Now that we know the Syracuse Orange are looking for a new head football coach, we can start to talk potential candidates. Names are flying around and no one knows who is legit and who just has their agent working the phones, so let’s start by placing them into categories.
If you want to assume that Syracuse will hire someone with prior head coaching experience, here’s a list of G5/FCS names who fit that criteria:
G5 HC’s (alphabetical order):
Jason Candle (Toledo)- turned down the Miami OC job. Currently linked to Michigan State’s search.
Curt Cignetti (JMU)- has James Madison ranked. Pittsburgh native also coached at Alabama and NC State. 62 years old.
Jamey Chadwell (Liberty)- first year at Liberty after being at Coastal Carolina. Rumored to be a SEC candidate
Tyson Helton (WKU)-brother of Clay Helton. Former college QB.
Charles Huff (Marshall)- known as a top recruiter. Maryland native who coached at Penn State and Alabama
Chuck Martin (Miami OH)- won National titles in Division II. Former OC at Notre Dame.
Jeff Monken (Army)- you should be familiar with him
Joe Moorehead (Akron)- also served as HC at Fordham and Mississippi State.
Ryan Silverfield (Memphis)-never played college football.
Bronco Mendenhall (retired)- the former BYU and Virginia HC must be thinking about getting back into coaching, but not sure I see the fit, unless Syracuse is looking to keep Jason Beck? I’m still a believer in Beck’s potential but it would seem odd to bring in Bronco after he stepped away from coaching.
Bob Chesney (Holy Cross) -rumored to be eyeing the Boston College job, so will he wait for Jeff Hafley to flame out?
How about coaches with Syracuse ties?
Tony White- Nebraska DC. Former Syracuse DC and someone who knows the school, players, etc.
Sean Lewis- Colorado OC. Former Syracuse OC and Kent State HC. After his demotion in Boulder, he’s moving somewhere, but he’ll be a big-time OC candidate too.
Dan Mullin- ESPN Broadcaster and former Syracuse GA. Former HC at Florida and Mississippi State. Employed and then refused to fire Todd Grantham as his DC at Florida which is a major strike against his judgment.
Matt Patricia- Eagles Sr. Defensive Assistant and former Syracuse GA. Could he convince Belichick to come be his DC?
Teryl Austin- Steelers DC and former Orange assistant coach. Has never been a HC.
Nathaniel Hackett- Jets OC and former Orange assistant coach. His tenure as Broncos HC was abysmal.
Lou Anarumo- Bengals DC. Mentioned by Bruce Feldman from The Athletic.
These coaches have Syracuse connections but in my mind are not viable HC options for a variety of reasons.
Jeff Stoutland- Eagles OL
John Reagan- Maryland OL coach
Justin Outten- Titans Run game coordinator
Rob Moore- Titans WR coach
What about current assistant coaches who have been named by insiders?
Bryant Haines- DC at James Madison. Cignetti gets a lot of attention but Haines has had top 10 defenses at JMU for several seasons.
Mike Hart- Michigan. Former Section 3 legend. Hart has not been a coordinator, but he did serve as interim HC for one game this season.
Liam Coen- Kentucky OC. Has NFL experience with the Rams.
Phil Longo- Wisconsin OC. NJ native.
Adam Fuller- FSU DC. Has produced six NFL Draft picks at FSU.
Alex Atkins-FSU OC. Former OL coach known as a big-time recruiter.
Herb Hand- UCF assistant coach. A Westmoreland, NY native with lots of OL experience. Not a HC candidate.
Dan Pitcher- Bengals QB coach. Not sure anyone would name him if he wasn’t a Cortland native and Colgate alum. No college experience. Has never been a coordinator.
Al Golden- Notre Dame DC. Former HC at Temple and Miami. Nothing exciting about him at all.
Bill O’Brien- New England OC. Former Penn State HC.
Finally, here’s the guys who are absolutely not happening:
Ed Orgeron- he won big at LSU but what happened after that is a non-starter.
Urban Meyer- let this fantasy go.
Jimbo Fisher- please stop with this idea. Not only did he bomb at A&M he did so while hiring Bobby Petrino, Steve Addazio and DJ Durkin.
Doug Marrone- he might answer the phone and let John Wildhack get through his pitch before he hangs up.
We’ll dig in as more details start to emerge, but who are we missing?