The Daily Orange: The Revival of Syracuse Football December 29, 2004 Paul Pasqualoni, closing his 14th consecutive year as Head Coach of Syracuse Football, is awoken by the rings of a telephone that lie on his nightstand a foot or two away from his bed. "Hello?" Pasqualoni answers. "Good morning Coach Pasqualoni." Pasqualoni recognized the voice, it was the just-hired Athletic Director of Syracuse University, Daryl Gross. "Good morning Mr. Gross, how may I help you?" "It saddens me to tell you that I am calling to inform you that your tenure as Head Coach of Syracuse football is over. We've decided that it is in the best interest of the program to restructure the personnel. I want to thank you for your tenure and success as Head Coach and I hope you find employment elsewhere and I wish you the best of luck." As Pasqualoni opened his mouth to reply, he heard the click as Gross hung up. Little did Daryl Gross know, he would make a huge mistake by hiring Greg Robinson; who would become the worst coach in Syracuse football history. Following the departure of Paul Pasqualoni, Syracuse football plummetted to a 117-year history worst 1-10 record. Greg Robinson continued to drive the program into the ground by losing 27 of the next 36 games. Syracuse never won more than 4 games in one season under Robinson, and only 10 in a total of 4 years. Doug Marrone was the next coach in line, and he turned the Orange into a competing football team once again. In only his second year as coach, he led the Orange to a 8-5 record including the first bowl victory since 2001, winning 36-34 in the first Pinstripe Bowl ever. However his success was short lived and he was forced into retirement due to family reasons. With a vacant Head Coach position, Daryl Gross continues his search for someone to maintain the success of Coach Marrone. January 28, 2011 A blue toyota pulls into the visitor's parking lot of Syracuse University. A young, thin man with dark brown hair steps out of the truck, and fights through the snow as he heads towards the office of Athletic Director Daryl Gross. As he enters the university, he is greeted by Daryl Gross himself. "Hello Mr. Gross, I'm Brandon Sams, pleasure to meet you." Sams says while extending his hand for a respectful handshake. Gross replies, "Ah, Mr. Sams, nice to meet you as well. Please, lets head to my office." The two head through a pair of double-doors and up a flight of stairs into the Athletic Director's office on the second floor. "Please, have a seat." says Gross as he motions towards his desk. "So it's to my understanding that, you have never held the position of Head Coach at any college?" "That's correct, sir." "That's to be expected considering your age. Well let me begin with asking a few questions. If you were to become Head Coach of Syracuse football, what would you're first action be as Head Coach?" "The very first thing I would do is issue a team meeting, and familiar myself with the players and personnel. I would eliminate the losing attitude, and make it very clear, I'm here to win."Sams replies almost immediately. "Interesting. What do you think the main priority of every student-athlete should be?" "Well the main priority of every student, athlete or not, should be education. There is life after sports, and an education is the key to success, its the most important thing." Gross nods his head in approval and continues his questioning, "Tell me this Mr. Sams, why do you want this position?" Sams answers without hesitation, "My family is from Syracuse. I grew up watching the team, through success and failure. I watched us lose 51-0 to Purdue and i watched us beat Boston College 43-17 before they left to the ACC. I love football and I love Syracuse, it's always been my dream to have the opportunity to coach the Orange." Gross responds, "So far, I like what I hear. One last question, why do you think you should have the job?" Sams smiles, holds back a laugh, and answers, "Because I bleed orange. I love Syracuse, the city, the university, athletic program, its home to me. There isn't a person on Earth that will give more effort to changing this historic program back to the powerhouse it used to be. I will find a way to win." Gross chuckles and shakes Sams' hand one more time. "That's good to know. Well Mr. Sams, it was a pleasure meeting you." "Hope to keep in touch." Sams replies with a smile and exits the office. January 29, 2011 Brandon Sams sits on his lay-z-boy couch watching ESPN when he hears his phone ring. "Hello?" Sams answers. "Hello, Mr. Sams? It's Daryl Gross, I was impressed with your interview and I just wanted to ask you one more question." "Yes, of course, what is it?" "Are you ready to lead the Orange to stardom? How does Coach Sams sound to you?" Sams laughs and replies, "Of course sir, it sounds great." "Well come down to my office and we'll discuss your contract." "Thank you sir, I'll see you soon."