Bills hire Syracuse coach Doug Marrone

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Doug Marrone is staying in Upstate New York but leaving college for the pros.

The Bills have agreed to hire Marrone, who has spent the last four years as the head coach at Syracuse, as their next head coach, ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported and multiple media outlets have confirmed.

Marrone has been the head coach at Syracuse for the last four seasons, compiling an overall record of 25-25. He is coming off a season in which he went 8-5, concluding with a Pinstripe Bowl win over West Virginia.

Marrone’s NFL experience includes stints as the offensive coordinator of the Saints and offensive line coach of the Jets. He was also briefly an NFL guard, playing four games for the Dolphins in 1987 and one game for the Saints in 1989.

The Bills, who fired coach Chan Gailey after the 2012 season, are now the second NFL team to fill their head-coaching vacancy. Five teams still have head-coaching openings.

98 responses to “Bills hire Syracuse coach Doug Marrone

  1. WHAT?? with all of the possible candidates out there they hire a college coach with a .500 record?…….first step towards the dynasty.

  2. Seriously? The Bills must be content with not competing for a championship.

  3. 25 and 25 as a college coach… heck, I’d be disappointed if he was named my favorite university’s coach, let alone my hometown NFL team.

  4. This isnt going to help sell season tickets. Who is going to turn this defense around?

  5. Nick Saban would be a 500 coach at syracuse the last 4 years. I guess he would be a bad selection too, it’s like throwing darts, u just don’t know. Another example belichick under 500 as a Cleveland coach then goes to New England, guess they shouldn’t have hired him either right?

  6. Why hire such a mediocre college coach? He goes .500 in the Big East and gets an NFL job? Do the Bills wanna continue to stink and finally move to Canada or maybe even LA. I mean is that there plan here?

  7. How stupid of me to think that Lovie Smith who has an 81-63 record as an NFL coach would be the Bills next Head Coach.

    Instead the Bills go and hire a college coach with a .500 record. And totally redeem themselves!


  8. Look on the bright side….we can’t get any worse right? We are one of the worst teams in the league. But just like belichek in new england if we can land a franchise quarterback then maybe this guy will look like a good pick.

  9. Cleveland fans, you are now learning first-hand what a PR mess Joey Nickels Banner really is. Case in point:

    1) Banner proclaims that he is all-in on Chip Kelly, even trying to butter up his agent that Colt McCoy has a future with the franchise
    2) The Eagles decide to back-off upon hearing reports that the Browns are signing Kelly to a deal, only to find out that Kelly still wants to interview
    3) Kelly leaves the Browns interview without a deal
    4) Eagles have a “lunch” meeting that turns into dinner and a 4th meal
    5) Browns leak out that they are trying to “decide” between Kelly and Marrone
    6) VERY shortly later, Marrone accepts a deal in Buffalo, clearly showing that Banner was trying to feign interest in Kelly in case he lost him to the Eagles

    What will bring this all together oh-so-nicely is if Kelly goes back to Oregon or signs in Philly, showing all of Cleveland how Joey Nickels Banner outsmarts himself once again.

  10. Lets remember Marrone was the offensive line coach under Tony Dungy and the offensive coordinator under Sean Payton. Most people said they did not want a retread. Lovie and Whisenhunt didnt get it done at their last gig and Chip Kelly has NO NFL experience.

  11. Wow. If the Bills had a realistic shot at Lovie Smith and they hired this guy, then it is easy to see why they lose year after year. I can’t believe Lovie Smith isn;t getting a job somewhere. He’s a solid coach.

  12. 25-25 is actually a great record for Syracuse the man had no talent to work with college football in the northeast is like hockey in the southeast might as well be non existent. With all apologies to Doug flutie. This guy is a heck of a coach and will probably do well with the bills

  13. I won’t bash this pick, but with Lovie Smith, Ray Horton and even Marc Tresteman out there, it’s kind of a head scratcher. But he did do a pretty good job rebuilding a bad Syracuse program.

