Departing coaches leave uncertain future for Syracuse football

Coaching the Syracuse football team was former head coach Doug Marrone’s dream four years ago. Now, he has swapped that dream for another: rejoining the NFL as the Buffalo Bills head coach.

As a top candidate for an NFL head coaching position, and with the SU football program’s future uncertain as it joins a tough Atlantic Coast Conference next season, Marrone made the correct decision to leave SU and seize the opportunity with the NFL while it exists for him.

But Marrone is not the only SU football coach to leave for the NFL, as offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett followed Marrone to the Bills. By taking Hackett with him, Marrone is allowing the SU football program’s leadership and stability to suffer.

Because both coaches are departing and there is uncertainty concerning who will fill Syracuse’s vacant offensive coordinator position, top quarterback recruit Zach Allen has backed out of his commitment to Syracuse and committed to Texas Christian. Allen said both coaches were the reasons he originally chose Syracuse.

With Marrone allowing Syracuse to enter a new conference with a new coach and without a star recruit, the future of Syracuse football may be bleak.

Marrone has worked for the last four years to improve Syracuse on and off the field, and brought the program two Pinstripe Bowl victories. With both he and Hackett gone, much of this momentum will be lost.

Scott Shafer, the current head coach, has a difficult task ahead of him in leading Syracuse into the ACC. He must work to ensure Syracuse performs well in its new conference and attracts recruits in the wake of departing coaches.

The departure of one coach will be difficult for the team. But the departure of two of its top coaches poses severe questions for the future of Syracuse football.


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