Former Syracuse football coach Frank Maloney passes away

Orange Nation

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SYRACUSE ATHLETICS) – Former Syracuse University head football coach Frank Maloney passed away yesterday at the age of 79, his family has confirmed.

Maloney guided the Orange for seven seasons from 1974-80. His tenure included a victory in the 1979 Independence Bowl, the closing of Archbold Stadium with a win at the end of the 1978 season, and the opening of the Carrier Dome with a victory in 1980.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Coach Maloney. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and former players,” Syracuse Director of Athletics John Wildhack said. “Coach Maloney led our football team during a time of transition, taking over the program after Coach Schwartzwalder’s 25-year tenure. He developed many young men, several of whom went on to very successful business careers and a number of talented players who went on to the NFL.”

Born on Sept. 26, 1940 in Chicago, Maloney became Syracuse’s head coach in 1974 following the retirement of the legendary Ben Schwartzwalder, who had coached the Orange since 1949. Featuring greats like Joe Morris and Art Monk, the Maloney era culminated with a 7-5 record and an Independence Bowl triumph in 1979, followed by the team’s first season in the Carrier Dome. The Orange enjoyed two more winning seasons under Maloney in 1975 and in 1977. In 1978, Maloney coached Syracuse in the final game played at Archbold Stadium. The Orange emerged victorious, beating nationally-ranked Navy, 20-17.

The 1979 season was particularly notable, as the razing of Archbold coupled with the construction of the Dome forced the team to play its entire season on the road. “Home” games were played in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Orchard Park, New York and in nearby Ithaca. At the end of the year, Maloney led Syracuse to a 31-7 victory against McNeese State in the Independence Bowl. It was the first postseason triumph for the Orange since the 1961 Liberty Bowl – a span of 18 years.

The 1980 season, Maloney’s last with the Orange, marked the team’s inaugural campaign at the Carrier Dome. The new facility was unveiled on Sept. 20, 1980 with a 36-24 victory over Miami (Ohio) in front of 50,564 fans – still the largest crowd in Dome history.

At Syracuse, Maloney mentored 19 future NFL Draft picks, five players who were named to Syracuse’s All-Century Team and 10 All-Americans, including linebacker Jim Collins, who was a three-time selection, and defensive back Larry King, quarterback Bill Hurley and offensive tackle Craig Wolfley, who were each two-time honorees.

“I talked with him every two weeks ever since I graduated,” said Hurley, who Maloney recruited to Syracuse in 1975 as a running back before moving him to quarterback where he was a four-year starter. “We talked about family, kids, sports, everything. His sense of humor appealed to me. Having him screaming at me was not much different than my parents yelling at me. We had a good rapport both on and off the field that carried on. We were together so much at school that it just seemed natural to continue that relationship.”

Maloney, who played center and guard at the University of Michigan from 1959 to 1961, served as an assistant coach at his alma mater from 1968 to 1973 before taking the reins at Syracuse. Following his coaching career, Maloney joined the front office of the Chicago Cubs, where he worked in ticket operations for 29 years, including 27 as the director.


Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.