"I want Coach to be here, the fans and myself we're aligned" Wildhack talks Babers future
"They want Coach (Babers) to be here I want Coach to be here, the fans and myself we’re aligned."
That was John Wildhack's answer to fans' concerns about Dino Babers, and whether or not he'll be in Syracuse for the long haul.
Indeed, it's an interesting time for John Wildhack. There's the football success not seen in 17 years but at the same time that opens speculation as to whether bigger schools may try to offer Coach Babers a new opportunity.
Terms of the current deal for Babers aren't public, but it's estimated he's in the $2-2.5 million/year range. That would be in the lower-echelon of the ACC.
So, there's no imminent end to the contract that we're aware of but fans are clamoring for a contract extension, an investment if you will, to as they say #PayDino.
"We have a great relationship" said Wildhack of working with Babers
"We’re candid with one another, we’re direct with one another and we enjoy being around each other. So there’s our relationship, there’s mutual respect, there’s trust, he knows how passionate I am about this university. He knows how passionate I am about this program. He knows I’m not going anywhere and I’m not looking for another AD job. I want to be here and I want to work with Dino."
That's certainly of comfort to Syracuse fans, the reality is that Dino likely isn't going anywhere this offseason. It's fairly late in the game for that and Dino has given no indication of such aspirations.
On the note of a contract extension, it's not that either side is asleep at the wheel, it's the last week until the early-signing period and of course the Camping World Bowl is in just two more weeks.
Any real negotiations would likely come after the new year.
Still, Wildhack wants fans to know that he wants exactly what they do.
For this 9-3 season to be just the beginning of the Babers era in Syracuse.
"It goes back from the day I arrived here, what we can do to work with him and I told you before I love working with Coach is to invest in this program to get this program to a level where we can compete in the ACC and have the success that we all covet that our fans covet, that our team, our coaching staff our administration covets. It’s that ongoing obligation and that commitment and I think we have done a lot but we’re not done. We are 9-3, we're thrilled that Coach is saying he’s not done. I’m not done, we are not saying this thing is built it's finished, it’s a work in progress and we’ve obviously come a long long way particularly in the 2018 season" Wildhack told me Monday.
"How do we use that to propel 2019 ,2020,2021 so we can have years like this year after year after year?"
That's a question, that almost certainly starts with Babers and includes a renovated Carrier Dome.