Many of us have been wondering how the Syracuse Orange coaching search has gone/will go. Well, thankfully we received some new insight there earlier this morning via SI.com/Campus Rush's Pete Thamel.
In a detailed article on the college football coaching carousel and how things might shake out for the 14 open jobs at the FBS level, Thamel gave us our first real indications of what the process is looking like for Syracuse:
"The Orange have already begun flying across the country to speak to candidates, with a group led by athletic director Mark Coyle and Chancellor Kent Syverud. (Coyle is not using a search firm)."
Coyle not using a search firm is huge, because it indicates what we figured -- his list has been spelled out for awhile. Additionally, Coyle and Syverud being a united front to make these visits in person is an indicator that SU is pretty serious about making a smart, quick hire that very much impresses the weary Orange fan base. You'd have to assume that means we'll be competitive money-wise too, which is always a concern when you're a medium-sized private school in Central New York.
None of the names Thamel drops (in terms of Syracuse's list) are incredibly surprising, but it's still good to see where his thinking lies. The names mentioned:
Scott Frost (Oregon offensive coordinator)
Dino Babers (Bowling Green head coach)
Mike Bloomgren (Stanford offensive coordinator/O-line coach)
D.J. Durkin (Michigan defensive coordinator)
Ed Orgeron (LSU defensive line coach)
Bob Diaco (Connecticut head coach)
Joe Moglia (Coastal Carolina head coach)
Matt Campbell (Toledo head coach) *likely headed to Iowa State
The takeaways above: A nice mix of offense (the earlier ones) and defense (the later ones), and all pretty attainable, especially if we act early. All can also recruit reasonably well, or seem to have the ability to hire assistants that can.
Thamel name Frost as the most likely man for the job, given Coyle's own history looking into him for the Boise State position a few years back. We'll have plenty next week on a lot of the potential candidates, but the early thoughts on Frost are that he'd be a great addition to a program looking to develop a spread identity. I'd add that he's the perfect type of candidate Syracuse needs -- high-upside guy that may eventually be heading elsewhere (Nebraska), but if he's good enough to go to Lincoln, that means he's done a lot of good for the Orange in the meantime. He's relatively young, his system fits a lot of SU's personnel and could quickly excite the fan base. I'm not putting ALL my eggs in that basket, but expect to hear a lot more about Frost and the SU job as the search continues.
... But how long will that search continue? That's the key question, and one that Coyle is already locked in on the answer to. He's previously said he wants this hire in the door by mid-December, and based on Thamel's reporting, that's much more realistic. Thamel goes on to praise SU for making the early move to dismiss Scott Shafer too, which (he states) puts it clearly ahead of schools like Virginia and Rutgers in the process. The Hoos, Scarlet Knights and others will be looking to make similar hires to the Orange. So any timing advantage we can grab before additional dominoes fall is preferred.
So, how do we feel? Like this list? Hate it? Want to see more? (there's probably more names) Discuss below.