(Reuters) - The Buffalo Bills named Syracuse’s Doug Marrone as their new head coach, the team said on Monday in the hope that the offensive-minded college coach can turn around the struggling franchise.
Marrone replaces Chan Gailey, who was fired last week after going 16-32 over three National Football League seasons as coach of a Bills team that has missed the playoffs for 13 consecutive seasons and not posted a winning record since 2004.
The 48-year-old Bronx, New York, native spent the past four years as the head coach of his alma mater’s football program at Syracuse University.
His Syracuse team set multiple offensive school records in 2012, including total yards (5,681), passing yards (3,691) and first downs (300).
Prior to his Syracuse tenure, Marrone spent seven years in the NFL. From 2006-08 he served as the offensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints after a four-year span as the offensive line coach of the New York Jets (2002-05).
He takes over a Bills team that finished 6-10 last season and ranked 21st in points scored in the 32-team NFL.
“I think he is going to win. I think he is going to get the Bills back in the playoffs soon. Obviously I think Buffalo is on the right track,” ESPN analyst Jon Gruden said in a statement released by the Bills.
“Coach Marrone is the kind of coach that can push you over the top. He has won everywhere he has been. I think he is going to continue to do that. He will find a way to get it done.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Justin Palmer