When Scott Shafer's firing was announced on Monday, we released our head coach hot board that included several intriguing candidates. After speaking with several sources Monday evening, it appears a few names are starting emerge as front runners to land the job as new head man of Syracuse football.
The first is Scott Frost, offensive coordinator at Oregon. He makes a lot of sense. Frost is well respected in the coaching community, runs a potent offense at Oregon and has name recognition. Not only would excite the fan base, but it would excite commits and recruiting targets as well. Especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Multiple sources have indicated he has at least expressed interest back. His offense on the Carrier Dome turf could be intriguing. Frost interviewed for the Boise State job when Coyle was the AD there. Coyle thinks very highly of Frost and vice versa.
Ed Orgeron is another name that continues to emerge. The current LSU defensive line coach is one of the top recruiters in the country, has recruiting ties everywhere, and coached at Syracuse in the mid 90s. Combine that his seeming strong interest in taking the job and you have a strong fit.
"I've always respected Syracuse, I thought my time was there was great under Coach Pasqualoni," Orgeron told Nike Tamurian of CNY Central. "It's a great private school, great educational opportunity. Good area to recruit, we did a great job in New York, New Jersey, and Florida.
"Got Donovan McNabb out of Chicago. Syracuse attracts the top athletes across the country so I think it would be a wonderful job."
The other interesting option is hiring Frost as the head coach and Orgeron as defensive coordinator. If Syracuse is willing to pay market value salaries for both, that could happen, according to sources. This may not be the most likely scenario, but would be a huge home run for the program.
The third name to watch is Mike Sanford Jr., the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame. Sanford is considered a young, bright offensive mind. It is only a matter of time before he becomes a head coach somewhere. He has a connection to Coyle, being the offensive coordinator at Boise State before leading for the Irish.
Sanford and Coyle have mutual respect for each other, and that could be a good fit as well. His name, however, would not generate as much buzz as Frost or Orgeron.
Those are the three names that are out front right now. Stick with CuseNation.com for the latest on the coaching search and the corresponding recruiting impact. Things could move rather quickly on this front if Syracuse can get an offer out to their top guy before the other programs looking for a coach come calling.