Syracuse.com’s Chris Carlson posted a great article on Wednesday, describing the relationship between Dino Babers and John Wildhack. The Syracuse Orange coach, who was already here when Wildhack arrived as AD, has built a strong relationship in a short amount of time — largely over weekly lunches.
Wildhack wouldn’t spill the beans on where they end up eating, but was complimentary of “all the restaurants” in the Syracuse area.
So... where do they actually go?
It would seem Babers has come a long way from when he was just eating at the Sheraton when he first arrived at SU. You’d have to think the career coach has developed a pretty nuanced palate given his travels from Hawaii to San Diego to Arizona, Los Angeles, Texas and various other outposts. Given all of that, some ideas of where they may lunch:
You’re not going to sell any experienced Californian on Mexican food in New York, so who knows if Babers can deal with any that CNY has to offer. But the State Street spot is as potentially as good as it gets.
Brazilian steak with a touch of Texas, and a little off the beaten path? Might be just the spot for these two Orange power players to meet in relative peace and quiet.
Not a secret, and also relatively crowded depending on when you go. But there could be enough darkness and space that they can eat here relatively uninterrupted.
Babers certainly has an affinity for some Hawaiian and Japanese cuisine, so this could be his spot, when Wildhack tells him to choose.
Food was far from the only focus of the article, however, which served as a pretty good heat check on Babers and the program entering year two of the Babers era. Resources are being shifted further toward football success, recruiting is trending up and the fan base is optimistic.
Wildhack, a Syracuse fan himself, seems to understand what success -- long- or short-term -- likely yields. But that’s the point of these weekly lunches.
"Building a football program is a little like turning around an aircraft carrier. It takes time. The two words I use together, and often, is persistent and patient. We need to be persistent. Every day we need to think about what we're doing to make this program better. And we need to have the patience to get it right, and get it right for the long haul."
That long haul’s key here, and it speaks (coincidentally) directly to what we wrote about earlier regarding Babers and his lasting legacy here. It’ll be dictated by what’s next. The foundation he’s worked with Wildhack to build, that should ultimately bring a successful hire after Babers -- whomever and whenever that may be.
Anyway, definitely read Carlson’s piece, and enjoy the fact that it paints a pretty optimistic picture of Syracuse football for the time being. It’s nice to feel like we’re in good hands with Wildhack and Babers steering the ship right now, no?