The Syracuse Orange offense has its new play caller. In what is widely regarded as the most important hire for any first-time head coach, Fran Brown went with a man who has an extensive history of coaching running backs, both at the collegiate and professional levels.
Jeff Nixon, the current running backs coach for the New York Giants, will take over SU's offensive coordinator role. The 49-year-old is a Penn State alum and Pennsylvania native, giving Brown an outlet into another Northeast market.
Nixon spent two seasons with Brown at Baylor, where the former was a co-offensive coordinator from 2017-2019. Fran was the associate head coach at that time, before he returned to Temple in Jeff’s third year. Soon after, Nixon made a return of his own - back to the NFL, where he has been since.
Matt Rhule brought Nixon with him to the Carolina Panthers in 2020, where he worked his way up to assistant head coach (offense) in 2022 before taking the Giants job this year.
Nixon becomes the fourth Syracuse offensive coordinator in as many years, succeeding Jason Beck (2023), Robert Anae (2022), and Sterlin Gilbert (2020-21). With Fran’s stated emphasis on running the ball, he should make good use out of LeQuint Allen and other backs - though it remains to be seen how the passing game will make good use out of a returning Oronde Gadsden and several new additions, including QB Kyle McCord.
While Nixon has never been the sole OC on a team before, he was responsible for all playcalling duties while at Baylor. He also had the honors for the last five games of 2021 after Joe Brady was fired by Carolina.