The man credited with turning Syracuse University's football program around is reportedly heading to the NFL. Coach Doug Marrone is expected to leave the Orange, to take over as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Candace Hopkins talked with SU fans Sunday, getting their thoughts on the move.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Before Doug Marrone became SU football's head coach in 2009, the team had only won ten games in four years. Flash forward to this year, the team finished the season with eight wins, including a Pinstripe Bowl victory.
"He did seem to have an ability to get people to rise above where they were at, and instead of giving up they had a real spirit, a gangster spirit, and they'd get out there and do what they needed to do to win the games in the long run," said SU Football Fan Paul Harvey.
Harvey is one fan who has seen a lot of coaches come and go. He says the possibility of losing Marrone is especially difficult, because of the promising track he put the team on.
"I think a lot of the people in the community saw him as a role model, saw him as the old time Syracuse sports, I've been going to SU football games since 1954, I remember Jimmy Brown and Ernie Davis and all of them, and a lot of us really would like to see the old days coming back, and we sorta had the feeling we were," said Harvey.
That disappointment aside, many fans, like Larry Silverstin, understand why Marrone would want to move on to the NFL.
"I think it's a good decision for Doug, I think he can go to Buffalo and help them out a bit, and I think Daryl Gross will find a good replacement for him," said Silverstin.
And when it comes to finding that replacement, the fans say there are a few simple qualities they hope the next person has. "I would like to see someone similar to Doug Marrone, somebody who can get along with the players, and let them play, somebody who doesn't yell too much, and scream and shout, and make the players feel bad," said Silverstin.
One thing is certain, orange fans will be anxiously waiting to see what happens next.