The Syracuse Orange will have a new defensive coordinator in 2020, and it’s likely that coach is not on the current staff. Though Brian Ward was let go after over three years in the role at SU, Steve Stanard is stepping in as an interim, and will largely run a similar scheme (though hopefully with better results) over the final three regular games.
If this was the Shafer era, Stanard would probably just stick around. But I’m willing to bet Din Babers is looking elsewhere to fill the DC role unless the Orange are suddenly holding opponents under 200 yards per game en route to three straight wins and a shocking bowl bid. So with that in mind, many are already wondering who Babers will look to hire for the role on a full-time basis.
One potential name that makes a lot of sense is Navy co-defensive coordinator Brian Norwood, who Nate Mink brought up on Syracuse.com as someone who has links to Baberes at previous stops and the Orange head coach has a close friendship with him. Norwood’s performed well at different schools (not just service academies) and has been a key part of the Midshipmen’s resurgence this season. And in general, he’s probably in the mold of who Syracuse can/will hire when the time comes to fill that role in December.
The Orange are likely looking at a sitting Group of Five coordinator who either has longevity and is not on a head coaching track, or is a relative newcomer to the coordinator role with some reasonable success under his belt so far. Sitting P5 coordinators are probably not options. Rising position coaches at the P5 level could be — though Babers is likely looking to add an experienced coordinator, rather than someone he needs to bring along. Babers’s specialty has always been offense, so he’d prefer to be hands-off on the defense where possible. Having a coordinator that’s done it before and can bring in his own scheme and processes is probably for the best.
A serious list of who could be up for the role isn’t worth compiling yet, but you can expect Norwood will be included in the search. Other potential candidates, using the qualifications laid out above, could include names like David Reeves (UAB), Zach Arnett (San Diego State), Brian Borland (Buffalo) or Clayton White (Western Kentucky). But again, just spit-balling here.
That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below.
Dino Babers was always willing to change defenses. Does he now take a look at Navy for answers? (Syracuse.com)
“Both styles have been effective with the type of offense that we play. I think the main thing is not to pigeon-hole anyone, to find out exactly what our resources are and what our players can do and make sure we do what they are best at. Then we will recruit and figure out what we want to do down the road. We are looking for early success.”
Was firing Brian Ward just the beginning of a Syracuse football shakeup? (Syracuse.com)
Offensive coordinator Mike Lynch’s offense lacks imagination and is well off pace of last year, when Syracuse averaged 463 yards and 40.3 points per game. Syracuse is averaging 24.3 points and 376 yards per game this year. “Orange is the New Fast?” I don’t think an offense that ranks 92nd in the country can have that title.
Exclusive: SU Hoops star Tiana Mangakahia on finishing chemo and coming back stronger (CNYCentral)
“I think about that a lot when I get messages from other survivors or other people going through it right now. It just makes me think I have been very strong through it. I actually got a message on Instagram from a lady in California going through it right now and she has two kids and she was just saying how she’s really scared and how I did it so she was just asking me like what helped me through it for her like to come back from.”
College basketball’s top 100 players for 2019-2020 season: No. 100 through No. 51 (SB Nation)
SBNation’s counting down the Top 100 Men’s CBB players heading into the 2019-20 season and Syracuse Orange junior Elijah Hughes checks in at No. 90.
Hughes was a surprise standout for Jim Boeheim last season, averaging 13.7 ppg in his first season after transferring in from East Carolina. He’s the only returning starter from last year’s 20-win team, and should be the Orange’s No. 1 option on offense this season.
Biggest NFL Draft Risers and Fallers After Week 10 of College Football (Bleacher Report)
One of the biggest NFL potential prospects on coach Dino Babers’ team this year has struggled, and he routinely got out of his rush lanes against the Eagles. That is defensive end Alton Robinson, who too often pins his ears back and just goes after quarterbacks rather than playing his position and the ball.
Syracuse Rowing wraps up Fall season (Daily Orange)
Bilas Index: 1-68 team rankings, player ranks and more (ESPN)
All 353 Division I basketball teams as quotes from Moby Dick (Mid-Major Madness)
Three keys for the Virginia men’s basketball team in its opener at Syracuse (Daily Progress)
How many games will Syracuse basketball win this season? Oddsmakers are pessimistic (Syracuse.com)