Lost in the bustle of a very busy weekend of Syracuse Orange sports happenings was a hire by the football team.
As first reported by Syracuse.com’s Nate Mink, Dino Babers has hired former Wyoming Cowboys defensive coordinator Steve Stanard for an unspecified role on that side of the ball.
Syracuse lost two members of the football staff in the last few weeks, with linebackers/special teams coach Tom Kaufman departing for Chattanooga and running backs coach Mike Hart leaving for Indiana. Stanard would fill the defensive staff spot vacated by Kaufman (we’ll see what his role develops into).
Stanard has been a coach at the college ranks since 1988, starting out at his alma mater, Nebraska, then moving onto Nebraska Wesleyan. He coached on the defensive side of the ball at South Dakota, New Mexico State, Colorado State, Tulane (!!!) and North Dakota State before joining Craigh Bohl at Wyoming. Dino Babers has a few ties to the NDSU staff, which is how this hire likely came about.
Despite a resurgent season that saw the Cowboys make it to the Mountain West title game, the team’s defense left something to be desired. Stanard’s unit finished 101st in scoring defense and 104th in total defense for 2016. Those numbers were about the same for all three of his years at Wyoming. Given the lack of success there, it’ll be interesting to see the impact he’ll be able to make on a Syracuse defense that struggled mightily this past season.
Also interesting for Stanard’s addition will be where he assists on the recruiting front. His previous stops have kept him in the Great Plains and mountain states. The current Orange roster has one walk-on from Kansas, and a good handful of kids from the Midwest. We’ll see if he changes his focus area at SU, or if we start to see some more targets out West as the 2018 recruiting cycle gets going.