As the search begins for the a new Syracuse Orange head football coach, I wanted to look at the candidates as fairly as I could and see if I have a favorite. For some reason, I kept coming back to the same name and not that it matters to Dr. Gross but I have my top choice for the job. The name is not earth shattering and has been mentioned several times but I still like it. The man I would like to endorse for the position is none other then the University of Buffalo Head Coach Turner Gill.
I hear a lot of people trashing his record at Buffalo because he is 14-21 but I find that record very deceptive. His first season, he was 2-10(1-7 in conference) playing very good teams like Auburn and Boston College. The next year, which was 2007, he 5-7 overall but 5-3 in the MAC, had the first winning season since joining the MAC and was named coach of the year in the league. This year, they compiled a record of 7-5 overall and 5-3 in conference which is enough for them to win the East MAC conference and get them into the championship game against the #14 team in the nation, the undefeated Ball State (who many are trying to show support for them to receive a BCS bid). To me that shows improvement and if Greg Robinson had done anything similar to that in the Big East, he would still be the head football coach today.
Let's also discuss other points on his resume. So what else has he accomplished as a coach besides his numerous feats on the field at Nebraska? Well, I am so glad I asked myself that question. He was quarterback coach of his Alma mater during such time as two All-Americans named Tommie Frazier and 2001 Heisman winner Eric Crouch. Nebraska also played in and won three national championship games while he was a coach there. He recruited a true freshman by the name of Davonte Shannon who became UB's first All-MAC first team player. He also set a school record in 2006 for the most points scored by a team in the East conference of the MAC. He also worked for one season before signing on to coach at UB with the Green Bay Packers as Director of Player Development as well as assistant wide receivers coach and offensive assistant coach. I have seen multiple outlets discussing the players he either evaluates well or coaches above expectation and either way, that is a major plus for the Syracuse program. He also has shown he can recruit within the northeast and outside the area as well (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/andy_staples/11/13/turner.gill/index.html for further reference) and I think when he is successful, less players will leave upstate NY for other schools and play for Coach Gill.
Are these facts mind numbing? Probably not but I consider them impressive. I mean thanks to Wikipedia and the official website of the University of Buffalo Bulls, I had many numerous and valuable resources to help point out Coach Gill's success(including the stats listed above). I hope more Orange fans actually research some of these guys and decide for themselves and while your doing that, see why Turner Gill is the perfect choice. Also, search below for a sample of his press conferences so you can get an idea of what future Orange pressers will be like. I also hope those who think Gill, if successful, will run to Nebraska when they hire a new head coach, will ponder exactly how many head coaches in college football today are truly coaching "for life" at the program they are running right now. You go after the best coach for the job, not who you hope will be there in 5 years. And I think after looking up all the candidate most websites are posting, he meets the criteria we need (recruiting, head coaching experience and a proven successful resume). He may not be high profile but I think he is the highlight of the possibilities. Doctor Gross, it is my opinion (and I am sure you are reading this pondering just exactly who Orange Chuck is endorsing) that you should interview Coach Gill after the MAC championship game and offer him the job so that Syracuse can finally return to building a successful program with happy fans and boosters a like who will once again not only love supporting the Orange but spending their money in support of this team and university.