Syracuse coaching exodus leaves players shocked, Shafer scrambling for stability

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 28, 2015 at 10:01 pm Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidman Editor’s note: Syracuse football has six wins in its last 19 games. Facing the struggles of the present, The Daily Orange took a look back at some of hard times of the past in part four of this series.Flurries of snow pelted the Yankee Stadium grass as Doug Marrone turned to the mass of Syracuse players behind him, his index finger in the air with the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl Trophy at his back.Some players hoisted their helmets in the air while others donned their new championship hats. Running back Prince-Tyson Gulley raised his right hand to the sky with the MVP trophy at his side. Safety Ritchy Desir, mounted on a teammate’s shoulders, tipped his cap to the crowd. In a moment of bliss, everything was right for the Orange.A second Pinstripe Bowl win in three years. SU defeating West Virginia, 38-14. Marrone sitting at the interview table postgame, expressing excitement to enter the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013.“I thought he was about to try to start a dynasty where he graduated from,” Gulley said Tuesday. “… And I thought that was the original goal.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut Marrone bolted for the Buffalo Bills’ head coaching job, not telling any players and eventually taking seven Syracuse coaches with him. A team eight days removed from cementing a program turnaround was left searching for answers amid the shock.Three remaining coaches – Scott Shafer, Rob Moore and Tim Daoust – scrambled to fill out a recruiting class that lost three verbal commits because of the coaching changes. Shafer was hired as head coach three days after Marrone left and delved into his past stops to patch together a staff for the offseason. And though a 2013 Texas Bowl win gave season one a passing grade, an era under Shafer that started with uncertainty still faces questions with Syracuse on a four-game losing streak.“Everybody kind of thought that it was really going to be similar to what we were already doing,” Gulley said, “but then Coach Shafer switched it … which was a culture shock because obviously they don’t think anything like each other.”On the morning of Jan. 6, 2013, the chaos began. Among those Syracuse players asleep when ESPN broke that Marrone was headed to Buffalo were center Macky MacPherson, guard Rob Trudo and linebacker Cameron Lynch. MacPherson found out via texts from friends and former coaches. Trudo from about 15 messages in a team group chat. Lynch from his mom.Former SU safety Jeremi Wilkes, a junior in 2012, tweeted, “Ol boy dipped to the bills aint even shoot us a txt..damn.” Instead, within minutes of the Bills’ announcement that came around noon the next day, returning players and graduating seniors received a 403-word email written by Marrone mixed with apology, reflection and support.“In terms of how the locker room felt, it was a lot of shock, a lot of disappointment I think,” MacPherson said Wednesday. “… Not at Coach Marrone or anyone involved in the move; I think it was just more understanding that there was going to be a change.”But some weren’t as understanding. Former tackle Sean Hickey tweeted, “Everything changes. Everything. Have to redo everything that I have worked for the past three years….I’m not happy. #shocked” Former running back Jerome Smith chimed in with, “Loyalty is hard to find smh.”Reports surfaced of Marrone interviewing with the Bills and Cleveland Browns just two days after the Pinstripe Bowl, but the move still blindsided players. Then, once the unexpected news passed, acknowledgment of reality set in.“I think we kind of figured that Coach Marrone was going to bring some of the staff with him,” former fullback Clay Cleveland said Tuesday in an email.That “some” became seven, starting with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett on Jan. 8. One week later, Marrone reeled in running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley, offensive line coach Greg Adkins, secondary coach Donnie Henderson and defensive quality control coach Jason Rebrovich.Two days after that, it was assistant head coach John Anselmo and director of strength and conditioning Hal Luther to leave for Buffalo. Linebackers coach Steve Morrison also left SU, but for “personal reasons.”A staff that coached Syracuse to six wins in its final seven games was now a skeleton of itself, with foundations swept out from under players.“Obviously, everybody within that running back room had their stories with Coach Wheatley about how they grew with him,” Gulley said. “Mine was pretty crazy because me and Coach Wheatley didn’t see eye-to-eye from day one … and then when he just left, it went deeper than football, it was like, ‘Dang.’”“I can’t sit here and lie to you and say you know, ‘Oh it was simple to move on from a guy like Coach Adkins,’” MacPherson said, “ … who all of us on the offensive line would’ve run through a brick wall for.”“Uh oh, Coach Marrone gone…Hope Coach Ad(kins) doesn’t leave…,” Trudo tweeted the morning of Jan. 6. “The two biggest reasons why I came to Syracuse.”What remained was Shafer, with his wide receivers coach and defensive line coach. By Jan. 22, he almost had a whole staff, hiring coaches for the offense, defense, quarterbacks, running backs and linebackers. But the widespread change trickled into recruiting.Texas quarterback Zach Allen flipped to TCU. Prized in-state running back Augustus Edwards decommitted and Florida linebacker/defensive end Malik Brown did the same. Syracuse, after losing its starting wide receivers and Allen, grabbed wideout Corey Cooper Jan. 27 and QB Mitch Kimble the next day. Neither are still with the program.“Just looking back at it,” Shafer said, “it was a little bit of a flurry.”Almost three years later, Syracuse needs to win three out of its final five games to avoid missing two straight postseasons. The 2012 team started 3-4, but finished 8-5. The 2015 team is 3-4, facing the same uphill battle.Five coaches that came on after the mass exodus and nine current starters that were recruited by Marrone remain. They’re left to pick up the pieces of an era under fire by some, and an era started because of a coach who, just more than a week after facing his team with a finger to the sky, turned his back and left. Commentslast_img read more

