The Syracuse Orange football team has spent the better part of the last couple of weeks filling in holes on the coaching staff. One of the biggest moves was bringing in a full time replacement for fired defensive coordinator Brian Ward. Dino Babers went with up-and-coming defensive coordinator Zach Arnett, who had been at San Diego State under defensive guru Rocky Long. However, it looks as if Arnett will never step foot on the Carrier Dome sidelines, according to Yahoo’s Pete Thamel.
Sources: Mississippi State is expected to hire Zach Arnett as defensive coordinator. He'd recently taken the Syracuse DC job. Arnett runs the 3-3-5 defense he learned from Rocky Long.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 22, 2020
Arnett looks to join the staff Mike Leach is establishing at Mississippi State as he was just hired a few weeks ago. Leach is clearly going to rely heavily on his defensive coordinator to carry that side of the ball from a strategic standpoint, much as Babers does with his staff at ‘Cuse.
This is... surprising. It sure seemed like Arnett was chosen after consultation from Long and that this was a going to be a great fit for the Orange. Now, Arnett is probably getting a bigger paycheck while ‘Cuse will have to scramble and repeat this process all over again, most likely reaching out to previously vetted candidates. And without enough time to really make it matter before National Signing Day either (/gnashes teeth).
Ironically, Syracuse isn’t normally a program where coordinators have been poached from. While many other schools in the Orange’s position have this program far more frequently, the Orange have done well to keep staffs together for most of the head coach’s tenure — though perhaps the fact that we haven’t been that good for the last 15-20 years also helps. However, with Sean Lewis taking a head coaching job and now Arnett’s sudden departure, it looks as if this trend has made its way to ‘Cuse.
Editor’s Note: Syracuse University Athletic Director John Wildhack emailed Syracuse.com Reporter Chris Carlson with a statement.
E-mailed statement from John Wildhack on Zach Arnett: “We are disappointed that Zach Arnett has decided not to honor the commitment he made to Syracuse University. We will continue to work diligently to find the best defensive coach for our program.”— chris carlson (@ccarlsononSU) January 22, 2020