After interviewing Ken Whisenhunt, Lovie Smith, Ray Horton and Chip Kelly, the Bills have reportedly hired Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone. This is the first time in franchise history that the Bills have hired a head coach directly from college.
Based on press reports, Whisenhunt appeared to be the favorite to land the Bills job. And while fans were clamoring for Chip Kelly (or bust), Marrone was the quiet, intriguing choice that didn't get a tremendous amount of attention.
Marrone took over a struggling Syracuse program that had won just 5 games in the previous two years and proceeded to win 25 games over the next four four years. He closed this season with a bowl win over West Virginia (in the snow, no less) in a game where Syracuse was a 3.5 point underdog.
Prior to Syracuse, Marrone was the offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints from 2006-2008. In his first year as the offensive coordinator, the Saints had the #1 offense in the NFL for the first time in franchise history. Using Football Outsider's more advanced DOVA rating
, Saints offense finished 8th, 12th and 4th in the NFL during Marrone's tenure as offensive coordinator.