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Sun., Oct. 4
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Shafer wears SU vision on sleeve


It didn’t take long to learn that new Syracuse University football coach Scott Shafer is a family man at his introductory press conference Friday afternoon.

It also didn’t take long to learn that Shafer doesn’t share that same affection for the families of opposing players.

“I envision an Orange crush defense that makes the opponents’ families cringe when their child is about to get hit. And I don’t think (my wife) Missy wanted me to go there,” said Shafer, the Orange defensive coordinator of four years who was promoted to head coach earlier this week following Doug Marrone’s departure to the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.

“We want to put the fear of God in the opposing football player that happens to have the ball under his arm. That’s what we want to do and we want to find a way to continue to play an aggressive style of defense that people love to watch,” he added.

Shafer spoke for about 30 minutes on his vision for the program, while giving media and fans a glimpse of his personality.

He’s devoted to his family and others close to him, tough, hard-nosed and determined.

Shafer, the son of a long-time high school football coach, told stories of growing up in northeast Ohio. He said that, due to his father’s influence, he knew he wanted to be a head coach at the age of 10.

Shafer said he used to get neighborhood kids together to play football, and would steal his father’s whistle to play the role of coach.

He would also rake the grass after everyone’s cleats would tear up the yard, because he wanted his practice field to look as good as his father’s.

He also discussed getting caught trying to sip a beer as a youngster, because he saw his dad and his assistant coaches doing so after games.

“I realized real quick that was not part of the profession,” Shafer said.

Shafer also had plenty to say about the future of Orange football.

In addition to continuing to instill the defensive philosophies he has for the past four years, Shafer spoke about the offense.

“I envision an offense with a lot of juice, a lot of Orange juice. I want an offense that’s fast, that’s fun and inventive,” Shafer said.

“I want this team to be an offensive unit that when you come and watch them play, you better not take a bathroom break,” he added.

Shafer also said he hopes SU fans will embrace the “12th man,” concept.

“I envision a Dome that shakes and intimidates, and when we get the opposition in the loud house, we lock the doors behind them and we don’t let them out.”

Shafer cited SU’s upset home wins over West Virginia in 2011 and Louisville last season as examples of the atmosphere he hopes for each game.

“I think back last season when West Virginia came in here, and they were talking smack and they were the greatest offense since sliced bread, and our kids locked them in the Dome and beat the hell out of them,” Shafer said.

“I think about Louisville this year, when we played the unstoppable team and didn’t have a chance in hell to play against that team, and our kids got after it and that crowd was rumbling in that Dome,” he added.

Shafer also gave his thoughts on recruiting.

“I want guys that want to come to the Dome and say ‘This is my home.’ And all the other guys that are wavering better make a decision that they’re not going to play us if they decide to go elsewhere.”

Shafer also said he hopes the Orange, which will start next season with a new coach, a new quarterback, and as new members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, can continue the success of this season’s 8-5 team that earned a share of the Big East championship.

“We’re going to go to the damn ACC and we’re going to storm that conference and we’re going to do better than people think we can in year one with a hard-nosed football team that represents this community,” Shafer said.

n Shafer announced on Friday that Chuck Bullough has been hired to replace him as the defensive coordinator.

Bullough was a defensive assistant with the Cleveland Browns for the last two seasons. Prior to that, he was the linebackers coach at UCLA from 2006-08 before being promoted to the defensive coordinator position, which he held from 2009-10.

He was the linebackers coach at Western Michigan under Shafer, who was the team’s defensive coordinator, in 2005. Bullough has held a coaching position, either in Division I college football or the NFL, every year since 1997.

n Also on Friday, the ACC released its home and away conference matchups for the 2013 season.

Syracuse will play home games against Boston College, Clemson, Wake Forest and Pittsburgh. They will travel to play Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina State and Georgia Tech.

The complete schedule with game dates is expected to be released next month.

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