As the ACC Kickoff event down in Charlotte gets going, there’s not a more perfect time to continue our Syracuse 2022 Success series than right now. So, part four looks at a big picture perspective of Dino Babers’ coaching staff, and the changes he made this offseason. Let’s get into it.
On the offensive side of the ball, Robert Anae and Jason Beck come over from Virginia to replace Sterlin Gilbert, and Michael Johnson to replace Terrance Samuel. This overhaul expects to have a major influence on Babers’ offense, which has been known to be fast-paced and uptempo. Anae and Beck have had great success at Virginia the last couple of seasons, just look at Brennen Armstrong and his accolades.
Those two are looking to do the same with Garrett Shrader, who needs to improve his passing to be a successful quarterback. He cannot just be a glorified running back. All three new offensive coaches will have a big hand if Syracuse is successful or not in 2022. They have the tools, it’s just about execution.
On the defensive side, Tony White continues his continuity as defensive coordinator, where his unit has performed well in his two seasons at SU. White will also coach linebackers this season, and former linebackers coach Chris Achuff moves to the defensive line to replace Vince Reynolds, who was not brought back after last season.
The secondary will continue to be coached by Chip West and Nick Monroe. Since arriving in 2016 with Babers, Monroe has been arguably the best recruiter on his staff, as year in and year out he has brought in quality defensive backs from all around the country. That continuity will be key to making the back half of the 3-3-5 defense work under White’s tutelage.
Lastly comes special teams, where last season under no coordinator, yes you read that correctly, NO COORDINATOR, had some of the biggest blunders ever witnessed on camera. Missed and blocked extra points, costly penalties on kickoffs, and more.
Now, after Babers’ “coached” the unit himself last season, he’s brought in old friend Bob Ligashesky to head up the group, and hopefully make an impact on special teams. Andre Szmyt has gotten statistically worse each season he’s kicked for SU but has a chance to reclaim his Lou Groza award-winner status this season under a new coach.
All three units report back to Babers. This team was put together by him, and his decisions on and off the field will be the reasons that Syracuse has a successful season in 2022 and builds off of a 5-7 campaign last year, or another step back is taken and maybe finally, John Wildhack puts him on the hot seat. It will be fascinating to watch this season play out from Babers’ point of view.