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Orange assistant head coach Bob Casullo off staff

- Associated Press - Monday, November 22, 2010

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - With just one game remaining in a turnaround season for Syracuse, coach Doug Marrone announced Monday that assistant head coach Bob Casullo was off the staff.

Marrone made the announcement during his weekly media address, after a reporter asked about Casullo's status.

"Bob and I have decided it's in the best interest of the program to part ways," said Marrone, who declined to elaborate. "My philosophy has been from the beginning that no one person, including myself, is more important than the program."

Casullo, who was not available for comment, also served as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. He was hired after Marrone took over in December 2008.

Marrone said defensive backs coach John Anselmo will take over Syracuse's special teams for the final regular-season game on Saturday at home against Boston College (6-5) and the team's ensuing bowl game. Quarterbacks coach Nathaniel Hackett will take over the tight ends.

Syracuse (7-4) is coming off a home loss to Connecticut, but is bowl eligible for the first time since 2004.

In the 26-3 loss Saturday night to the Huskies, the fiery Casullo yelled at kicker Rob Long and threatened to bench the senior, according to a sideline report during the game telecast. Long, who ranks second in the Big East in punting, had an off night with two touchbacks on punts, a kickoff that sailed out of bounds, and a 14-yard punt that the Huskies converted into a field goal.

Marrone would not say if Casullo's departure was based on performance and characterized the Orange's play on special teams as erratic, just like the offense that Marrone oversees.

Syracuse's punt return coverage unit did force a UConn fumble, the Huskies' lone turnover.

"Special teams has done a good job," Marrone said. "At times, we could have done a better job."

Casullo's departure ends his second stint with the Orange. The Little Falls, N.Y., native also was special teams coordinator from 1985-94 under former coaches Dick MacPherson and Paul Pasqualoni. He also had stints at Georgia Tech and Michigan State.

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