As it turns out, Syracuse didn’t have to look very far or launch an all-encompassing national search to find a replacement for the departed Doug Marrone.
Following up on reports that surfaced earlier in the week, the Orange officially announced via a press release Wednesday that they have indeed hired Scott Shafer as their new head coach. Shafer has spent the past four season’s as Syracuse’s defensive coordinator and will replace Marrone, who accepted the Buffalo Bills’ head coaching job over the weekend.
“I look forward to representing the hard-nosed city of Syracuse and the great state of New York as the head coach of Syracuse University,” Shafer said in a statement. “We will go to work every day to put a quality product on the field as we storm our way into the Atlantic Coast Conference. We are very motivated to start preparing for the 2013 campaign with our current team and incoming student-athletes.”
Prior to his time with the Orange, Shafer spent one disastrous season as Michigan’s coordinator before being fired following Rich Rodriguez‘s first season with the Wolverines. That wasn’t the case at Syracuse, however, as Shafer molded a defense that was 104th and 11th in scoring and total defense, respectively, the year before he took over into one that finished 46th and 48th in those two categories in 2012.
In addition to his time at Syracuse and Michigan, Shafer was coordinator at Stanford (2007) and Central Michigan (2005-06).
“As a Syracuse letterwinner, I am proud to have Scott Shafer leading the football program,” Marrone said in a statement released through the school. “He is a person of high integrity who cares about the student-athletes and their development on and off the field. Scott has proven his expertise as a defensive coordinator and is ready to lead the program. I wish him all the best as the head coach of the Orange.”
With Shafer’s hiring, there are currently no head coaching openings at the FBS level, although we’ll hold off on officially closing down the 2012-13 Coaching Carousel for a bit. If this is the last change, however, there will be a total of 28 schools — 29 if you include Georgia State, which is moving to the FBS level — that will have different coaches in 2013 than it had in 2012.