Syracuse Football: Top candidates being floated for SU head-coaching job

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

So who is going to be the next head coach of Syracuse football, after Dino Babers, one regular-season game shy of finishing a full eighth term, was dismissed by SU Athletics on Sunday, per an announcement from athletic director John Wildhack?

Wildhack announced the dismissal of Babers, effective immediately, in the wake of the Orange falling to 5-6 overall in the current 2023 season after the ‘Cuse lost at Georgia Tech, 31-22, this past Saturday night in Atlanta.

The Orange has one regular-season game left, as the ‘Cuse will host Wake Forest this coming Saturday. Tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile will serve as the interim head coach versus the Demon Deacons, as Syracuse football tries to reach bowl eligibility for the second year in a row.

Understandably, a lot of Orange fans were more than okay with the team moving on from Babers. I didn’t like the timing of his firing, but I did think it was best for the program to find a new head coach, given that Babers’ overall mark on the Hill was a sub-par 41–55, along with a 20–45 record in Atlantic Coast Conference clashes.

Some names are being floated as potential candidates for the Syracuse football head-coaching gig.

Naturally, we’re all curious as to who the next boss of the ‘Cuse will end up being. On Sunday, I came across social media posts from Chris Vannini of The Athletic and Pete Thamel of ESPN, in which they both floated some names as the potential successor to Babers in Central New York.

In no particular order, here are some of the names from Vannini and Thamel:

Jason Candle
Candle is the head coach of Toledo out of the Mid-American Conference. So far in 2023, the Rockets are 10-1 overall, and in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll that was released on Sunday, Toledo checked in at No. 23.

Bronco Mendenhall
Mendenhall is formerly the head coach at BYU and Virginia. He stepped down as the head coach of the Cavaliers after the 2021 stanza.

Doug Marrone
Marrone was previously the head coach of Syracuse football from 2009 to 2012. In the NFL, he served as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was the offensive line coach at Alabama in 2021, and since then, he has been the offensive line coach for the New Orleans Saints.

Tony White
White is the defensive coordinator at Nebraska. He previously was the defensive coordinator at Syracuse football from 2020 to 2022.

Al Golden
Golden is currently the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame. Previously, in the college game, he was the head coach of Temple and then Miami.

Curt Cignetti
Cignetti is the head coach of James Madison out of the Sun Belt Conference. The Dukes, at present in 2023, are 10-1 overall and ranked No. 24 in the latest AP top-25 poll.

Jim Knowles
Knowles is the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Ohio State. He was formerly the head coach at Cornell.

Sean Lewis
Lewis is the offensive coordinator at Colorado and was previously the head coach at Kent State. From 2016 to 2017, he served as the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Syracuse football.

Bob Chesney
Since the 2018 season, Chesney has been the head coach of Holy Cross out of the Patriot League.

Liam Coen
Coen is presently the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Kentucky. Immediately prior to those roles, he was offensive coordinator of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams.

Teryl Austin
Austin is the defensive coordinator of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. From 1996 to 1998, he was a defensive assistant at Syracuse football.

Next. Syracuse Football: Dino Babers is fired, but timing of change seems odd. dark