A quick rundown of the new members of the staff:
J.B. Gerald, Director of High School Relations
In the past, this role has been folded under the "director of recruiting" moniker, but it appears Babers will now separate the duties of Gerald and recruiting director Asil Mulbah (who handled high school relations at Wake Forest last year). Gerald played at Colgate, where he was also a Rhodes Scholar, from 2000-2003. He served as a grad assistant at Penn State afterward, before moving on to Illinois and then New Mexico. He's spent the last five years coaching football and basketball at Washington (D.C.) Jesuit Academy, a tuition-free middle school for boys. There's a chance his time down there also strengthens ties with the DMV area by way of his own links and Reno Ferri's. Gerald's role will encompass everything from the recruiting database to primary hosting duties for on-campus visits and more.
Jeff LePak, Operations and Recruiting Assistant
LePak is a carryover from several previous Babers stops. The Texas native played wide receiver at Baylor before transferring to Eastern Illinois to continue playing for him there when he took the head coaching gig. LePak was a grad assistant for last year's Bowling Green team as well. He'll handle team logistics and assist the recruiting staff, among other duties.
Vincent Marshall, Quality Control Coach - Offense
Marshall was an offensive grad assistant under Babers for the past two seasons at Bowling Green. Before that, he played for Houston from 2002-2006, before continuing on to the Atlanta Falcons and CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders. He started his coaching career as an assistant at Southwestern Assembles of Gold University (NAIA) in Waxahachie, Tex. in 2012. Marshall replaces Pat Reilly in the role. While his ties are largely to Texas, his D1 and professional football success should be assets to developing the team's wide receivers in the future.
John Pike, Quality Control Coach - Defense
Pike, like Marshall, was a grad assistant at Bowling Green last year, but on the defensive side of the ball. The former San Diego Mesa and North Dakota State defensive back played in the German football league for two seasons before taking his first coaching gig at the College of Idaho (NAIA) in 2014. Babers has ties to current and former North Dakota State folks, which is probably how he and Pike kicked off their professional relationship. Pike will replace Alvah Hansbro in the role.
, Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach
Rodriguez comes over from Baylor, after two years with the Bears' baseball, volleyball, cross country and equestrian teams. He's a Rutgers grad, but we won't judge him there. He also holds a master's degree from Baylor and spent time working as a strength and conditioning intern at Air Force as well. While he may not have been working with the football team at Baylor, his knowledge of that program is probably the big draw for Babers, who's very adamant about changing the strength and conditioning program at Syracuse to mimic the Bears.
Lanear Sampson, Grad Assistant - Offense
Sampson's another Baylor tie-in, playing under Babers as a starting wide receiver for the Bears from 2009-2011 (he'd play for them in 2012 as well). Following his standout career at Baylor, he bounced around the NFL a little (Colts, Cowboys, Steelers), before heading up to the CFL to sign with the Ottawa Redblacks, where he played in 2015. He's another guy that has not only worked with Babers, but understands the Baylor system and can offer some perspective and experience to SU's wideouts (and others, of course).
Wayne Tuckson, Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach
Tuckson's technically an in-house add, coming over from Syracuse's Olympic sports strength and conditioning staff. He's been here for the last two years, but before that was at Wisconsin-River Falls (D-III). He played for Elmhurst (also D-III) from 2009-2012. He was brought in by former Orange OC Tim Lester, who coached on the same Elmhurst teams Tuckson played for.
Overall, it's a nice group of additions for Syracuse. Some are more high-profile than others. But you can largely see the direction here, as Babers brings in a mix of Bowling Green and Baylor folks, while also addressing areas of need (like DMV recruiting and wide receiver help).