The mysterious new assistant with no title may be important if Scott Shafer leaves.
Tim Daoust has just become the newest member of the Syracuse coaching staff. What he exactly does, however, is a total mystery. Ever played the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? That infamous moment Daryl Gross was talking on two cell phones at once was because he finally connected himself to Bacon using just one degree. “Hey, did you know we both used to work in L.A.!?”
The Fizz wanted to track down just exactly how new (fill in the blank) coach Tim Daoust came to be a member of the Syracuse football staff. Daoust doesn’t have a title yet. Right now he’s just an assistant with no designation as to where he’ll be assisting.
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Daoust is an Ohio guy through and through, just like SU’s defensive coordinator. He went to high school in Toledo, redshirted a year for Bowling Green football, and then finished out his career at Wittenburg University. (Don’t worry, we’ve never heard of it either.)
After finishing school, he spent time on the staffs at Northern Illinois (2002-2003), Illinois State (2004), Cincinnati (2005), Western Michigan (2006-2009), and finally Central Michigan (2010).
According to SU Athletics: “(In 2006), WMU led the nation in interceptions (24), sacks (46) and finished sixth in run defense, seventh in turnover margin, 11th in total defense and 14th in opponent third down conversions. The Bronco defense also broke a 33-year old a Mid-American Conference record by allowing just 76.1 rushing yards per game.”
And how did Shafer improve the Syracuse defense? He took the “D” from the 101st in the country to a top 20 outfit. Not too shabby for a guy at his fifth school in seven years.
Both guys have proven to be catalysts for improvement. So how does this relate to Daoust? When Doug Marrone was looking for a coach to run his defense, he got a great lead from a guy named Bill Mallory. Having worked at several schools in the midwest, Mallory coached a man named Joe Novak, who is the former head coach at Northern Illinois.
Shafer was a coordinator for Novak for eight seasons at NIU. Shafer got his start as a graduate assistant under Mallory at Indiana in 1991.
Daoust got his start as a graduate assistant under Novak at NIU in 2002. Four years later, he was working as the defensive line coach at Western Michigan for – yep, Shafer, then the Broncos defensive coordinator.
The ties here run deep. Shafer and Daoust are two Ohio guys who were educated under the same coaching philosophies, and have worked on the same staff. In simpler terms: Mallory => Novak => Shafer=> Daoust. Four degrees of Mallory. See, everything is better with Bacon.
So what about that pending job title for Daoust? He’s on the coaching staff, and there’s an opening for special teams coach with Bob Casullo gone. But Daoust has a background in defensive line and secondary coaching, so that sounds unlikely.
When trying to improve on an already stellar defensive unit, you can see why Marrone would want Daoust. He and Shafer seemingly have similar mindsets. Marrone’s new addition to the staff is just a little over 30, so Daoust has plenty of years in coaching.
But what if Scott Shafer leaves Syracuse in the near future? He’s got connections to Jim Harbaugh from their time at Stanford. He’s worked under Rich Rodriguez (who’s bound to land another HC job soon). Now his recent success with SU. It’s possible another solid defensive season for the Orange and Shafer may land a head job of his own or jump to the NFL as an assistant (San Francisco?).
Marrone seems to have brought in the person with the most similar college football DNA to Shafer in Daoust. It’s possible SU just hired it’s next defensive coordinator.
Daoust looks to be a good hire right now, and maybe an even better one down the road.
Posted: Mike Couzens