Newshouse Sports

The world of sports from a few Syracuse students

So, is it time to worry?

Posted by Matt Gelb on December 4, 2008

Daryl Gross is searching long and hard for the next SU head coach. (SU Athletics)

Daryl Gross is searching long and hard for the next SU head coach. (SU Athletics)

Chip Kelly was locked up by Oregon. Temple’s Al Golden said no. Tennessee hired Lane Kiffin. Auburn and Tommy Tuberville parted ways, creating another marquee opening. Randy Edsall continues to deny his interest as Connecticut’s season concludes.

So where does that leave Syracuse?

Well, Skip Holtz, Turner Gill and Mike Locksley are all still in play, theoretically. But, if Auburn pushes hard for Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach, would Tech then go after Gill, the former Big 12 star? Certainly a possibility. And Holtz could be a candidate at Mississippi State.

Yes, the coaching carousel is dizzying.

I wrote a few weeks back about the importance of a quick hire.

Gross needs to know if his candidate is committed – and quick. The next coach at Syracuse must be in place before the bowl season begins. Simply, SU can’t afford to lose another recruiting class.

Currently, depending on the recruiting site, Syracuse has between four and six verbal commitments. One verbal commit, Raheem Cardwell, told The Daily Orange on Sunday that he is “exploring his options.” He will wait and see who the next head coach at Syracuse is until he makes a firm decision and assuredly, he isn’t the only recruit doing so. National Letter of Intent Day is Feb. 4, 2009.

This is a major lesson Gross learned from his first hire. Timing is everything, especially when it comes to recruiting.

“It’s great,” Gross said of the head start on finding a new coach. “It’s fabulous. It gives us a chance to recruit. It gives us a chance to recruit and recruit well instead of rushing.”

Not only is it important for recruiting, but for also hiring a staff, retaining current players.

And now, as we’re seeing, it’s important to ack quickly before the top candidates are eliminated.


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