The Buffalo Bills have hired Doug Marrone to replace head coach Chan Gailey, ESPN reported on Sunday, Jan. 6. Doug Marrone will leave his position as head coach of the Syracuse University football team to join the Buffalo Bills organization.
Chan Gailey was fired as the Buffalo Bills head coach on New Year’s Eve after going 16-32 over three seasons with the Bills.
Marrone went 25-25 in four seasons at Syracuse, revamping a program that had been 26-57 over the previous seven seasons. Syracuse had an 8-5 finish by winning its last seven games this past season, including a 38-14 win over West Virginia in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
This will be Doug Marrone’s first NFL head coach job. Marrone comes to the Buffalo Bills with two years’ experience as the New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator and five years’ experience as the New York Jets offensive line coach.
Marrone, 48, is an offensive-minded coach, which is the kind of head coach the Buffalo Bills organization needs. Bills head coach candidates were told that owner Ralph Wilson will be aggressive in free agency, and the Buffalo Bills may keep Ryan Fitzpatrick as quarter back, but they will be active in finding a replacement as well.
The Buffalo Bills interviewed a number of candidates, including former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton and former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith.
Doug Marrone was a candidate for head coach in several cities, including Cleveland, San Diego and Philadelphia. Marrone is considered a good match for the Buffalo Bills because of his strong pro and college experience, as well as his ties to New York State.