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Maddi Welch ‘a wall’ in Syracuse’s 2-1 win over Penn State

first_img Published on January 25, 2019 at 10:52 pm Contact Danny: dremerma@syr.edu | @DannyEmerman Maddi Welch certainly has the hot hand.After mixed results last weekend, Welch solidified her spot at the top of the goalie depth chart by making a career-high 33 saves in Syracuse’s (6-17-1, 6-5 College Hockey America) 2-1 win over Penn State (9-11-4, 4-7 ). Plus, she did it all while playing against her sister, Abby, and in front of six family members in the Tennity bleachers. “She was a wall tonight,” sophomore defenseman Kristen Siermachesky said.Welch focused on slowing the Nittany Lions’ offense by holding soft shots for faceoffs and angling more challenging attempts to the corners to allow her defense to clear more easily. Limiting second chances is the main indicator, SU head coach Paul Flanagan said, of a confident goalie.In the first period, Welch recorded 12 saves, most of them routine stops. Early in the game, Penn State’s Katie McMillan slammed her stick against the boards in frustration after Welch caught her wrist shot from the right circle. Meanwhile, sophomore defenseman Jessica DiGirolamo gave SU a 1-0 cushion with a bouncing wrist shot from the top edge of the right circle.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPSU tested Welch more in the second, but the senior made two key stick saves to thwart odd-man rushes. During a power play late in the second, Welch made back-to-back saves with her leg pads before Natalie Heising ripped a wrist shot from the right circle, which Welch calmly snagged out of the air with her glove. Penn State’s frustrations continued, especially after redshirt senior Brooke Avery slotted a shot into the top shelf to give Syracuse a 2-0 lead.Since the beginning of the season, Welch has focused on limiting rebound chances, she said. Siermachesky called her rebound control “amazing.” Deflecting pucks into the corners takes pressure off defenders because it’s easier to clear from there instead of cleaning up in front of the net where there’s more traffic, Flanagan said. It took 47 minutes and 30 shots on goal for PSU to finally break through Welch. On a power play with 13 minutes left in the third period, Welch couldn’t funnel a shot to the corner like she had all night, and Penn State’s Katie Rankin finished the rebound. That cut Syracuse’s lead to 2-1, but Welch only had to make three more saves to secure the SU victory. Two of Welch’s 33 saves came against her sister, who would yell after shots to make sure Welch knew it was her. Though Welch said playing her sister Abby didn’t add any motivation, she said the two have a sibling rivalry. When they return home for summer, they practice against each other, keeping score of how many shots she rejects versus how many Abby scores, Welch said. Tonight, it was Welch two, Abby zero. Half of Syracuse’s wins this season have come against Penn State, with Welch in net for all of them. She’s allowed three goals in three games against the Nittany Lions, including a shutout on Nov. 3. In those games, Welch has rejected all four of her sister’s shots.  “She’s on a roll,” forward Anonda Hoppner said of Welch. “We owe a lot to her.” Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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NASCAR lineup at Kansas: Starting order, pole for Thursday’s race without qualifying

