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10 Coaching Candidates to Replace Scott Shafer at Syracuse

Scott Shafer

Scott Shafer

Syracuse coach Scott Shafer was fired on Monday, ending a three-year run at the school. Shafer will coach the final game for the Orange on Saturday against Boston College. In three years at Syracuse, Shafer went 13-23 and 6-17 within the ACC.

Shafer was promoted to head coach after Doug Marrone left Syracuse to coach the Buffalo Bills after the 2012 season. After a 7-6 record last year, the Orange went 3-9 in Shafer’s second season and are 3-8 with one game remaining in 2015.

Who might replace Shafer at Syracuse? Here are 10 names to watch:

10 Coaching Candidates to Replace Scott Shafer at Syracuse

Dino Babers, head coach, Bowling Green

Babers’ name is going to be mentioned in connection with several jobs this offseason, so if he’s the coach athletic director Mark Coyle wants, Syracuse will have to pay and compete with some bigger schools. However, Babers fits the profile of what has been mentioned with this job. He runs an exciting offense – averaging 43.8 points per game – and also has FBS head coach experience. After two successful years at Eastern Illinois (19-7), Babers is 16-9 with two MAC East titles at Bowling Green. Babers is a former assistant under Art Briles at Baylor.

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Randy Edsall, former Maryland head coach

Everything suggests new athletic director Mark Coyle is looking for a fresh start and someone with a track record on offense. However, Edsall is a name to watch, as he’s a former Syracuse player and coached at the school from 1980-90. He also spent time as an assistant at Boston College and Georgia Tech before taking over at UConn in 1999. Edsall went 74-70 with the Huskies, including an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl in 2010. Edsall’s five-year tenure at Maryland did not go well, as he was dismissed after a 22-33 record. 

Scott Frost, offensive coordinator, Oregon

Frost is regarded as a rising star in the assistant ranks and is one of the top offensive coordinators in the Pac-12. The former Nebraska quarterback started his coaching career as a graduate assistant for two Big 12 programs (Kansas State and Nebraska), followed by a two-year stint at Northern Iowa. He was hired by Chip Kelly in Eugene in 2009 and was promoted to offensive coordinator after Kelly left for the Eagles. Under Frost’s direction, Oregon led the Pac-12 in scoring offense in 2014 and ranks first after 11 games in 2015.

Related: 10 Coaches to Replace Paul Rhoads at Iowa State

Pete Lembo, head coach, Ball State

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Lembo’s stock has dipped over the last two seasons, as Ball State is just 8-15 since the start of 2014. However, there’s a strong track record for Lembo. He went 44-14 at Lehigh with two playoff appearances, followed by a 35-22 stint at Elon from 2006-10. Lembo is 33-28 at Ball State and guided the program to back-to-back bowl appearances from 2012-13. 

Doug Marrone, Jacksonville Jaguars assistant

Would Marrone be interested in a second stint at Syracuse? Or is the better question whether or not the program would be interested in having him back in 2016? The former Syracuse player coached the Orange from 2009-12, engineering a turnaround in four seasons. Marrone went 25-25 at Syracuse, which included two bowl appearances and two eight-win seasons. Marrone left after the 2012 campaign to coach the Bills and went 15-17 in two seasons. He’s currently an assistant with the Jaguars.

Joe Moglia, head coach, Coastal Carolina

Moglia is one of the most interesting coaches to pop up in coaching searches in recent seasons. He’s a former CEO at TD Ameritrade and returned to coaching in 2009 after stepping into the business sector in 1983. Moglia spent two seasons at Nebraska as an unpaid assistant from 2009-10 and worked with the Omaha Nighthawks in 2011. He’s coached at Coastal Carolina the last four seasons, guiding the Chanticleers to a 41-12 mark in that span.

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Joe Moorhead, head coach, Fordham

Moorhead is a rising star in the FCS coaching ranks, guiding Fordham to a 38-12 record over the last four seasons. Under Moorhead’s watch, the Rams have made three consecutive trips to the FCS playoffs. He also has stops in his career as an assistant at Akron and worked at UConn from 2009-11.

Lincoln Riley, offensive coordinator, Oklahoma

Riley is one of the rising stars in the FBS coordinator ranks and runs an exciting, up-tempo spread offense. The Texas native started his coaching career under Mike Leach at Texas Tech and was hired at East Carolina under Ruffin McNeill to coordinate the Pirates’ attack in 2010. Riley was hired by Bob Stoops at Oklahoma prior to 2015 and has brought significant improvement to the offense. The Sooners rank third nationally with an average of 44.6 points per game this season. Riley does not have any FBS head coaching experience.

Mike Sanford, offensive coordinator, Notre Dame

Sanford has ties to Syracuse athletic director Mark Coyle, as both worked at Boise State in 2014. The former Boise State quarterback has quickly moved through the coaching ranks, starting with a stint as a graduate assistant under his father Mike at UNLV in 2005-06. He made a stop at Stanford from 2007-08 and at Yale for 2009, followed by a one-year stint at WKU in 2010. Sanford worked under David Shaw at Stanford from 2011-13 and was hired at Boise State by Bryan Harsin to coordinate the offense in 2014. The Broncos led the Mountain West with an average of 39.7 points per game last season. Sanford joined Notre Dame’s staff prior to this season and has played a key role in the development of quarterback DeShone Kizer.

Dave Warner, co-offensive coordinator, Michigan State

Warner is a former Syracuse quarterback (1979-81) and coached with the Orange as an assistant from 1982-83. In addition to his ties to the program, Warner has developed a solid reputation during his career as an assistant. Warner has made stops at Kent State, Kansas, Wyoming, Connecticut, Houston, Southern Miss and Cincinnati before coming to Michigan State prior to the 2007 season. Warner was promoted to co-offensive coordinator with the Spartans prior to 2013. He’s not the biggest name on this list, but Warner has ties to the program and has a background on offense.