Dino Babers restructures Syracuse football staff

Orange head football Dino Babers has reshaped his coaching staff, announcing Thursday that five assistant coaches will have new responsibilities for the 2018 season.

Mike Lynch has been elevated to offensive coordinator and running backs coach. Assistant head coach Kim McCloud will mentor the Orange cornerbacks. Justin Lustig continues as Syracuse’s special teams coordinator and will coach the outside receivers. Tight ends coach Reno Ferri adds overseeing the inside receivers to his list of duties, while Nick Monroe will lead the Syracuse safeties.

The Orange’s co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach the past two seasons, Lynch will hold the title of sole offensive coordinator for the first time in his career. Lynch helped the Orange to two of the three highest total offense figures in team history the past two seasons (2016 – 5,290 yards; 2017 – 5,476 yards). He has previous experience coaching the offensive backfield, mentoring the running backs for four seasons under Babers at Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green.

McCloud shifts to defense after coaching the wide receivers in his first two seasons at Syracuse. An All-WAC defensive back as a player at Hawaii, McCloud signed with the San Diego Chargers in 1991 and played two seasons (1991-92) for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League. McCloud also tutored the entire secondary and/or cornerbacks at four of his previous coaching stops.

Lustig joined the Orange in 2017 and coached the running backs last fall in addition to serving as special teams coordinator. Lustig molded the Orange punt team into one of the best in the FBS last season, as Syracuse ranked in the top 10 statistically in punt return yardage defense (4th – 2.67) and net punting average (10th – 41.3).

In addition to now mentoring the inside receivers, Ferri will continue as tight ends coach, a position he’s held since joining the Orange in 2016.

Monroe narrows his focus to the Orange safeties after serving as the team’s secondary coach since accompanying Babers from Bowling Green to Syracuse in 2016.

Syracuse returns 43 letterwinners, including 16 starters (8 offense, 7 defense, 1 specialist), from last season. The Orange open spring practice next month.



Dino Babers – Head Coach (Hawaii ’84)

Kim McCloud – Assistant Head Coach/Cornerbacks (Hawaii ’91)
Mike Lynch – Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs (Montana ’00)

Brian Ward – Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers (McPherson College ’97)

Justin Lustig – Special Teams Coordinator/Outside Receivers (Bucknell ‘00)

Mike Cavanaugh – Offensive Line (Southern Connecticut State ’86)

Reno Ferri – Tight Ends/Inside Receivers (U.S. Military Academy ’00)

Kirk Martin – Quarterbacks (UTEP ’93)

Nick Monroe – Safeties (St. Cloud State ’01)

Vinson Reynolds – Defensive Tackles (Northern Illinois ’94)

Steve Stanard – Defensive Ends (Nebraska ’89)


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