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Mario Cristobal Is The Next University of Miami Head Coach And Why Timing Is Perfect for Canes

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Back in mid-November, when the Oregon Ducks still had eyes set on a possible national title push, some very influential boosters around the University of Miami football program identified Mario Cristobal as their leading candidate to become that program’s next head coach.

The boosters reached out to Cristobal or his representatives to gauge his interest in perhaps returning to his hometown of Miami and the program he played for under both Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson.

And, yes, a homecoming was something Cristobal indicated he had interest in under the right circumstances.

On Sunday the work of the past few weeks paid dividends as Cristobal and several of his assistants will be joining the University of Miami, per a source close to the situation.

Cristobal has not signed his new contract yet but it is agreed to and he is expected to make approximately $9 million per season at Miami and will get a budget that is competitive with other major college programs to be able to fill out his staff. That final detail was still being worked on as late as Sunday afternoon and was the only area of concern for Cristobal.

Cristobal was in Las Vegas Saturday and reportedly in Miami in the evening.

This wasn’t an easy call for Cristobal. The Oregon program is one of the premier ones in all of college football. He was still praying on his decision early Saturday.

Cristobal will replace Manny Diaz, who coached the Hurricanes since 2018. Diaz compiled a 21-15 record at the school but was unable to return the program to the heights it enjoyed for 20 years from the early 1980s to the early 2000s when it won five national championships and was perpetually among the best in the country.

Diaz had an 0-2 record in bowl games.

The coaching change comes at a pivotal time for the Hurricanes.

With the University of Florida, FSU, USF and UCF all fighting difficult times for their programs, Miami is in strong position to improve its situation with Cristobal’s excellent reputation as a recruiter.

Cristobal will come to Miami with a 62-60 coaching record but at Oregon, where he’s been head coach since 2018, Cristobal was 35-13 with two PAC-12 titles. He was the PAC-12 coach of the year in 2019.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

 

 

Written by Armando Salguero

Armando Salguero has covered the NFL since 1990 for the Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald and ESPN. He was a 2016 Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 columnist. He is a Pro Football Hall of Fame selector and AP All-Pro team voter.

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  1. Is there a modern record for # of HFC turnovers in a Power5 conference in one season. ACC just recorded number four (or five) … Duke. UVA, VT, The U ,… and whatever status ND is w/ ACC.

    Plus.there is a contingent of UNC hot-bloods all ready to toss “Mack Is Back” into the volcano.
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