Virginia running backs coach and associate head coach Chris Beatty is expected to join the staff of new Syracuse coach Dino Babers, according to sources. Beatty was en route to sign his contract at Syracuse on Friday, per the sources.
His hiring would be a recruiting coup for Babers. One of college football’s top recruiters, Beatty is highly respected in Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Florida, all key areas for the Orange.
Before being a college assistant for nearly the past decade, Beatty won a state championship in 2004 while head coach at Landstown High School in Virginia Beach, Va., where he coached Percy Harvin. This season was Beatty’s first at Virginia.
Prior to that, he spent two years at Wisconsin, where he coached wide receivers and was recruiting coordinator his final season. He was co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Illinois in 2012, wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Vanderbilt in ’11 and running backs and slots receivers coach at West Virginia from ’08–10.
The 42-year-old Beatty coached running backs at Northern Illinois in 2007 and was Hampton’s offensive coordinator and running backs coach in ’06. He has a 78–18 record from his days as head coach at Landstown High (2003-05), Salem High in Virginia Beach, Va. (2001-02) and North Stratford High in Stratford, Va. (1998-2000).
Beatty was a wide receiver at East Tennessee State from 1991–94 after attending Chantilly (Va.) High. He played in the CFL in ’95 and ’97.
Babers became Syracuse’s coach last week after an 18–9 record in his two seasons at Bowling Green, which includes a 10–3 mark this season. A disciple of Baylor’s Art Briles, Babers is considered one of college football’s best offensive minds.
At Eastern Illinois, he coached quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the Walter Payton Award, the Heisman Trophy award of the FCS. Garoppolo was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft by the New England Patriots.
Syracuse’s first black head coach, Babers replaces Scott Shafer, who was fired with a 4–8 record this season. Shafer went 14–23 in his three seasons in charge of the Orange.