  14. It has been confirmed that Doug Marrone had TWO extensive interviews with the Browns the last few days…. so if they don’t get Kelly, it will look REALLY bad. That’s what happens when you don’t cast a wide net and you only put all of your eggs in just 1 or 2 baskets. Not good.

    Now, just to save themselves from having egg on their face, the Browns will have to really overpay and promise the moon and the stars to Kelly. Not a good situation to be in. They might have to actually end up with some piece of garbage like Whisenhunt… puke.

  15. People need to realize you cannot base the coaching on record for college. Marrone wasn’t exactly a head coach at USC, Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, etc. He was the head coach of a dead in the water football school, Syracuse. Let me just point out that Nick Saban was 7-6 in his first year at Alabama, and he was 6-5-1 at Michigan State. I’m pretty sure people would love to have him as a head coach.

    Greg Robinson burned Syracuse to the ground and he built them up. I’m not happy, but I’m not mad. I’m willing to give him a chance.

  16. Didn’t want to pay much for travel reimbursement. Bus tickets from Syracuse to Buffalo are cheap.

  17. Good hire! Bills need a new school approach rather than the standard, recycled, regurgitated NFL coaching “talent”. He will do a fine job in Buffalo.

    Welcome to Buffalo Coach Marrone!

  18. 25-25 for syracuse was pretty impressive considering what he had to work with the first 2 yrs he even had a duke basketball player as qb a few yrs back thats how barren the roster was , but the bills needed an established coach this time around they cant afford to take a chance on an unknown but marrone is about as qualified as schiano was to get a job and has more nfl experience than chip kelly does who is another hit or miss type guy

  19. This hire will be easy to grade

    he will be successful if he can get a top QB

    he will fail if he doesnt have a top QB

    a HC is successful if he has a QB . Dont you think Manning,Brady,Brees,Rodgers make their coach look great

    Its all about the QB !!!!!!

  20. I think eagles want Kelly bad. Howie thinks he’s the new hot thing in football and chip Kelly’s offense is the new hot thing. Match made in heaven. Dunno if that’s a winning combo. Talented QbS make the coach in this league .. Unless your Jay Cutler.

  21. Do you people not see he was the one who installed the mighty saints offence ? Give the man a shot. Damn. We tried something different now let’s see. I’m stoked as a bills fan. Plus he’s not 70+ years old. He’s 48 … If Doug Whaley takes over as gm the coach and the gms combined age will be less than the owners … Finally a youth movement in buffalo !!!!

  22. What’s the over/under on the Bills looking for another coach within the next four years?

  23. He turned around one of the crappiest college football programs. Calling him a .500 college coach doesn’t tell half the story. With a decent quarterback, the talent is on place for an 8 or 9 win season.

  24. If the guy could win at Syracuse then he can win anywhere. Drew Bree’s had some of his best seasons with DM as Coordinator. Guy knows upstate NY and the challenges there. I think it is a good hire, he will need to hire a good staff though.

  25. Unlike Kelly, Marone was not just a college coach. He was also a successful offensive coordinator in New Orleans and a successful Offensive line coach with the Jets in the early 2000’s.

    Lovie Smith might have been a better hire, but it’s not that he was a 25-25 coach in college it’s that he was a good head coach at Syracuse after being successful in New York and New Orleans.

  26. Tough hire for fans. I think Marrone is a good coach, going 8-5 at Syracuse is like 11-1 anywhere else but man. That’s tough to excited over if you’re a Bills fan.

  27. bdawk …Cleveland has no idea what they are in for. They just think “Oh great we have that smart capologist that made the Eagles so successful.” Little do they know that capology isnt what it was 10 years ago and this guy slots need positions into a dollar amount. So when Cleveland soon has some cheap little talented middle linebacker and safeties playing in that division theyll begin to understand what Banner rules as important.

  28. Very fitting hire. The Bills are to the NFL as Syracuse is to college football…marginally relevant.

  29. “Guy knows upstate NY and the challenges there.”

    Knowing upstate NY doesn’t really help him any — Syracuse plays in a dome.

