Doug Marrone hired as Bills head coach, according to reports

Jeff Zelevansky

The Syracuse alumnus, who turned around a moribund Orange program in four years as head coach, will leave the school for the vacant Buffalo Bills job.

The Buffalo Bills have hired Syracuse coach Doug Marrone as the franchise's seventeenth head coach, according to Ian Rapoport at NFL.com and Adam Schefter of ESPN. The decision comes six days after the Bills fired former coach Chan Gailey, on the heels of a 6-10 campaign. According to Rapoport, the Bills chose Marrone over former Bears head coach Lovie Smith, former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, Oregon coach Chip Kelly, and Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton.

Marrone spent four years as head coach of Syracuse. When he assumed command of his alma mater in 2009, the Orange had not recorded a winning season in eight years, and had not been to a bowl in five seasons. Marrone quickly turned the program around, going 8-5 with a Pinstripe Bowl win in his second season. After a disappointing 5-7 season in 2011, Marrone's Orange recorded another 8-5 record last season, again capped with a Pinstripe Bowl win. In his four seasons with Syracuse, Marrone went an even 25-25 and 11-17 in Big East play.

Prior to taking the Syracuse job, Marrone spent three seasons as Sean Payton's offensive coordinator with the New Orleans Saints. He also had a four-year stint with the New York Jets as offensive line coach. Marrone's impeccable NFL credentials, combined with his success at Syracuse, had made him a prime coaching candidate for a number of teams. Marrone reportedly received interview requests from Buffalo, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and San Diego.

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