Syracuse fires head coach Scott Shafer after eighth straight loss

Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer has been fired, according to sources.
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Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer has been fired, according to sources. Shafer will coach the Orange in their final game of the season against Boston College on Saturday.

His dismissal comes two days after his team’s 42–29 loss Saturday to North Carolina State, the Orange’s eighth straight defeat after opening the season with three consecutive wins. It is also nearly five months after the hiring of new Syracuse athletic director Mark Coyle, who formerly held the same position at Boise State for three-and-a-half years.

During Coyle’s introductory press conference in June, he spoke of winning the ACC championship and going to “special bowl games.” The 48-year-old Shafer was far from either and had just a 13–23 record in his three seasons as Syracuse’s coach.

He led the Orange to a 7–6 record in his inaugural season that was capped by a victory over Minnesota in the Texas Bowl. Last season though, Syracuse began the campaign with two victories before losing all but one of its remaining 10 games.

Under the defensive-minded Shafer this season, the Orange have had one of the ACC’s worst defenses. Syracuse ranks last in the ACC this season in yards allowed per play and second-to-last in scoring defense.

Shafer was promoted to Syracuse’s head coach from defensive coordinator in January 2013 after former head coach Doug Marrone left to take the same position with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Shafer arrived at Syracuse when Marrone became the school’s coach in 2009. Before the Orange, Shafer had previously been defensive coordinator at Michigan (’08), Stanford (’07), Western Michigan (’05-06) and Northern Illinois (’00-03).

Potential candidates to replace Shafer include Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost, Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia, Fordham coach Joe Moorhead, Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Sanford and Michigan State offensive coordinator Dave Warner.