first_imgMORE: Updated 2020 NASCAR Cup Series scheduleAs for pit stall selection for the NASCAR Cup Series races being run without qualifying, it is ordered based on finishing positions from the series’ previous points race, followed by new entries in order of points. That means Austin Dillon, the surprise winner last weekend at Texas, will have the first stall at Kansas. Below is the starting lineup for Thursday night’s NASCAR race at Kansas and how it was set.Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Kansas?The pole position for Thursday night’s NASCAR race at Kansas belongs to Kevin Harvick, who was given the No. 1 position Wednesday in a random draw. Harvick is the NASCAR Cup Series points leader in both driver standings and owner standings, and he is tied with Denny Hamlin for the most wins in the series this season with four apiece. Another multiple-time winner this season, Joey Logano, will join Harvick on the front row to start Thursday night’s race. Their Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske teammates Aric Almirola and Ryan Blaney will start third and fourth, respectively.Below is the protocol for how the Cup Series field was set at Kansas:Positions 1-12: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner pointsPositions 13-24: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner pointsPositions 25-36: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner pointsPositions 37-40: Open teams in order of owners points NASCAR starting lineup at KansasThe same protocol that set the lineup for Thursday night’s Kansas race will be used for all NASCAR Cup Series races for the rest of the 2020 regular season.”The current format has worked well in addressing several challenges during our return to racing,” NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller said. “Most importantly, we have seen competitive racing week-to-week. NASCAR will adjust the starting lineup draw procedure for the playoff races and will announce the new process at a later date.”The starting lineup for Thursday night’s NASCAR race at Kansas was drawn Wednesday. Below are the results:Pos.DriverCar No.Team1Kevin Harvick4Stewart-Haas Racing2Joey Logano22Team Penske3Aric Almirola10Stewart-Haas Racing4Ryan Blaney12Team Penske5Martin Truex Jr.19Joe Gibbs Racing6Alex Bowman88Hendrick Motorsports7Brad Keselowski2Team Penske8Kyle Busch18Joe Gibbs Racing9Kurt Busch1Chip Ganassi Racing10Denny Hamlin11Joe Gibbs Racing11Chase Elliott9Hendrick Motorsports12Matt DiBenedetto21Wood Brothers Racing13Chris Buescher17Roush Fenway Racing14Matt Kenseth42Chip Ganassi Racing15William Byron24Hendrick Motorsports16Austin Dillon3Richard Childress Racing17Bubba Wallace43Richard Petty Motorsports18Ryan Newman6Roush Fenway Racing19Clint Bowyer14Stewart-Haas Racing20Jimmie Johnson48Hendrick Motorsports21Erik Jones20Joe Gibbs Racing22Christopher Bell95Leavine Family Racing23Tyler Reddick8Richard Childress Racing24Cole Custer41Stewart-Haas Racing25Ricky Stenhouse Jr.47JTG Daugherty Racing26Garrett Smithley77Spire Motorsports27Michael McDowell34Front Row Motorsports28JJ Yeley27Rick Ware Racing29Brennan Poole15Premium Motorsports30John Hunter Nemechek38Front Row Motorsports31Corey LaJoie32GoFas Racing32Quin Houff00StarCom Racing33Josh Bilicki53Rick Ware Racing34Joey Gase51Petty Ware Racing35Ryan Preece37JTG Daugherty Racing36Ty Dillon13Germain Racing37Daniel Suarez96Gaunt Brothers Racing38Timmy Hill66Motorsports Business Management39Reed Sorenson7Tommy Baldwin Racing40BJ McLeod78BJ McLeod Motorsports The starting lineup and pole for Thursday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway were set by the procedure that has determined the starting order for almost all Cup Series races in 2020 that have run without prior qualifying sessions amid the coronavirus pandemic.The starting grid for Thursday night’s race at Kansas, scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. ET and broadcast live on NBCSN, features Fords in the first four starting positions as a result of the procedure that utilizes a combination of points standings and a random draw to set the lineup.last_img read more

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