Scott Shafer displays hard-nosed bravado in day one at Syracuse
Say this for new Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer, he doesn't lack bravado.
"West Virginia came in here a year ago. The greatest offense of all-time, they were talking. We locked them in the dome and beat the hell out of them," said Shafer. Whatever the subject, Shafer lays everything on the table from the get-go.
Syracuse's administration was prepared to promote Shafer from defensive coordinator to head coach from the time he was hired in 2009.
"(Doug Marrone) was on some short lists back when we hired him. We were prepared for this day, and thank God we just happened to have a rare coach on our staff that we could promote to head coach. I felt in my heart that (Shafer) was already a head coach," said Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross.
"You put together the calculus on it and at the end of the day, for all the things he's done, for the continuity of it, it made the most sense to promote Coach Shafer. We've got a great man right here," Gross added.
Syracuse is Shafer's eighth stop in a coaching career that dates back to 1991. Now, heading into his fifth year at Syracuse, Shafer is thankful to get his head coaching job at a place that offers "everything".
"I like this town, I like what this town's texture is. It's like where I grew up in northeastern Ohio. If you played football, you played it hard-nosed," said Shafer.
"Being here four years and going into my fifth year, it does give me a sense of ownership," Shafer continued. "Once I've been on a job as long as a student-athlete, it makes me feel like I'm one of them. It's still their program, but I do feel like this is my school. Not just the town that I've come to love, not just central New York, but the state of New York. It's just a wonderful state. We just love it here. We feel like it's just meant to be."
Now, he has to turn the city of Syracuse into a feared football destination. "I envision a dome that shakes and intimidates," said Shafer.
Shafer will work with Gross and the Syracuse administration to fill out the rest of the Orange's staff. "We'll figure out what fits best, what quality each coach brings. These people behind the scenes are busting their rump to help me hire the best staff in America."
Once that job is completed, though, Shafer will turn his attention forward, to Syracuse's new football home."We're going to go to the damn ACC, we're going to storm that conference and we're going to do better than people think we can in year one."