Syracuse announces four new members of football staff

Syracuse announced four new members of their football staff on Tuesday. Details inside.

Syracuse football announced four members of their support staff on Tuesday, including the reassignment of a long time members of the program. Details in a release from Syracuse Athletics as follows: 

Orange head football coach Dino Babers announced the addition of four support staff members on Tuesday, Jan. 5. Each one of the quartet joins Babers at Syracuse after working with him in 2015 at Bowling Green. All of them also have ties to Eastern Illinois, Babers' other previous head coaching stop.  

Sean Edinger has been tabbed the football program's assistant athletic director for athletic performance. Jeff Sobol, who worked on the strength and conditioning staff with Edinger at Bowling Green, will be SU's assistant strength and conditioning coach for football. Brad Wittke will serve as the director of football operations, while his father, Roy Wittke, has been named the Orange's director of player development.

With the addition of Edinger to the staff, William Hicks will transition to a new role as Syracuse's assistant athletic director for athletic performance for Olympic sports.    

Sean Edinger (Asst. AD for Athletic Performance - Football) 

Prior to his appointment at Syracuse, Edinger served as the director of strength and conditioning at Bowling Green for two seasons, overseeing the strength and conditioning programs for all of the BGSU's 18 sports. Edinger also previously held a similar position at Eastern Illinois from June 2012 until his departure for Bowling Green.

Prior to his time at Eastern Illinois, Edinger was the head strength coach at Central Missouri where he was directly responsible for all aspects of the Mules strength and conditioning program. He also previously worked as the head strength coach for football and volleyball at the Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kan. from 2008-09.

A graduate assistant at Missouri from 2006-08, Edinger worked with the Tigers volleyball and tennis programs. He also assisted with the Tigers football strength and conditioning program, helping players prepare for pro days and professional combines. 

Edinger is a 2006 graduate of the University of Kansas and earned a master's degree from Missouri in 2008. His is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a certified CSCCa Strength and Conditioning Coach. In addition, Edinger has more than 18 years of experience in martial arts and was a member of the U.S. National Karate Team for five years.

Jeff Sobol (Asst. Strength and Conditioning Coach - Football) 

Sobol spent 2015 as Bowling Green's assistant director of strength and conditioning where he was responsible for training BGSU's baseball and softball teams. He also assisted with the football program.

A graduate of Eastern Illinois, Sobol was a three-year starter on the defensive line for the Panthers football team from 2006-08. He earned All-Ohio Valley Conference honors twice and spent three seasons in the Arena Football League following his college career.

Prior to his stint at Bowling Green, Sobol worked as a graduate assistant for the Eastern Illinois strength and conditioning staff.

Sobol has a wife, Kelsey.

Brad Wittke (Director of Football Operations)

Wittke comes to Syracuse as the director of football operations after serving in the same capacity last season for Bowling Green.

With the Falcons, Wittke oversaw the day-to-day operations of the program including, travel, team meals, and had a role in most non-coaching decisions.

Wittke's work at Bowling Green marked a return to the college ranks after three seasons in the front office for the Pittsburgh Power of the Arena Football League. Before joining the Power, Wittke gained team operations experience at both Eastern Illinois and Arizona State.

While at Arizona State, Wittke served as an operations assistant with the men's basketball program. His responsibilities included film exchange, high school relations, recruiting travel and other duties as assigned. At EIU, Wittke was a graduate assistant in the New Student Programs. Late in his time there, he became a football scouting assistant. In that role, he aided with film analysis of future opponents and self-scouting. Wittke also worked as an intern for while in Charleston.

Wittke began his tenure in the Arena League as an operations assistant with the Power shortly after the conclusion of the 2011 season. He assisted on all projects related to football operations, game-day experience and player personnel. He was also in charge of travel coordination and player accommodations.

The following year, Wittke was promoted to director of player personnel where he oversaw all decisions related to the recruitment and signing of players from July 2012 through the 2014 season. In that capacity, Wittke expanded the organization's scouting and recruitment initiatives and re-tooled a roster that improved by 11 wins from 2013 to 2014.

A 2009 Arizona State graduate with a degree in management, Wittke also holds a master's degree in sport administration from Eastern Illinois.

Roy Wittke (Director of Football Player Development)

A fixture in college football for more than three decades, Wittke served as Bowling Green's recruiting coordinator in 2015 and was the Falcons director of operations in 2014. Prior to working at BGSU, Wittke spent 19 seasons at Eastern Illinois, including 17 as offensive coordinator in two different stints under head coach Bob Spoo.

As the Panthers offensive coordinator from 1990-2002, EIU posted 82 wins and made five FCS playoff appearances. He is best known for developing Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo during that period. Under Wittke's direction, Romo was named the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year each season from 2000-02 and captured the 2002 Walter Payton Award. Wittke was honored as the AFCA Division I-AA Assistant Coach of the Year in Romo's senior season of 2002, as the Panthers ranked fourth in the nation in scoring (35.3 ppg) and fifth in total offense (452.6 ypg).

Wittke coached 14 players who earned offensive All-America honors and numerous all-conference selections in both the Ohio Valley Conference and Gateway Football Conference in his first stop at EIU. In addition, three of his offensive units ranked among the top five in EIU history for total offense and scoring.

After the 2002 season, Wittke worked as the offensive coordinator at Arkansas from 2003-05 and spent one season each at both Arizona State (2006) and Northern Illinois (2007). He helped the Razorbacks to the 2003 Independence Bowl and coached in the 2006 Hawaii Bowl with Arizona State.

Wittke returned to Eastern Illinois as the offensive coordinator in 2008. His second stint with the Panthers included tutoring another eventual NFL quarterback – Jimmy Garoppolo. A second-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2014, Garroppolo earned Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year honors in 2010 despite only eight starts. He continued his development under Wittke in 2011, and like Romo, eventually went on to win the Walter Payton Award as a senior in 2014.

After the 2011 season, Wittke became the director of operations under Babers from 2012-13.

In addition to his stops at Eastern Illinois, Arkansas and Northern Illinois, Wittke's coaching résumé also includes stints at his alma mater, Wisconsin Eau-Claire (1979-81), as well as Montana State (1982-84) and Central Missouri State (1985-89).

Wittke is a 1982 graduate of Wisconsin Eau-Claire. He and his wife Patty have three children – sons Brad and Jeff, and daughter Bekah. 

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