Until the Syracuse Orange have a new football coach, we'll be previewing candidates that may be up for the job. One of these individuals might be leading the program. Or maybe it's someone else entirely. Sometimes we're wrong. Sorry.
Who's this guy?
Where is he right now?
Oregon. He's been the offensive coordinator and QBs coach there since 2013. He was also the Ducks' wide receivers coach from 2009 through 2012.
Where else has he been?
Frost has been involved in college and pro football for 22 years, starting when he was a freshman quarterback at Stanford. He'd transfer to Nebraska for his final two seasons, leading the Cornhuskers to a national title in 1997. The Jets drafted him in 1998 and he played mostly defensive back and special teams for New York, Cleveland, Green Bay and Tampa Bay through 2003.
As a coach, Frost has been a grad assistant at his alma mater (2002), as well as Kansas State (2006). He then served as a defensive coach at Northern Iowa from 2007-2008, the latter as co-defensive coordinator.
What do current fans think of him?
Oregon fans have appeared to go back and forth on him and the entire Mark Helfrich regime this season as the Ducks started pretty slow but closed out the year well, finishing 9-3. Early November thoughts pegged him with an offense that lacked much creativity, and back in October, fans were very much ready to tell Frost how he could better coach the offense.
Later feedback focused more on the team turning things around, and largely positive reception for the offense while the defense took its lumps against several late-year opponents. Part of that praise was heaped on the play of Vernon Adams, but the critiques of Frost did certainly die down.
Most Oregon fans expected him to leave Eugene for the Nebraska opening last year, or potentially head to Colorado State. A quick sweep of the web shows them expecting him to leave yet again, especially in the middle of a very busy coaching carousel.
Random fun fact:
Scott's mother, Carol Frost, won a gold medal in discus for Team USA at the 1967 PanAm Games. She also competed for in the 1968 Olympics.
Six degrees of Syracuse:
Frost played under then-New York Jets DBs coach Bill Belichick from 1998-1999. Belichick previously served on the New York Giants coaching staff from 1980-1990, along with Tom Coughlin (1988-1990). Coughlin played halfback for Syracuse, and later served as a grad assistant, quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.
Advantages to hiring him?
Offense. And a whole lot of it.
Frost's first offensive coaching experience was under Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich at Oregon, and when he was bumped up to OC in 2013, he came out firing. The team set school records with Marcus Mariota under center and continued succeeding in 2014 as the Ducks continued to redefine themselves in the post-Kelly era. At Oregon, they're not swimming in blue chippers, but rather, have been able to create a system that maximizes what they'll get out of 3- and 4-star players. You'd assume after more than half a decade in the Oregon program, he'd be able to bring some of those abilities over with him.
He's also young and anxious to prove himself. A fast riser in the coaching ranks, Frost has only been at it for nine years if you remove the graduate assistant years, but he's moved quickly and has been part of a slew of successful squads at both stops (UNI and Oregon). The sort of energy the 40-year old brings could be infectious for a program that's largely been asleep for 15 years now.
Drawbacks to hiring him?
That age stuff above. With relative inexperience in the coaching ranks outside of Oregon, some might view it as a negative in terms of how well he'll do at any program -- Syracuse or otherwise.
There's those pesky diminished returns as offensive coordinator that are largely over-played by Ducks fans but nonetheless are things you saw bleed through in underwhelming early efforts by Oregon. The fact that all's largely sorted out on the offensive end at this point should be a positive to take from that, if you choose to do so.
Frost did play for a few years in New York, but is a Midwest/Plains guy who's spent a ton of time out West. His recruiting connections in the Northeast and other parts of the ACC footprint are pretty much zero.
Oh, and if he does have any sort of success at Syracuse (please?), he'll be out the door to his alma mater Nebraska. Based on how things are going for the Huskers' current coach Mike Riley, that change could happen within a couple years, potentially.
Odds it happens?
Putting this at a firm 70 percent, and he's probably the clubhouse leader. Online rumors about Frost's potential hire aside, he does appear to be a candidate that could check a lot of boxes for the Orange (something Mark Coyle seems to agree with).
No candidate's perfect. But if Syracuse can manage to sign Frost for something in the neighborhood of $2.1-2.5M, that's a win in this market. Frost is a name that comes up elsewhere, has offensive experience and can energize a local fan base looking for an exciting winner on the field. It might not happen all at once, but Frost's upside could be worth making the investment in. And with the right staff, the potential issues regarding the short amount of time coaching and lack of Northeast ties could be mitigated easily.
We'll see where Coyle's decisions lead as other programs are starting to make quick hires and taking other names out of consideration.