Doug Marrone, succeeding Chan Gailey, became the 16th head coach of the Buffalo Bills earlier this week after spending four years leading his alma mater’s football program, which most recently won the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in late December.
Coughlin, who began his coaching career in 1969 as a graduate assistant at Syracuse, follows the program and was more than willing to assist the 48-year-old Marrone during his time at SU.
“I texted Doug right after Syracuse won in the bowl game against West Virginia,” Coughlin said, according to BuffaloBills.com. “His team was very well-prepared, his team was very physical, and they continuously pounded the football.
“He’s proven that he can coach in the modern era in terms of the ability for his team to change tempo. They can speed the game up and then very obviously at the end of the game, they were able to take the air out of the ball and slow the game down.”
Marrone, like Coughlin, now heads a franchise in his home state of New York. Coughlin hails from Waterloo — where the local high school football stadium now bears his name – while Marrone is a Bronx native.
“Doug is a man who is very serious about his work,” Coughlin continued. “He has called me on the phone, he has stopped in here to talk football. There are a lot of issues that a young head coach is trying to get his arms around. He did an outstanding job of that. He is focused and he is disciplined and he certainly conveys a message of toughness. Doug has worked in the pro game, he’s worked in the college game and he’s been a head coach at the college level.
“Doug shares the work ethic that the people of Western New York have long been known for. When he came to visit me – which was the year before last – he had specific questions he wanted to ask. He was very direct. He was recruiting in the area and he took the time out to visit with us despite the fact he was obviously on a mission.”
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