Doug Marrone's departure has many people reflecting on his time in Syracuse, not just on the sidelines, but as a player too. YNN's Iris St. Meran sat down with a former teammate and a former colleague for their take on Marrone's big move.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- Robert Drummond was only a freshman when he started playing football at Syracuse University with then offensive lineman Doug Marrone.
Drummond said, "Doug just chose to go out there and better himself and make himself a better person. That's what he did as a football player. He would work extra hard in the weight room, work extra hard in the classroom to make himself a better football player."
Drummond says Marrone always had a passion for the sport, so it was no surprise he started coaching. His first job was in Cortland as an assistant coach in the early 90s alongside another assistant football coach, David Mancuso.
"We didn't know what to expect, he was a volunteer coach. But the one thing I remember about him the most, he remembered all the things from playing and he really applied them immediately," said Mancuso who is currently head football coach at Liverpool High School.
From there, his coaching career took him many places, including the U.S. Guard Academy, Georgia Tech to the New Orleans Saints as an offensive coordinator. He started as head coach at SU in 2009, where he turned the football program around and captured two Pinstripe Bowl titles.
"Doug just got those kids to believe in themselves and instill in them things Robinson didn't instill,” said Drummond.
Mancuso said, "He got us going in the right direction."
If he can do the same in Buffalo remains to be seen, but he has their vote of confidence.
"The mindset of a professional athlete is a lot different than a collegiate athlete. If anybody can do it, Doug definitely can do it because he commands respect," said Drummond.
Although Drummond is a diehard Eagles fan, he says he will be rooting for Marrone in this new position. Mancuso says he's a Bills fan now that Marrone will be there.
With Marrone now officially the Bills’ head coach, Syracuse University says they are committed to finding a football coach that will build on his success.
The chairman of the university's board of trustees and the school's chancellor and president issued a joint statement on Monday, saying, "We congratulate Coach Marrone on having this opportunity to become a head coach at the highest level. Under his leadership, we have restored the rich, winning football tradition at Syracuse, and we wish him continued success as he moves to the National Football League.
“We are fully committed to continuing SU football’s successful trajectory and the commitment, work ethic, integrity and support for the personal and academic development of our student-athletes that Doug and his coaching staff embedded in the program. Moving forward we have full confidence in Dr. Daryl Gross to find the right successor to build on this success.”