Orange Fizz


How to Replace Gerry McNamera

Gerry McNamera

As of Thursday afternoon, it’s still not official, but reports are indicating that Syracuse assistant coach Gerry McNamera is leaving the program. He’s headed down I-90 to become the head coach of Siena men’s basketball.

This is a really big loss for the Orange. Firstly, GMac has been at Syracuse for over 20 years now. He won a national championship, went on an all-time Big East Tournament run, and etched his name in the program record books many times. Then, McNamera became a reliable assistant coach for a decade.

The writing was on the wall last year, when Adrian Autry was selected as the head coach for SU. The decision made sense. Red was older, had more experience, and was already the associate. Syracuse made the obvious pick, despite McNamera having plenty of upside as well. The school shouldn’t be blamed for choosing Adrian Autry, and Gerry McNamera shouldn’t be blamed for leaving.

Now, the Orange have to find a new assistant coach. Syracuse fans are already clamoring to hire an alum, and some pretty unrealistic names have been thrown out there. Mike Hopkins, who was just let go from the head coaching job at Washington, has no reason to become an assistant again. Eric Devendorf doesn’t have nearly enough experience, and seems to be happy pursuing broadcasting anyways.

Even if there were better options of alums to hire, that wouldn’t be the right choice. In the age of NIL and the transfer portal, every new assistant needs to bring something to the table in terms of recruiting. That means having recruiting roots in an area that the current staff isn’t connected to. A great hire would ideally bring along a player from their former school, plus add a region that Syracuse can attack better now.

The other aspect to keep in mind is specialty. All of Syracuse’s coaches right now are former guards that naturally coach guards. SU needs a big man coach to improve development in that area, an area where the Orange have been iffy at for a decade.

Your gut reaction is probably to hope for a coach you’ve seen suit up in orange, but that’s not the best idea. Go for an outside hire that can add to SU’s recruiting profile and supercharge the program.

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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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