Some Potential Options For Syracuse’s Next Offensive And Defensive Coordinators

After the reports were confirmed regarding defensive coordinator Scott Shafer becoming the new head coach at Syracuse and offensive coordinator Nathanial Hackett reportedly joining Doug Marrone in Buffalo, SU has its work cut out for itself this offseason to replace to critical positions. Shafer and Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross will need to quickly fill both the offensive and defensive coordinator positions this offseason.

Here are a few possibilities for SU coaching hires for OC and DC:



Defensive Coordinator:

John Anselmo – Assistant head coach / linebackers at Syracuse

Upon hearing Shafer’s promotion, I would not at all be surprised if Syracuse decided to keep it in the family and choose to elevate his current staff. Anselmo is the perfect internal hire because of the role he has played in the program and the defense. In his first two seasons with the Orange, he was the secondary coach, and helped Syracuse advance in rankings every year.


Donnie Henderson – Defensive Backs coach at Syracuse

Keeping with the internal hires, Henderson is a good candidate for promotion for two reasons: 1) He is a veteran coach with almost three decades of experience at both the collegiate and professional level. 2) He has coached some of the best defenses in the NFL, including the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. The Orange could promote Henderson in order to keep him from joining Marrone in Buffalo, as the two worked together with the New York Jets from 2004-2005.

Brent Guy – Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers coach at Tulsa

Tulsa Athletics

Guy has 27 years of collegiate coaching experience, and helped the Golden Hurricanes rank 12th nationally in interceptions and tied for third in sacks. Before coming to Tulsa in 2011, Guy coached on the defensive side of the ball for UNLV, Louisville, Arizona State and was the head coach of Utah State from 2005 to 2008. He was also the defensive coordinator for Boise State from 1998-2000, helping the Broncos win back-to-back Big West Championships and two Humanitarian Bowl victories. They also led the Big West in total defense, rushing defense and scoring defense from 1999-2000.

Larry McDaniel  Defensive Line coach at Bowling Green

BGSU Athletics

McDaniel has roots in the Midwest, and could provide the Orange with some recruiting expansions. In his two seasons at Bowling Green, McDaniel helped create a dominant pass-rushing team in the Mid-American Conference. In 2012, McDaniel and the Falcons defense finished ninth in the country with 37 sacks, lead by senior Chris Jones who finished third in the country with 12.5.


Offensive Coordinator:                                                                                                                             

Bob Wilder– Head Coach at Old Dominion

ODU Athletics

Wilder would finally make his BCS coaching debut if picked up by the Orange, having coached at the University of Maine and now ODU. Wildly successful at Old Dominion, Wilder has a 38-10 record in four seasons and is an up-and-coming coach in the FBS. He built up a program that sat in obscurity for years before his hiring in 2007, and now Old Dominion is one of the most successful start-ups in FBS history. Wilder has great experience re-building a program, and since so many offensive pieces are leaving Syracuse, he would provide an interesting spin to the Orange offensive that needs some stability.

Mario Cristobal – former Head Coach at Florida International 

While Cristobal’s firing was somewhat of a surprise, it won’t be surprising if he is hired by another school this offseason. 

FIU Athletics

Honestly, he should probably become a head coach at some school, but if Syracuse can entice him into coming to coach the Orange, it would have one of the biggest up-and-coming coaches in the NCAA. Cristobal didn’t have the greatest of records at FIU, going 27-47 in six seasons, but he is considered to be an excellent recruiter. He was tight ends and offensive line coach at Rutgers University from 2001-2003 and University of Miami from 2004-2006 and he helped transform Rutgers into the competitive program it is today.

Greg Adkins– Offensive Line / Recruiting Coordinator at Syracuse


Syracuse will make serious considerations to internal hires, and Adkins is an intriguing option because of his connection to recruits. His offensive line helped pave the way for three consecutive 1,000 yard rushers in Delone Carter, Antwon Bailey and Jerome Smith. Many players admire Adkins and he could provide stability on an offense that will be changing dramatically due to the departure of Hackett and many offensive players such as Ryan Nassib, Alec Lemon, Marcus Sales and Justin Pugh.

Bob Cole– Assistant Coach / Quarterbacks Coach at Northern Illinois

NIU Athletics

With Ryan Nassib gone, the Orange need an offensive coordinator who can produce top quarterback talent quickly, and Cole did just that last season with Jordan Lynch, who threw 24 touchdowns to just five interceptions. He also has experience producing great wide receiving corps, as the 2011 Huskies set school records on offensive and won the MAC Conference Championship. Cole is also a veteran collegiate coach with 24 years of experience under his belt.


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Tyler is a junior Newspaper and Online Journalism major at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. He is a big fan of sports at the professional and collegiate level, especially the NY Jets, Orlando Magic, and everything Syracuse. He has been a sportswriter for The NewsHouse since 2010, and is also a contributing writer for the Daily Orange and the Syracuse Post-Standard.