Dungey and Zach Mahoney likely overachieving any reasonable expectations for 2015. Most likely, Lester picks up a job as a quarterbacks coach, unless he takes a big step down to an offensive coordinator role at a low-level FBS program or even FCS.

Chuck Bullough

I liked Chuck Bullough a lot heading into this season. He seems to have a good defensive mind and can occasionally wreak havoc with creative blitzes. Unfortunately, he showed this year he wasn't really capable of adjusting his scheme to make the most of his players' ability, in a year where he needed to do more with less experience, and potentially less skill. I still think if he has the right players, he can be a very good defensive coordinator, so I wouldn't be shocked to see him running a defense from a top program down the line. It just won't be here.

Good Luck In Your Future Endeavors

Deandre Smith, Joe Adam, Fred Reed, Jake Moreland

Smith is probably the best of the group, but no need to bring back a running backs coach whose top backs failed to reach their potential the past few years (Morris and McFarlane). We've spent a lot of time on Adam and Reed's shortcomings so I won't pile on here. Moreland didn't really have time - or personnel - to make much of a mark, and will probably either follow Shafer or head back to the MAC.