Syracuse athletic director Mark Coyle released the following statement:
"I want to thank Scott, his wife Missy, and their family for their seven years of dedication and service to SU Athletics and Syracuse University. Scott has worked tirelessly to educate our students on and off the field and to build our program. However, I feel a change in leadership is needed at this time. A national search will begin immediately," Coyle said.
Shafer will still coach the Orange in the season finale against Boston College. Shafer's team is just 3-8 this year, having lost eight games in a row. The Orange went 3-9 last season, and Shafer has gone just 2-13 in the ACC in the past two years.
Shafer served as Syracuse's defensive coordinator before taking over for coach Doug Marrone in 2013, who left for the Buffalo Bills job before that season. He led Cuse to a 6-6 regular season record and a win over Minnesota in the Texas Bowl in his first year, but wins have been tough to come by since then.
His defense, once a Shafer calling card, has fallen off, as well. After ranking 33rd among FBS teams in total defense in 2013 and 26th in 2014, the Orange didn't even crack the top 100 this fall, and the Orange rank 80th defensively in S&P+.
Syracuse appeared to be in trouble heading into this season, projecting to be one of the worst teams in the ACC. Despite the promising start this year, the Orange couldn't exceed expectations.
Shafer worked his way up the coaching ranks before taking the head position at Syracuse. His 24-year career included assistant jobs at Indiana, Rhode Island, Northern Illinois, Illinois and Western Michigan before he broke through and landed the defensive coordinator job under Jim Harbaugh at Stanford.
He lasted only the 2007 season before being hired away by Rich Rodriguez at Michigan, but resigned after one subpar season with the Wolverines. That didn't scare away Syracuse's Doug Marrone, who hired him as defensive coordinator in 2009.