Doug Marrone turned around a floundering program at Syracuse University.
The Buffalo Bills are hopeful he is capable of improving a franchise that hasn't reached the playoffs in 13 seasons, the NFL's longest active drought.
Marrone was named head coach by the Bills on Monday.
"I'm dying to go to work. We have a lot of work to do," Marrone said.
The 48-year-old Bronx native replaces Chan Gailey, who was fired on New Year's Eve after going 16-32 over three seasons.
Marrone is viewed as a savior after bringing the Orange up from the depths of irrelevance. He compiled a 25-25 record in four seasons at his alma mater.
Syracuse earned a share of the 2012 Big East title and posted a 38-14 victory over West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl to finish with an 8-5 mark.
The Orange were 10-37 over a four-year period before Marrone took over the program.
Marrone has previously worked in the NFL, but not as a head coach. He served as Sean Payton's offensive coordinator in New Orleans from 2006-08 and was the New York Jets' offensive line coach from 2002-05.