This article was edited 5/23/2016.
Mark Coyle has come and gone from Syracuse Athletics. As we flip the page to the search for a new AD, one has to wonder if the next person will move parts and pieces around to make the department his/her own, rather than leaving in place ideas that were set before them.
When Mark Coyle was hired, the two biggest speculations surrounded then-head coach Scott Shafer and basketball coach-in-waiting Mike Hopkins. One situation played out the way it was set before Coyle (Hopkins), and one was changed dramatically to something new (Shafer).
But with yet another new face coming in, who's to say that these promises and deals will hold to come true? If history is to be believed, a new AD will want to make his or her stamp on the program upon their arrival. With a head coach-in-waiting that has held that title for over 10 years and a football coach who was hired and will see two different athletic directors before even coaching a game, it's safe to say there could still be rocky waters ahead at Syracuse.
The future will determine if Dino Babers was a successful hiring or not, but it's safe to say it was a good hire by Coyle. He checks off all of the boxes that Syracuse Football needs and will hopefully bring success. That being said, a new relationship with an athletic director could shift things on both sides. If Babers doesn't find immediate success, how long will the new person put up with him? They may want their own hire for the program, which could lead to a shorter leash on Babers.
On the flip side, what if Babers is successful right away, but isn't fond of the new AD? What would stop him from jumping ship to another program as fast as Mark Coyle did? As a hire who hadn't stepped foot on campus prior to taking the job, one could assume he could just as quickly do that same exact thing for another job if he isn't happy or finds a better opportunity.
And then there's Mike Hopkins.
I genuinely feel bad for Hop. He has been waiting and waiting through success, failure, and turmoil over the years with the Syracuse Basketball program. Despite what Daryl Gross said at the time, Hopkins has been the coach-in-waiting for what seems like forever despite numerous opportunities to coach elsewhere. Mark Coyle didn't initially confirm that Hopkins would be the next basketball coach, making fans anxious to see what our then new athletic director would do. University officials made the announcement that Hopkins would take over following the 2017-2018 season, and things appeared to be smooth sailing from there.
But are they still?
With Hopkins going 4-5 as a head coach in Jim Boeheim's absence with a team that eventually went to the Final Four, it may raise red flags to a new athletic director. While this may not be fair to Hopkins, it's a reality.
And that's not to mention the status of the Number 44, the Carrier Dome renovations that were just announced, and the budgets for all sports at the university.
With so many question marks looming on the department, most won't be answered until we see a hire. All of these points will undoubtedly be asked in an interview room with potential candidates, so in a way a new hire's beliefs could be in line with the people hiring him.
Time will tell, and will make for a long and anxious summer in Central New York.