Doug Marrone signed a contract Monday to become the 16th head coach of the Buffalo Bills, team officials said.
Marrone, 48, returns to the National Football League after four years as head coach at Syracuse University, where his teams had a combined record of 25-25.
He previously was offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints and offensive line coach for the New York Jets.
“I had some opportunities to make a choice, and I’ve chosen to be here,” Marrone said during a noon news conference at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
“I’m not going to stand up here and say I lived in this town, I know this town. But I feel this town. And the core values here are one of the things that I look for. I love the people here. We’re going to be proud of this organization.”
The signing is the first major move for the Bills newly named top executive Russell Brandon, a St. John Fisher College graduate who became team president on New Year’s Day in addition to being CEO.
Brandon, a native of East Syracuse, is a member of the Syracuse University Sports Management Advisory Board.
“I think we have the best opportunity in the NFL,” Brandon said in a story posted Monday on the Bills’ website. “We have a very robust roster, young core talent.
“We have a brand new (stadium) lease, a renovation package going into this stadium. We have the potential for a new stadium on the horizon. We have world-class people in this organization that will be very focused on one goal and have one clear direction. This is a plumb opportunity.”
Marrone, a native of the Bronx, was joined at the news conference by Brandon, General Manager Buddy Nix and Assistant General Manager Doug Whaley.
“At the end of the day, to be successful, you have to be at the place where you’re most comfortable,” Marrone said. “I’m most comfortable here in Western New York, and I’m most comfortable working with these gentlemen right here.”
Click here for to see the Buffalo Bills press conference introducing Marrone as their new head coach.
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