Syracuse, N.Y. (SU ATHLETICS) – Steve Farmer has been hired as Syracuse’s offensive line coach, bringing a track record of developing lines that have paved the way for some of the nation’s top producing offenses in his tenure.
Farmer joins Syracuse for what will be his 25th season of collegiate coaching, including nine seasons as an offensive coordinator. He spent the past year at Tulsa, working with the offensive line for the Golden Hurricane, after prior stops at Texas Tech, Utah State, Louisiana Monroe, Illinois State, Eastern Michigan and Eastern Illinois.
“We’re excited to welcome someone with the experience that Coach Farmer has into our program,” said head coach Dino Babers. “He has a long history of producing offensive lines that compete at a high level and we can’t wait for him to get started.”
In his first season at Tulsa, his unit blocked for a passing attack that finished in the top-25 nationally in passing offense, throwing for 273.2 yards per game, an improvement over finishing 53rd in the category the year prior to his arrival. Tulsa put up 412 yards of total offense per game and averaged over 30 points per game in 2022.
“I’m thrilled to join Syracuse University and Coach Babers,” Farmer said. “I’m excited about the direction of the program, and this offense under Coach Beck. I can’t wait to get to work with these young men.”
Before joining the Tulsa staff, he spent three seasons as the offensive line coach at Texas Tech, where Red Raider offensive linemen earned All-Big 12 honors six times between 2019-21 under Farmer’s tutelage. In his first two seasons in Lubbock, the offensive line ranked among the top 30 nationally for fewest sacks allowed.
In those three seasons, three of his pupils went on to the NFL. Terence Steele signed as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys following the 2019 season, Jack Anderson was selected in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills and Dawson Deaton was a seventh-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2022. Steele became only the fourth offensive tackle in the Super Bowl era and the ninth in NFL history to start at least 14 games as an undrafted free agent when he started at right tackle for the Cowboys in 2020.
Farmer was at Utah State in the same capacity from 2016-18 before moving to Texas Tech with head coach Matt Wells. His final season with the Aggies was one of the best in school history, finishing with an 11-2 record and a top-25 ranking in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls.
Under his guidance, Utah State finished fourth in the FBS for fewest sacks allowed in 2018, surrendering just 10 sacks on 465 passing attempts. They mustered nearly 50 points per game (47.5) offensively, which was second nationally to Oklahoma. In his three-year tenure, Famer’s linemen notched nine All-Mountain West accolades and had two sign NFL contracts.
Farmer spent six seasons as the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Louisiana Monroe. The stint was his second with the Warhawks, after previously serving as the offensive line coach from 2004-06, then two years as offensive coordinator.
In his second stint at Monroe, Farmer mentored 17 offensive players who garnered All-Sun Belt Conference honors, including quarterback Kolton Browning, who was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year as a junior in 2012. Browning helped lead Monroe to eight wins that season and an appearance in the Independence Bowl, the school’s first postseason trip since transitioning to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level in 1995.
Browning was previously named a Freshman All-American in 2010 after passing for 2,552 yards and 18 touchdowns. He closed his career as the school’s all-time leader for passing yards (10,263), pass completions (951), pass attempts (1,577) and touchdown passes (81).
During his first stay in Monroe, Farmer produced one of the best offensive lines in school history as his 2007 unit paved the way for Calvin Dawson, a two-time Sun Belt rushing leader, to his best season as a Warhawk with 1,414 yards on the ground. Dawson ended his career with 3,378 rushing yards, the most in Louisiana Monroe history.
The Warhawks led the Sun Belt in fewest sacks allowed from 2004-06 after combining to surrender only 28 during that stretch. Monroe ranked second in the FBS with seven sacks allowed in 2004 before finishing fourth with only eight sacks a year later and then fifth in 2006 with 13 sacks given up.
The Warhawks shared their first Sun Belt title in 2005 after finishing 5-2 in conference play. They added a historic victory two years later, defeating Alabama, 21-14, in the regular-season finale on the road. The victory marked only Monroe’s second victory over an SEC opponent in its history at the time.
In between his two coaching stints in Louisiana, Farmer spend the 2009 season as the offensive coordinator at his alma mater, Illinois State. A first team All-Missouri Valley Conference center as a player in 1998, the Redbirds finished with a winning record in his one season there.
Farmer had his first offensive line coaching position at Eastern Illinois for two seasons (2001-02), as his unit allowed only 17 sacks in those two years. He then moved to coach the offensive line at Eastern Michigan for the 2003 season.
His coaching career began at Illinois State in 1999, coaching defensive tackles. The Redbirds reached the FCS Semifinals that year. He then transitioned to coaching tight ends in 2000.
A 1999 graduate of Illinois State, he holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education.
Farmer and his wife, Amy, have a daughter, Rebekah, and a son, Luke.