Friday, February 08, 2008

Steve Russ leaving Syracuse for Wake Forest

I just got a call from a friend of mine who is a Wake Forest graduate and big football fan of the Demon Deacons. He wanted to know what I thought of Steve Russ.

Russ who served on the Syracuse staff since Greg Robinson arrived three years was expected to be named to Jim Grobe's defensive staff at Wake Forest. Russ apparently is ticketed to replace outgoing Wake Forest defensive coordinator Dean Hood who left to become the coach at Eastern Kentucky.

I think it really talks about the state of the Orange program, and the job security that the coaching staff feels, when a coach will leave the Syracuse football program for the Wake Forest program at a lateral position.

Russ seemed to be one of the positive recruiters on the Syracuse staff and had helped secure several players from Ohio including Delone Carter, Ryan Gillum and Trey Fairchild.

Still after serving as linebackers coach for two years, his transition to the defensive coordinator spot wasn't a smooth one. You also have to wonder how much total control he had of the unit, and how much that influenced his decision.

The obvious question now becomes, who replaces Russ? I wouldn't expect Syracuse to replace Russ from within. Nor would I expect Greg Robinson to retake the defensive coordinator duties.

I'm sure in the coming days there will be some names that surface. We'll try to keep you informed.


  1. Anonymous9:33 PM

    I wonder what it will say about the Syracuse program when you realize its not a lateral move to Wake Forest since he is not replacing Dean Hood as the DC. He'll be replacing Brad White as a position coach at Wake Forest, the2006 ACC Champions and victors over the Big East Co-Champion UCONN Huskies in the 2007 Meineke Car Care Bowl.

  2. Anonymous10:03 PM

    I believe he was describing the position on the coaching staff that he was taking as a lateral move (ie. not an outright promotion), not the programs themselves.

    Strange, though, because I thought that Brad Lambert was going to be promoted to Defensive Coordinator and that Wake was just looking for somebody to take over as coach of the linebackers or secondary.

  3. Anonymous10:19 PM

    I'm pretty sure he is coming as a position coach. Not as DC.

    So really it's even a step down. Says a lot about the coaching staff at Wake and the type of program Wellman and Grobe run.

  4. Anonymous10:25 PM

    I think what it means is that we really suck.

  5. If that is true, then my original post was wrong and the information I got was a little clouded. Although I might have just expected he was jumping from DC to DC.

    If what you are saying is true, and I have to believe that it is, I would think that the relationship between Russ and Robinson became such that he felt it was better to leave anyway he could, not just for a lateral move.

    I realize Wake won the ACC in 06 (and lost to Big East champ Louisville in the Orange Bowl). I realize that they beat UCONN in the Meineke Bowl this year.

    I think Jim Grobe is one of the better coaches in football. But I also think that Russ going from Syracuse to Wake - even if its from DC to DC - is a lateral move.

    I also think if he is becoming a position coach, its far less than lateral.

    Good luck with Russ. I think he is a good position coach, and a guy that players seem to relate well to. I was excited when he took the DC position at Syracuse. But for whatever reason, and there may have been plenty working against him, he did not produce a succesful defense at Syracuse.

  6. Anonymous1:36 AM

    Nowadays a position coach at Wake is a step up from the DC at Syracuse. It's like going from captain of a sunken ship to first mate of a nice new ship.

  7. Anonymous10:33 AM

    Just because Russ was the DC at the Orange in '07 doesn't mean that he would've been the DC in '08.

    If he was not to be the DC in '08 then he would've been demoted. Demotion is not a comfortable situation and would cause one to look elsewhere. Methinks Russ and Grobe had a chat about this a while back. When Wake's DC left thereby causing staff re-adjustments it made it very convenient for Russ to join Wake's staff.