After having both of his coordinators poached in the offseason, Dino Babers has rebuilt the Syracuse Orange staff with new coordinators and four new position coaches on their 2023 staff. Coming off their best season since 2018, the Orange are looking to sustain that success in an ACC with plenty of question marks.
Syracuse Orange Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Dino Babers
Dino Babers is in his eighth season as the head coach of the Syracuse Orange. Babers served as the head coach for Eastern Illinois in 2012 and 2013 and for Bowling Green in 2014 and 2015 before being hired to coach Syracuse at the end of the 2015 season.
After years coaching different positions on offense at schools like UCLA, Arizona, Texas A&M, and Baylor, Dino Babers was hired to be the head coach of the FCS Eastern Illinois. There, he helped develop quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo into an eventual second-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. Garoppolo won the Walter Payton Award (the FCS equivalent of the Heisman Trophy) after throwing for 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns as a senior in 2013.
Eastern Illinois went 19-7 in Babers’ two years as their head coach with two conference titles and a 14-1 record against conference opponents. Babers’ first year saw Eastern Illinois turn from the last-place team in the Ohio Valley Conference to first place, with a 6-1 record in their conference.
Shortly after, Bowling Green named Dino Babers their head coach. Bowling Green won the MAC East division in Babers’ first season with the Falcons and won their first bowl game in a decade. Babers led the Falcons to an 18-9 record in his two years there as their head coach.
Syracuse hired Babers in December of 2015, who quickly began to turn the Orange around. The team beat a ranked ACC conference opponent for the first time in four years. Babers has orchestrated several upsets as the head coach of the Orange, including an upset over an eventual CFP semifinalist Clemson Tigers in 2017.
Babers has amassed an overall 38-49 record as the head coach of the Syracuse Orange. Babers’ team has produced numerous individual talents and has set practically every offensive record book in the annals of Syracuse’s football history. Babers has produced 42 All-ACC performers and has coached 25 players who have played in the NFL.
Recently, guard Matthew Bergeron was selected by the Atlanta Falcons 38th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, the highest an Orange player has been taken since Justin Pugh went in the first round in 2013.
Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers: Rocky Long
One of the game’s most influential coaches of all time, Rocky Long’s infamous 3-3-5 defense has produced some of the best defenses in football over his 50-year career. His scheme is seen across the college football landscape at every level.
Long has been coaching since 1979, where he got started coaching defensive backs for his alma mater, New Mexico.
After serving as the defensive coordinator for Wyoming from 1981-1985, Long would be the defensive coordinator for UCLA and Oregon State before returning to be the head coach of New Mexico from 1998 to 2008. After a 65-69 record there, Long was hired to be the defensive coordinator of the San Diego State Aztecs in 2009 and was named the Aztecs’ head coach in 2011.
Long is still the winningest coach in MWC history and led the Aztecs to an 81-38 record and four bowl victories. He spent the last three seasons once again as the defensive coordinator for New Mexico before joining the Syracuse staff.
Long’s overall coaching resume can be found here:
- New Mexico (Defensive Backs, 1979-80)
- Wyoming (Defensive Coordinator, 1981-85)
- BC Lions (Linebackers, 1986-87)
- TCU (Defensive Backs, 1988-90)
- Oregon State (Defensive Coordinator, 1991-95)
- UCLA (Defensive Coordinator, 1996-97)
- New Mexico (Head coach, 1998-2008)
- San Diego State (Defensive Coordinator, 2009-10; Head coach 2011-19)
- New Mexico (Defensive Coordinator, 2020-22)
Offensive Coordinator: Jason Beck
Syracuse’s new offensive coordinator is not quite as long-tenured as their defensive coordinator but has many still just as abuzz. Beck played quarterback for the BYU Cougars in the mid-2000s before becoming an offensive coaching intern on Bronco Mendenhall’s BYU team in 2007 and Les Miles’ LSU Tigers in 2008.
Beck parlayed that position into being hired as the quarterbacks coach at Weber State from 2009 to 2011. There, Beck helped guide Weber State quarterback Cameron Higgins to set school records for most career passing yards, most career touchdown passes, most career total touchdowns, most career pass completions, and career passing efficiency rating.
He was hired as the offensive coordinator of the Division II Simon Fraser Red Leafs, where he turned a last-place offense into the number-one offense in DII that season in total offense, passing offense, and scoring offense.
