Syracuse football's off-season coaching change was an exciting turn of events for current SU running backs coach Mike Hart. Hart played high school football just about 20 minutes down the road from the Syracuse campus at Onondaga Central High School, and was hoping that someone he knew would end up on staff for the Orange and pick up the phone. Fortunately for Hart, someone did.
"It was one of those calls that I was hoping for, praying for," Hart said Monday in a press conference.
When Hart found out that the Orange were hiring Dino Babers, he knew that phone call was a possibility. Hart, who was previously the running backs coach at Western Michigan, coached against Babers in the Mid American Conference while Babers was at Bowling Green. He has a relationship with someone who had worked previously with Babers.
"As soon as Babers called, it was more or less, 'Are you serious?'" Hart said. "And he was like, 'Yeah.' So I flew here one night, took the job, flew back home and resigned from the old job."
Hart grew up a fan of the Orange, although he attended the University of Michigan. He stated that he's excited to be back and mentioned the noticeable changes in the football program's facilities and around campus, including the addition of Chipotle on Marshall Street, which he said was "great." (Sean would beg to differ)
In addition to his excitement about coaching for Syracuse, Hart shared his eagerness to learn more of Babers' hurry-up offense, stating that he expects a close position battle for starting running back during preseason camp.
With some progress on the Michigan recruiting front and a collection of talented backs this fall, Syracuse already seems poised to see a positive outcome from this homecoming.