Shortly after the Blue Raiders fell in the Hawaii Bowl, Tyron Nix was relieved of his duties as defensive coordinator. On Jan. 20, Nix’s successor was found in Scott Shafer.
Shafer most recently served as head coach at Syracuse, and served as their defensive coordinator prior to his promotion.
The word most commonly used to describe Shafer’s defense is “attack.” Shafer has proven to quickly rehabilitate struggling defenses. The Syracuse defense rocketed from 114th in total defense in 2008 to 37th in 2009, Shafer’s first season with the Orange. They ranked 7th in the nation in 2010 while again showing drastic improvement in a number of areas.
“We will put a physical, attacking, multiple defense on the field that will excel in fundamentals and tackling,” Shafer stated. “I look forward to teaching the system right away, preparing them for spring practice, and being with them through this critical first stage of football.”
In related news, the full 2017 MTSU football schedule was finalized on Jan. 26. The Blue Raiders open their season at home against Vanderbilt, and will also play away games against Syracuse and Minnesota before coming back home to play Bowling Green. Middle will then open their conference schedule against Florida Atlantic, now led by Lane Kiffin. In addition to the typical East Division schedule, the Blue Raiders will play UTEP and UAB from the West Division. This will be the first year UAB has played football since 2014.