As quickly as they arrived, the Dan Mullen to Syracuse rumors and smoke have dissipated and emerged with nothing, as Mullen publicly announced on Twitter that he would not be the next head coach in Central New York.
Syracuse fans everywhere were crushed, considering Mullen’s resume, which we wrote about last week, and how strong of a candidate it seemed that he was for the job, considering rumors and reporting that he met with John Wildhack and attended practice last week. The background of Mullen’s recruiting successes and Northeast ties appealed greatly to Syracuse fans, but alas it was not meant to be and WIldhack will have to look in a different direction.
The speed of a college football coaching search is unlike anything else in sports, and the pressure is on Syracuse to make this happen in likely the next week or so, with candidates such as Bob Chesney, Al Golden, and new name, Fran Brown, who was mentioned by syracuse.com’s Brent Axe on his podcast, “Syracuse Sports”.
Brown is an interesting name considering he formerly coached at Rutgers and Temple, plus is from New Jersey, giving him those Northeast ties that Wildhack is looking for. Golden has been a head coach before and rumors were circulating that there was a Syracuse traveling party headed to Chicago at some point over the last few days for something, presumably to meet with a coach, and Notre Dame is not too far from the Windy City.
Chesney continues to be the name that has the most traction, but among fans, most are pretty split when it comes to Holy Cross’s head coach. There are those who point to Lance Leipold, Kansas’ head coach whose previous experience was at Buffalo, and before that Wisconsin-Whitewater. An even better example might be Washington’s Kalen DeBoer, who was Fresno State’s headman right before he moved to Seattle, but his only head coaching experience before that was at Division II Sioux Falls.
The other side of that is that Chesney has never had head coaching experience at this level of college football, and especially when you compare that to Mullen, who Syracuse fans immediately bought into, you have a situation where a lot of fans are out on Chesney because his experience does not compare to the former head coach of Mississippi State and Florida.
So, as the search enters its second week, Syracuse does not seem to be close to announcing a new head coach, and there is certainly not as much smoke with these other candidates as there was with Mullen, but expect a resolution sooner rather than later, no matter the name.