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Syracuse Football: Daryl Gross Forced To Make Another Big Decision

For the third time in his tenure, Syracuse University athletic director Daryl Gross will need to hire a new head coach for the football program. Here's how the DOCTOR should address this seemingly dire situation.


Since Doug Marone showed interest in the NFL earlier this week, Syracuse University athletic director Daryl Gross has said very little.

There was a vague statement about Marrone status Wednesday when he responded to a text from's Brent Axe, but that was about it.

During the week, as Marrone bounced from NFL interview to NFL interview, there still was very little coming out of the SU athletic department, and the sound of crickets made everyone believe Gross and company were not going to make any counter offers (how could they compete with a NFL team?) if Marrone wanted to try the professional ranks.

And thus, early Sunday morning came and Marrone decided to take the Buffalo Bills' head coaching job.

Though Marrone's hire hasn't been made official, Syracuse is expected to soon be without a head football coach and it would not shock anybody if a few assistants, including defensive coordinator Scott Shafer (probably, fans' top choice to replace Marrone), were plucked from the Orange's current staff to join Marrone in Buffalo.

The assumption is Gross will need to act very quickly if the Orange want to hold onto what Marrone has built - a solid job for anyone that wants it.

However, I'll urge everyone to not jump the gun.

This situation isn't what Rutgers faced last season when former head coach Greg Schiano bolted to the NFL days before National Signing Day.

In that case, after Mario Cristobal decided to decline the job offer and stay at FIU, Rutgers had no choice but to hire Schiano's assistant, Kyle Flood, who was responsible for a lot of the program's recruiting.

The hiring of Flood was a solid quick fix to the solution, however, almost a year later there's a lot of concern about the hire after Rutgers began its season with a 9-1 record but closed it out with three huge losses.

It now looks like Flood may not have been ready to take over the program.

It easy to look at Syracuse's current situation and look for the quick fix - naming one of the assistants as head coach to salvage the 2013 recruiting class. However, thankfully, Gross doesn't need to act that fast.

If the right person is hired the football program will be able to do some damage control with recruits. (It is probably safe to say Gross has seen the writing on the wall for awhile and has been working on Plan B.)

Gross' job now is to hire the right person - just like he did with Marrone in 2009. So far, Gross is 1 of 2 in hires. Here's to hoping he goes 2-for-3.