Doug Marrone Hired As Buffalo Bills Next Coach, Sources Say

Doug Marrone is making the move down the Thruway after the Buffalo Bills hired the Syracuse University coach.

The Bills agreed to hire the Syracuse coach after he turned around the Orange in his four seasons there. This year Syracuse finished 8-5 after winning six of its last seven games, topping it off with a 38-14 win over West Virginia in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.

The Doug Marrone hire was reported by ESPN, which noted that the Bills also looked at Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith.

The 48-year-old Marron had worked as the Jets’ offensive line coach and was offensive coordinator in New Orleans from 2006 to 2008. He went 25-25 in four season at Syracuse, after the team had finished 10-37 prior to his arrival.

The Bills this season fired Chan Gailey, who went 16-32 over three seasons. He was criticized this season for his misuse of running back C.J. Spiller, who averaged more than 6 yards per carry yet went long stretches without seeing the ball.

Doug Marrone joins a Buffalo Bills franchise in flux. In the last week, the teams 94-year-old owner, Ralph Wilson, turned over control of the team to new president Russ Brandon, who had served as the team’s CEO. Brandon promised that the Bills would be aggressive in finding a head coach and vowed to turn around the franchise.

That could be quite a task. The Bills have only one winning season in the past 13 years — going 9-7 in 2004 — and have not made the playoffs at all during that stretch, the longest drought in the NFL.

Doug Marrone will also have the task of finding the next franchise quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. The team’s quarterback for the past two and a half seasons, Ryan Fitzpatrick, struggled with inconsistency and turnovers, with Pro Football Talk reporting that he is likely done with the team after this year.