    As others have mentioned, ignore his college record — he turned Syracuse around and has a great track record as the Saints OC.

    As a Patriots fan, this hire makes me nervous. I was hoping for another retread.

  30. That’s a win win for Lovie.. he was in the mix. but avoided an awful job.. when the Bills are back in the mix 2-3 yrs from now.. minus spiller.. they’ll go back to being ignored by the best candidates..

  31. I dont understand the hate for the hire, its bad as u may think, he completely changed the culture of SU, and if Bill Parcells and Sean Payton speak highly of you as a coach, then u must be doing something right, lets hope he can bring some hope here to Buffalo. Look at it this way, if he go .500 here over 3 years, the time Chan Gailey was here, his record will be much better, im just sayin

  32. While I’m sure many will joke about how the Bills getting a .500 coach would be an aspirational result for them, it seems like a wise selection given his pro background and turning a struggling program around and finishing 8-5 this season.. with every team they lost to being a bowl team. Syracuse didn’t pick a cupcake non conference and started slow (1-3) as a result.

  33. Apparently, Marrone was a highly sought after commodity. How come there wasn’t a single report on him prior to this hiring?

    He comes from the Payton coaching tree. There is a good chance he will become a solid coach.

  34. Anyone watch the Pinstripe bowl?
    Syracuse made West Virginia and Geno
    Smith look like they did not belong on the same field, and in Buffalo weather, snowy and windy. There is a guy who can coach in nasty weather, just saying.
    And don’t even think about drafting Geno Smith, the guy can not play in the wind and snow, he did not want to be on the field and it showed.

  35. I hated when the bucs hired Schiano, but they are going in the right direction. People always talk about how old school doesn’t work anymore but most of the great teams have coaches that lean on the side of old school.

  36. I kind of like this move.

    I wanted to see Buffalo continue their youth movement. I wanted to see someone fresh and hungry to prove themselves in today’s NFL coaching world.

    They got a younger coach who is familiar with the area, has an offensive mentality, and has had success turning around a lousy team.

    Nothing could really be worse than Chan so I say go get ’em Coach Doug.

  37. I’ve never seen so many well-educated opinions from all-knowing people. It’s a shame these teams don’t consult you guys prior to making these types of hires.

  38. Marrone started coaching under Don Shula and has worked under Herm Edwards and Sean Payton. That has to at least say something about the structure and discipline he could bring having worked under those guys. I know we went 25-25 in the Big East but you have to give him a chance knowing he is a student of Sean Payton. I also wouldn’t be totally opposed to him drafting Ryan Nassib in round 2.

    I’m more interested in the assistant coaches he is going to bring in. That is going to be the key.

  39. I’m a Pats fan, and honestly it’s a bit boring having the division rivals continually suck. I hope this turns out to be a good move and that the fans in Buffalo can really get excited in the years to come.

  40. When the Packers hired Mike McCarthy, he was the offensive co-ordinator of the 49’ers, the lowest rated offense in the league.

    This, like McCarthy, may prove to be a great hire.

  41. I love this move. I’m from Syracuse and a lot of Orange fans view this guy as a guy who resurrected a dead football program and have been teetering on the brink of break down over the thought of him leaving the school. Syracuse was a joke before he came to town. Lets not forget what he did as the saint OC.. which much of the credit goes to Drew Brees… but still, better QBs have done much worse due to poor OCs…..

  42. I actually think doug marrone is a great hire:-) it was forward thinking just like russ brandon said he would do. I hope he brings ryan nassib as quarterback with him.. Id like lovie as a defensive coordinator…there was nothing fresh or inovative about ken whisenhunt or lovie smith. I truly believe doug marrone was the target all along…… Welcome to buffalo coach marrone and go bills!!!

  43. I like the fact that Doug Marrone is an N.F.L. head coach, i think he will do well. I am not happy that he went to Buffalo. He has the ability to make a winner out of this franchise. but after my visit to Buffalo as an opposing fan, there’s not enough bad that can happen to this fan base.

