Syracuse has fired coach Dino Babers after eight seasons with the program. Babers finished an up-and-down tenure with the Orange posting a 41-55 record, including a 20-45 mark in ACC play. Syracuse sits 5-6 (1-6 ACC) with those six losses all coming in its last seven games.
Tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile will take over the head coaching role an interim capacity. He previously served as the interim coach at Rutgers for eight games in 2019.
"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," said athletic director John Wildhack in a statement.
Upon being hired, Babers breathed new life into a struggling Syracuse program, leading the Orange to their first 10-win season in 17 years during the 2018 campaign. He was rewarded with a long-term extension including a hefty buyout that kept him at Syracuse for the last five years.
Consistency during his tenure was a struggle, however. Two years after signing the extension, Syracuse went 1-10 during a miserable pandemic-shortened season, and the Orange missed three straight bowl games from 2019-21. Even during a resurgent 2022, Syracuse started 6-0 and reached No. 14 in the AP Top 25 before going on a five-game losing streak to finish just 7-6. Syracuse once again got off to a strong 4-0 start in 2023. However, the Orange similarly collapsed, losing five straight games by a combined 150-34.
Babers came to Syracuse from Bowling Green and Eastern Illinois where he was an offensive savant. He helped lead EIU to the FCS quarterfinals and a No. 4 national finish behind quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo before posting an 18-9 record at Bowling Green in two seasons. His first three offenses all ranked among the top 50 nationally, including a No. 19 finish at 464.8 yards per game during the 2018 season. Since then, no Syracuse offense has ranked even in the top 70.
The opening comes at a critical time for the athletic department. Syracuse just replaced longtime basketball coach Jim Boeheim after more than 50 years with the program as an assistant and head coach. The Orange are also facing a new-look ACC as the league adds Stanford, California and SMU from well outside of the league's footprint in 2024. The Orange travel to Cal as part of their 2024 schedule.