Beck returned to BYU as their quarterbacks coach in 2013, where he coached quarterbacks Taysom Hill and Tanner Mangum. He then followed Bronco Mendenhall to Virginia in 2016, where he produced two NFL quarterbacks in Kurt Benkert and Bryce Perkins. Beck also coached Brennan Armstrong into setting numerous offensive records as the Cavaliers’ quarterback.
He became Syracuse’s quarterbacks coach in 2022 and will now step in for offensive coordinator Robert Anae, who took the same job at NC State.
Beck’s overall coaching record can be found here:
- BYU (Offensive Intern, 2007)
- LSU (Offensive Intern, 2008)
- Weber State (Quarterbacks, 2009-11)
- Simon Fraser (Offensive Coordinator, 2012)
- BYU (Quarterbacks, 2013-15)
- Virginia (Quarterbacks, 2016-21)
- Syracuse (Quarterbacks, 2022; Offensive Coordinator 2023-Present)
Special Teams Coordinator: Bob Ligasheky
Bob Ligasheky is in his second year as the special teams coach for Syracuse. Ligasheky has been coaching special teams for over three decades, getting started as the special teams coach for Kent State in 1989-90.
Ligasheky would coach special teams in college at Kent State, Bowling Green, and Pittsburgh throughout the 1990s before being hired as the assistant special teams coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2004.
He would then coach special teams in the NFL until 2015, spending time with the Rams, Steelers, Broncos, Raiders, Buccaneers, and Texans, and would help the Steelers win the Super Bowl in 2008.
Ligasheky would return to the collegiate ranks in 2016, coaching the Illinois special teams from 2016 to 2020, where he mentored Blake Hayes to be the 2019 Big Ten Punter of the Year and Chase McLaughlin to earn the 2018 Big Ten Kicker of the Year award. Ligasheky spent 2021 at Bowling Green before joining the Syracuse Orange.
Running Backs Coach: Mike Lynch
Mike Lynch is in his sixth year coaching running backs at Syracuse. Lynch has helped coach some of the best rushing attacks in the ACC over the years and most recently mentored Sean Tucker into becoming one of the best rushers in Syracuse history.
Wide Receivers Coach: Michael Johnson
Johnson is in his second year coaching at Syracuse, bringing his experience coaching some of the most prolific players in history like Michael Vick and Drew Brees to the Orange’s coaching staff. After spending a decade coaching quarterbacks and serving as the offensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers and UCLA Bruins, Johnson transitioned to coaching wide receivers at Oregon and Mississippi State.
Johnson served as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Florida Atlantic in 2021 before joining the Syracuse staff.
Tight Ends Coach: Nunzio Campanile
Nunzio Campanile was hired as Syracuse’s new tight ends coach in January 2023. Campanile joined the Orange after spending the past five seasons at Rutgers, where he coached running backs and tight ends from 2018-21 before serving as the Scarlet Knights’ quarterbacks coach and interim offensive coordinator in 2022.
Offensive Line Coach: Steve Farmer
Steve Farmer was hired as Syracuse’s offensive line coach this offseason as well. Farmer spent the 2022 season coaching the offensive line at Tulsa but has spent time at Texas Tech, where he coached Terrence Steele, Utah State, and Louisiana-Monroe.
Defensive Line Coach: Chris Achuff
Chris Achuff enters his fourth year on the Syracuse staff in 2023. Achuff has almost two decades of coaching experience on the defensive line, with stops at both the collegiate and professional ranks. Achuff coached the Baylor Bears’ defensive line from 2008 to 2016 and joined the Arizona Cardinals in 2018.
Achuff coached the Cardinals’ defensive line in 2019 before joining the Syracuse staff in 2020.
Cornerbacks Coach: Travis Fisher
Travis Fisher brings his established track record of producing NFL-caliber cornerbacks to the Syracuse Orange and is in his first year at Syracuse. Before Syracuse, Fisher coached defensive backs at Nebraska from 2018 to 2022, coaching players like Cam Taylor-Britt and Dicaprio Bootle.
Fisher served as defensive backs coach at UCF from 2015 to 2017, where he helped guide Mike Hughes to becoming a first-round draft pick as well as Shaq Griffin to a third-round selection.
Safeties/Rovers Coach: Darrell Perkins
Perkins comes to Syracuse from UMass, where he spent the 2022 season as the Minutemen’s defensive backs coach. Perkins has coached defensive backs across the collegiate landscape, including at UConn, where he produced numerous NFL talents.
Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Dwayne Gratz were both selected in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, as well as 2015 first-round selection Byron Jones, 2017 second-round NFL selection Obi Melifonwu, and 2018 free agent Andrew Adams.