  44. For all the Marrone badgers and Lovie lovers – lets not forget the 13-3 coach of the year former Bears head man Dick Jauron. Bailey was another cant miss retread who failed miserably. The Bills need a fresh, high energy coach with NFL experience. Marrone rebuilt SU and those of us who root for SU know exactly how tough a job that was. There’s a reason 5 teams were pursuing him.

    Chip Kelly won’t be able to handle the NFL grind and will quit, tuck his tail between his legs and return to college just like Saban – bank on it.

    Great hire Buffalo!

  45. For all those spouting 25-25 as if that is the entirety of Marrone’s resume…
    Syracuse had 26 wins in the previous 7 years combined prior to his arrival. They had become a door mat in the Big East. He made them immediately competitive, restored their pride, and guided them to their first two winning seasons and bowl wins since 2001.
    Add to that the fact he, unlike some of the other hot prospect college coaches, has NFL experience as a defensive coordinator for the Saints.
    Nobody knows for sure how this will work out in the end, but this is not a crazy hire.

  46. Beefsbrother wait till thomas runs away into retirement and pats go back to what they were. BUMS and belicheat wont be able to duplicate marshas success. marrone will be fine.

  47. So after having their butts whooped for 13 years by Belichick and Brady, their answer to try and change that is hire some coach who has very little experience as a nfl coach. Good luck Bills fans, hope you enjoy the bottom of the AFC East, but at least I’m ensured Brady will continue to bring my team to the playoffs till he retires.

  48. Some short sighted responses here.

    Four years ago, Marrone took on a program that was in shambles. SU was near the bottom of D1 football and now they’ve been to two bowls in the last 2 years. He isn’t doing it with talent he is stealing from the SEC either. Coaching is getting those wins.

    How many “star” college coaches go on to flop in the NFL? Maybe it is because their success in college is more due to a stacked deck of talent than a real ability to coach players?

    I think Marrone is a great outside the box hire, who may actually be able to improve the team. I’d certainly rather have him than another Chan Gailey-like NFL retread, or even worse, some flash in the pan coordinator like how Kyle Shanahan’s name has been thrown around.

  49. Strange that the Bills have had opportunities to have some great African-American coaches and they never choose them (Fewell, Cottrell, Lovie). With that being said, I like this pick as Marrone has led a culture change before…and that’s what’s been needed at One Bills Drive for 17 years (last time they won a playoff game).

  50. Take the record for what its worth. It will take a college coach a few years to get his guys in they’re, and its not unusual till struggle the first few years. Her had the program heading upwards, as well her had an oc in the pros. He has hc exp, and pro exp, which should make him a more attractive candidate than someone who has only been an asst his entire career.

  51. Readers continue to show their ignorance here.
    25-25 after being one of the worst D1 teams in college?? (thanks Robinson)
    Yes, Mike Tomlin was such a huge name when he got hired and Tom Coughlin’s record was so great that he got bounced by the Jags. Freakin’ Morons….
    Hiring the same old, same old like Wisenhunt or Lovie (although I wouldn’t have been against Smith) would have resulted in nothing more than what they’ve gotten for the last 13 years. The league is evolving. Why do you think Chip Kelly was the most sought after coach?

  52. One thing people keep saying is he went 25-25 in the big east is some sort of great thing. The Big East is awful. Even an average team should have a better record. I do like the fact they they didn’t get another NFL failure though. He may turn out to be a good coach. You never know.

  53. This just sounds like another example of Russ Brandon selling the team in another market in the greater Buffalo area…shall we send a home game to the syracuse market now that they have an interest in the team now too??

  54. As a Bills fan I’m just fine with this move. He’s already taken a bottom feeder team to respectability, which is exactly what he’ll need to do in Buffalo, plus he doesn’t have the stink of nfl failure on him.

    We didn’t need a member of the old guard, we needed someone who will hopefully not be afraid to shake things up.

  55. As a Syracuse Alumni, Marrone did a good job coaching here these last four years. For what he had for players and what he was able to bring in they won two bowl games and made the team competitive.

