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Another Syracuse Assistant is Being Targeted

Another Syracuse coach is reportedly being targeted by another school to fill the same position he has at SU. According to ESPN, Chip West, the Orange’s cornerbacks coach since 2020, is rumored to be drawing interest from Wake Forest. West has plenty of connections to the Demon Deacons’ staff, working for head coach Dave Clawson at Fordham and defensive coordinator Brad Lambert at Marshall and Charlotte.

Although he’s only been at Syracuse for three seasons, West has worked with plenty of talented players like Ifeatu Melifonwu, Garret Williams and Duce Chestnut, one of which is in the NFL, one will join them soon and the other transferred to LSU, one of the best programs in college football’s premier conference.

It’s safe to say West’s time coaching Syracuse’s corners has been successful. While he hasn’t left yet, the rumors alone play into the narrative that SU has built for itself over since the season ended.

Defensive coordinator Tony White left for the same position at Nebraska, as did offensive coordinator Robert Anae when he took the NC State OC job. Just last week, Nick Monroe, a defensive assistant and the acting DC in the Pinstripe Bowl, took a lateral move to Minnesota, although there are extenuating circumstances in Monroe’s situation because he is from there.

Sensing a theme? Syracuse has become a stepping stone, a farm system, a G League, whatever you want to call it for talented coaches. They have success at SU, gain respect throughout the country, and go elsewhere when a more attractive program offers them a job.

The same has been true in some cases for players as well. After earning all-ACC honors in both his freshman and sophomore seasons, Chestnut left for LSU and safety Ja’Had Carter transferred to Ohio State after a big 2022 season. 

It’s hard to blame any of these men for their decisions, both players and coaches. They went to more marquee programs which offered better opportunities to reach long term goals. Plus, let’s not be naive, money certainly played a major role for both the coaches and players who left.

So, where does that leave Syracuse? In the age of NIL and the transfer portal, SU can bring in unheralded recruits, turn them into stars, and watch them leave early, not necessarily for the NFL, but for other schools. That’s the simple reality for programs that aren’t among college football’s elite. Dino Babers and company can also bring in guys who didn’t pan out at bigger schools, which makes it a two way street overall, but, as far as elite talent is concerned, that street is going one direction and it’s not to Syracuse.

Coaches, meanwhile, have been doing this for decades. They don’t usually stick around at one place for long, especially if their stock is rising. It’s a credit to Babers for hiring coaches that are desired, but when you can’t keep them, it means you have to keep finding new crops of talent. A cycle that never ends.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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