Syracuse announced Thursday that wide receivers coach Rob Moore has left the program to become an assistant with the Buffalo Bills.
While there is never a good time to change jobs, the timing in this case is pretty brutal. Head coach Scott Shafer had to break the news to not only his players, but all the incoming recruits who just signed with the Orange on Wednesday. In a statement, Shafer said:
“We celebrate Rob Moore’s opportunity to coach in the National Football League with the Buffalo Bills and look forward to recruiting the next best person to help our program attack the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014. We have communicated our plan with our team and our National Letter of Intent signees. As soon as we hire our new coach, we look forward to introducing him to Cuse Nation.”
But during a radio appearance Thursday on The Score 1260 in Syracuse, Shafer provided further comment and insight into the timing of the move:
"I think those kids are looking forward to getting a degree from Syracuse University and wearing the Orange. I think they are mature enough and understand that coaches move on, especially assistant coaches. The sturdiness of the program and where we are going, the majority of the guys that are in the program are the kids, the players. That's why I won't let a kid commit until he gets around our players and he understands who I am. I'm confident our kids understand that. Will they be disappointed to some degree? Sure. Will they also be happy and proud that the guy that was going to be their coach has moved on to the NFL, the highest level? Yeah, they'll be happy for him. It's just part of the process."
You also have to wonder whether the announcement was made Thursday to allow the Orange to sign their recruiting class Wednesday. Were the recruits told that Moore was going to leave before news broke Thursday?
It has been noted in several places that the Orange put together a strong group of receivers in this class, signing five. Moore, of course, is a Syracuse legend and was named to the school's All-Century team in 1999. Bills coach Doug Marrone initially hired Moore at Syracuse and the connection remained strong. Since leaving for Buffalo last year, Marrone has hired eight assistants who worked with him at Syracuse.
Shafer said in the radio interview that offensive coordinator George McDonald will work with the receivers for the time being.