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Syracuse Football: Why I think there’s no hot seat for Dino Babers at ‘Cuse

Syracuse football, Dino Babers (Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football, Dino Babers (Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports) /

It’s 1987, I’m 15 years old, Syracuse football has an undefeated regular season record, and I’m ecstatic. It’s likely a big reason all these years later I’m still a big fan.

So I get it when fans opine for those days or even sometimes understand if you judge by winning because winning is part of sports.

But this isn’t 1987 and the days of the old Big East and independents. The world changed and sadly some missteps in the past left the Orange a little behind compared to those days. But it’s not all that bad at times if you take a deep breath and not just look at the worst.

Enter Dino Babers.

In 2015, Syracuse football hired the former Bowling Green head coach to take over the Orange program. And while I was thinking Ed Orgeron was the right guy, I’m proud to see Syracuse didn’t listen to me and hired Babers because he’s the right man for this job for multiple reasons and this fan hopes he stays.

Syracuse head football coach Dino Babers is entering his 8th season at the helm, with a record on the Hill of 36–49. Overall, Coach Babers is 73–65, which if math hasn’t changed since I graduated means that’s a winning record (.529). And I’m sure if you dislike him, you’ll point out the bad seasons and if you like him, you’ll point out the good ones.

Why I think Syracuse football head coach Dino Babers is not on the hot seat.

I’d also like to point out in comparison that former beloved Syracuse football head coach Dick MacPherson was 66-46-4 in 10 seasons (.586), with the last four being his best, and add me to the list of fans who loved and endeared him. Coach Mac is a big reason I bleed Orange and Coach Babers is a reason I still love my Orange.

And longevity is a positive thing, too. The more of these “fire Babers” or “Babers is on the hot seat” comments and pieces we see, the more I question why and what’s the motive and who is behind it.

Is it the fan who only wants wins and that’s it? Is it opposing coaches who can tell a New Jersey recruit that he likely won’t be there when a recruit commits next year? Is it a journalist struggling for headlines or only seeing a microcosm of the program looking only at the bad thinking he has to be?

I ask because I’ve seen zero signs that it’s coming from anyone at Syracuse. In fact, if anything, when asked about Coach Babers’ future in Syracuse, athletic director John Wildhack and others seem to only embrace the positives of Babers at Syracuse and I can see why, too.

Again, longevity helps. His record isn’t as terrible as many point out. And Coach Babers is a great representative of Syracuse University and the football program. He’s not a trouble maker and he knows how things work. He is great with the media and the community.

“For me, success is not about the wins and losses. It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field.” – Ted Lasso

If you watched Ted Lasso, you know he cares about winning but he also cares about something Coach Babers emphasizes…mentoring and family. Creating an environment that cares for each other and works together not just as a team but as a family. He also cares about the university and the history and the future of the program.

In conclusion, I get it. We want to win and pump our chests to other fans proudly. We want to walk out of the JMA Wireless Dome happy and loud. And I want that, too. And so do Dino Babers and his family, his staff and his players.

But instead of blanket statements about win totals or busts or putting him on the hot seat, I’d like to state emphatically that Dino Babers is the right person for the job at Syracuse University. When I see him on the sidelines or at media events, I can proudly proclaim that’s my coach.

Next. Syracuse Football: Important and random preview notes for 2023 season. dark