  56. 4-8 with robinsons team
    to start off..

    21-17 after that with 2 bowl wins…
    NO offense but if he were hired at LSU his record wouldnt be 25-25…. you are talking 35-15 most likely…

    Add to the fact that at least 3 other teams had or planned on interviewing him means this wasnt as off the cuff as some of you clowns would like to believe.

    as usual, because its Buffalo, you find any reason you can to knock it…

  57. Really the Bills hire another unproven coach with all the names out there the Bills hire a guy who’s 500 in four years and finish 4th in his own conference the Mighty Big East. Wow here we go again as a fan anther 4 years of under performing. This coaches defense was ranked 36th last I checked is only 32 teams in the NFL. Disappointed in the hire maybe I should find a new team after being a fan since 1988. Make it 18 years no playoff wins an no play offs since 1999………..bad front office move

  58. So after having their butts whooped for 13 years by Belichick and Brady, their answer to try and change that is hire some coach who has very little experience as a nfl coach. Good luck Bills fans, hope you enjoy the bottom of the AFC East, but at least I’m ensured Brady will continue to bring my team to the playoffs till he retires.

    its only fair since we kicked the crap out of them from about 1988 until 2000….

  59. Wow! Another NFL coach that failed miserably in college. Yet the Bills love them some failed NFL to college coaches. Chan Gailey was a disaster at Georgia Tech, he was even replaced by an option offense at GT which has had much more success.

    The Bills must want to be relegated to bottom tier NFL by hiring NFL coaches that failed miserably at the college level.

  60. While many bash this move with the comments they post, myself being a long time Bills fan who lives between Syracuse and Buffalo, I also cheer The Orange. With that said, I am excited for this move for many of the reasons already stated. Syracuse was in the total dumps when Doug took over. He did wonders restoring The Orange football program. I truly believe Coach Doug was the target all along. He will end up turning The Bills around and he will be Our HC for a while. The Bills made this move knowing they want a HC longterm. Unless he totally is outclassed, Coach Doug will be with The Bills longer than 3 years. Russ wants to emulate Steelers, Eagles and others who have stuck with Coach thru many years, thatss why he went fresh and not lovie. I am very happy and this will be interesting and fun. 🙂

  61. Anybody who bashes this choice based strictly on his 25-25 record at Syracuse is officially ignorant. He turned around a program that had been run into the ground bye his predecessor, and it wasn’t until this year that the players were entirely of his own recruiting — and they went 8-5 and embarrassed West Virginia in their bowl game. This is just the guy the Bills needed to get away from the “culture of losing”.

  62. Need to remember Syracuse football so just aweful. 1-AA programs beat them before e got there. No one wanted to go there, facilities were old. He did a miraculous job with that program.

  63. Well all of you Cuse fans can come down and buy some tickets now. don’t you see this is regionalism. That is why we play games in Toronto. that was why they drafted Maybin (get some Penn staters to buy tickets. Now or top sales guy is pushing easy to sell some tickets.

  64. Not bashing the move just think that if you want to change the culture then next change the QB too. Lots of coaches change college teams around few college coaches Change NFL teams around especially when the players make more than the coach.

  65. If I was a Bills fan I would be very upset. The only thing I can think of is that someone in the Bills org is trying to make it so no one in Buf. cares if the team relocates to LA.

    I mean this is a joke.

  66. before you look straight at 25-25, look at what Syracuse was before. he resuscitated that program.

    Jon Gruden, Drew Brees, and Sean Peyton all have nothing but praise for this guy and have made positive comments on him. he has NFL experience, and he’s not a guy that was fired and the re-hired as per usual with the Bills!

    they may have taken a shot in the dark, but I like his resume, I like his intelligence, and I like the vision and and new path they’re taking as a team. do some research before you guys spit ignorance!

  67. i hope this guy knows how to use c.j. spiller, cuz i got him as a keeper in my fantasy league. c.j. is wicked talented, all he needs is a chance.

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