“I texted Doug right after Syracuse won in the bowl game against West Virginia. 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.
“Doug and his staff developed a very good young quarterback who will get a lot of recognition from the pro game.
“Doug is a man who is very serious about his work. 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 and game and he’s been a head coach at the college level.
“He’s had some disappointments. A year ago they had a tremendous win against West Virginia and then they struggled the rest of the season. But he’s learned to overcome that in terms of his team. His team seemed to be very unified and played with great purpose. They started to regenerate the pride in Syracuse University football, which all of us as former players and alumni take great interest in.
“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.”