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Maryland hires ex-Syracuse coach Scott Shafer as defensive coordinator

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A major hire for DJ Durkin's Maryland staff.

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland football has hired former Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer as its new defensive coordinator. The news was first reported by Sports Illustrated's Thayer Evans.

Shafer spent the last three seasons as the head coach of the Orange, compiling a 14-23 overall record and winning one bowl game, the 2013 season's Texas Bowl. The Orange fired him after the season and replaced him with Bowling Green head coach Dino Babers.

He worked with new Maryland head coach DJ Durkin at Stanford under current Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh when all three were at Stanford in 2007.

In Shafer's time at Syracuse, his Orange faced Maryland twice – beating the Terps at Byrd Stadium in 2013 and losing to them at the Carrier Dome the next year.

This past season, Shafer's Syracuse defense was No. 70 nationally in S&P+. The Orange gave up 439 yards of offense per game, No. 100 out of 128 FBS teams. They were No. 91 in scoring defense, allowing 31 points per game.

Shafer is Durkin's second known hire as head coach. Word broke Monday that he'd hired Alabama assistant Aazaar Abdul-Rahim as defensive backs coach.

Shafer spent seven years at Syracuse, his first four as defensive coordinator. He's also coached on defenses at Indiana, Rhode Island, Northern Illinois, Illinois, Western Michigan, Stanford and Michigan in a coaching career begun in 1991. Here's how Shafer-coached defenses have fared:

Scott Shafer's Defenses by S&P+ Rank
Year Rank Program
2005 107 Western Michigan
2006 62 Western Michigan
2007 85 Stanford
2008 57 Michigan
2009 57 Syracuse
2010 56 Syracuse
2011 81 Syracuse
2012 66 Syracuse
2013 67 Syracuse
2014 33 Syracuse
2015 70 Syracuse

Durkin has a defensive background and is likely to be very hands-on with Shafer in developing Maryland's defense.

Shafer replaces Keith Dudzinski, who coordinated Maryland's defense last season and oversaw the installation of a new 4-3 scheme. At Syracuse, Shafer also ran a 4-3 base scheme.