Steve Addazio’s hiring at Boston College will have a direct impact on Syracuse football. The energetic, passionate Addazio signed a six-year contract Tuesday to take over the Eagles, and has SU and northeast ties throughout his resume. In fact, just four years ago he was a popular choice to be hired on the Hill instead of Doug Marrone.
Addazio was the offensive line coach during the McNabb glory years at SU from 1995 to 1998, then moved on to Notre Dame and Indiana as an assistant. From there he was hired at SEC powerhouse Florida, and eventually was the offensive coordinator for some of the greatest teams in Gator history.
In ’08, before the firing of Groobers, Addazio’s name surfaced in what is now known as “The Letter.” Rob Konrad penned a note to Darryl Gross picking apart the faults in the program. In it the former SU fullback pleaded the case for Steve:
“A group of prominent football alumni, including several team captains and NFL players, have joined me to collectively provide their opinions regarding the current state of the program and possible remedies to the situation… During our group discussions regarding coaching candidates, we have consistently arrived at one individual who as a Head Coach at Syracuse would fill the critical needs of the program addressed above: Steve Addazio.”
The letter sparked a community-wide debate over whether former athletes should have a say, if Gross would be listening to anyone, and whether a relative unknown in Addazio was the right hire. He certainly wasn’t buzz worthy. But often times the best candidate isn’t the one that steals the headlines.
Of course, Doug Marrone would eventually be named head coach, and was a great hire for many of the same reasons Addazio would have been. He had familiarity with the Syracuse program, recruiting ties within the northeast, a conviction and will to push the school forward out of the pit of despair it had fallen into.
With recent rumors that Marrone could possibly get a call from the NFL, The Fizz mentioned Addazio as an obvious replacement. Steve’s son Louie is a tight end for the Orange.
Addazio inherited a Temple team that had been built from the ground up by Al Golden, and took it to a bowl game in his first season, then a 4-7 finish in its inaugural year back in the Big East. It’s a no-brainer for Addazio to jump to an ACC school which had reached back-to-back title games just a few years ago and still has the ability to pump out NFL talent like Matt Herzlich, Anthony Costanzo and Luke Kuechly.
Interestingly, Addazio brought in dynamic back Montel Harris as a transfer from BC. He turned out to be the Owls plow horse. Addazio will implement his tough, physical style of football in Chestnut Hill. For BC this is a great hire. A Connecticut native, Addazio was a former player for Central Connecticut State University. His connection with the New England area is invaluable in understanding the Northeast. He’s known as one of the best recruiters of this area’s talent anywhere.
But most importantly to SU, how big of an impact will he make on the Orange recruiting soil? Marrone’s pitch to prospects in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York becomes a bit more challenging with Addazio next door. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of the Syracuse program. He knows what SU can sell and cannot. Syracuse seemed to have a huge head start in the area heading into the ACC because BC’s recruiting (and on field product) was so atrocious under Frank Spaziani. Now, the Eagles become much more formidable again.
The good news is a rising tide lifts all ships. If Syracuse and Boston College, Marrone vs. Addazio, are both successful it can only mean good things for the overall health of the conference and the two schools. Maybe this becomes the next great rivalry for SU football. You can also rest assured neither man will negatively recruit against the other. They both are from the same close-knit fraternity, and are known for their professionalism in all aspects. Two schools battling in the same conference over the same piece of recruiting turf, with a close knowledge of one another’s head man. If they are successful it will equate to the resurrection of both programs, and the New York-Boston battle just found a new chapter.
Posted: Brendan Glasheen