Syracuse fires head football coach Dino Babers

Syracuse fired head coach Dino Babers on Sunday. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Syracuse fired head coach Dino Babers on Sunday. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Syracuse is moving on from head football coach Dino Babers.

The school announced Sunday morning that it fired Babers just shy of him completing his eighth season on the job. The news comes a day after the Orange fell to 5-6 overall and 1-6 in ACC play with a 31-22 loss at Georgia Tech.

Babers led the Orange to a 10-win season in 2018 but he had just one other winning season and bowl appearance during his time leading the program. That 10-win season was followed up by a 5-7 (2-6 ACC) record in 2019 and then a miserable 1-10 record in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Syracuse has hovered around the .500 mark over the past three seasons but has largely struggled in ACC play.

In 2022, the Orange started 6-0 before collapsing down the stretch by losing six of their final seven games, including a loss to Minnesota in the Pinstripe Bowl, to finish 7-6. This season, the Orange started 4-0 but then lost their first five ACC games. That streak snapped with a win over Pitt, but then the Orange lost again on Saturday to fall to 5-6 on the season.

"I appreciate everything Dino, his wife Susan, and their family have done over the last eight years for Syracuse Athletics, Syracuse University and most importantly, our student-athletes," Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack said in a statement. "Thanks to Dino's leadership, our student-athletes have performed at the highest levels in the classroom, have dedicated countless hours to supporting our communities and have gone on to achieve great success, both professionally and personally. As we embark on a change in leadership at the helm of Syracuse Football, on behalf of Syracuse University I thank Coach Babers for his leadership, character and dedication, and wish him well in his future endeavors."

Syracuse can still reach bowl eligibility with a win over Wake Forest in the regular-season finale next Saturday. Nunzio Campanile, the Orange's tight ends coach, will serve as interim head coach for that game.

Overall, Babers posted a 41-55 record at Syracuse with a 20-45 mark in conference games. It was his first head-coaching job at a high-major school. Babers bounced around as an offensive assistant for decades before becoming head coach at Eastern Illinois in 2012. He went 19-7 in two seasons at EIU and then was hired by Bowling Green. He went 18-9 in two seasons, including coaching the Falcons to the MAC title in 2015, and became known for his up-tempo offense.

Getting to 10 wins in 2018 marked Syracuse’s best season since 2001, but Babers was not able to sustain that level of success at one of the hardest jobs in the ACC. Now the program will search for another coach.

With the Syracuse job open, there are now four power conference jobs on the market with Michigan State, Mississippi State and Texas A&M also open.