Babers booted: What's the future for Syracuse football?
Syracuse Football Head Coach Dino Babers was fired Sunday ahead of the last game of the regular season. The decision boiled down to a lack of success in November.
Syracuse Athletic Director John Wildhack said the decision to fire Babers before the end of the season gives the program a head start on naming a successor. He said a thorough, but efficient, search is underway. Efficiency is key with the transfer portal opening December 4.
"I met with Dino before the season and I told him the benchmark was 7 and 5," Wildhack said. "We met after the Florida State game, I reiterated that. Once that obviously wasn't attainable, it was time to move and make a decision."
Wildhack said potential new coaches don't necessarily need to have ties to the Syracuse area but experience in the Northeast matters.
"It's not lost on me that our four most successful coaches in a sense, Coach Schwartzwalder grew up in Morgantown, right?" Wildhack said. "Coach [MacPherson] grew up in Maine, UMass. Coach Pasqualoni, Connecticut. Coach Marrone, the Bronx. So there is a little bit of history there and sometimes, history can be a really good teacher."
Other coaches in the ACC are also weighing in. UNC Football's Mack Brown said there's a lot less patience with coaches — often amplified by social media. Brown said he believes universities and athletic directors are firing coaches sooner so they can quickly hire replacements and avoid losing players to the transfer portal.
"You can lose a whole team, especially key players because they're trying to poach them anyway," Brown said. "So if there's no coach for three weeks, it used to be everybody'd sit and wait on who the new coach is and get excited. And now you lose players."
Wildhack said he extended the opportunity for Babers to coach the Saturday Senior Night game playing Wake Forest, which Babers declined. Wildhack met with the team Sunday and left them two messages as they navigate this transition.
"Take care of each other," Wildhack said. "Take care of your brethren. And play and show out for the seniors and send them out the right way."
Tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile is serving as interim head coach. The Orange will be bowl-eligible if they win Saturday.