Syracuse Football: Orange you glad Dino Babers is still our coach?

Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

I wanted to discuss an issue that I admit will show my bias in some ways but some maybe not, and it has to do with Syracuse football Head Coach Dino Babers. Before Syracuse University hired Babers, I thought Ed Orgeron was the guy they should hire. But I said, “Okay, I like this guy’s resume…I’ll give Babers a chance.”

I wanted what I thought was the best option for the program to win and motivate players. So in time, the more I saw of Coach Babers, the more I realized this was our guy. He was a good motivator for young men and seemed to handle them with respect and dignity. And in 2018, I like every other fan was excited to be a fan and was calling for a contract extension…I got my wish.

Since 2018, the team has had its struggles and failed to make a bowl game. This meant conversations started to revolve around if Coach Babers should be the coach and the buyout details in his contract. I myself can say that I preached patience because I still thought he was the right guy and I liked how he represented the program and university.

Last season, Syracuse football failed to find postseason success despite some very close games that had one just ended differently, Syracuse was bowling. And Coach Babers like everyone else recognized changes needed to be made and did so.

I’m glad that Dino Babers is still the Syracuse football head coach.

It would have been very easy to simply assume things, as they were, could improve if maybe quarterback Garrett Shrader was the consensus starter and got all the reps, rather than Babers & Co. looking elsewhere. But Babers rolled with Shrader, and his instincts have paid off only 5 games into the season.

Special teams were struggling so he brought in Bob Ligashesky, who has a Super Bowl ring and vast experience and it paid off.

The wide receivers last season seemed to struggle some to find consistency so he hired Michael Johnson Sr. who has had success coaching at the NFL level as well as college and it paid off.

Garrett Shrader and the offense seemed underwhelming at times despite one of the best running backs in college football, Sean Tucker, in the backfield. So he hired Robert Anae and Jason Beck from Virginia where they had success and it’s also paid off.

Some Syracuse fans who wanted Coach Babers fired gave the credit for 2018 entirely to one player, Eric Dungey, who deserves some credit but forget it was more than just one guy. And many will likely point to the coaching changes and say they deserve the credit and they deserve some as well. But I think Dino Babers also deserves the same respect because if we’re going to blame him for the pain, we also need to acknowledge him for the fame.

I’m 50 years old now and it’s my belief that most times in my life, I’ve seen the best of times and worst of times and sometimes from the same person. I’ve been mocked for supporting him, had people go out of their way to tell me how much Syracuse stinks and can still recount various times in my life being ridiculed for wearing my Syracuse gear through wins or losses.

But if you’re patient and you’re open to working on being better and changing if it’s needed, it will pay off in the end. And in our haste, it’s very possible that we might have also replaced him only to find out that the grass isn’t always greener if you changed it up…sometimes that yard just needed a little TLC and patience. I’d say 5-0 is a fun payoff for being patient.

I’ve said this to his face and I’ll say it to you here. I love Dino Babers the man and the coach. I love how he represents the players, the university and the fans and I love his press conferences. I love that he appears to genuinely care for his player and this program.

I love that I can hold my head high as an Orange fan saying “that’s my coach and I’d run through a brick wall for him…well run into it but I’d run into it really hard if he asked.” And I love that Syracuse was patient despite a portion of critics, media and fans calling for his job and seeing that patience pay off.

Next. Syracuse Football: Yes, the Orange is a true 5-0 team. dark