Butch Davis Leaving FIU At End Of Season, Details Issues Surrounding Program

FIU head coach Butch Davis will not return to the school next season, per Action Network's Brett McMurphy. Davis gave a scathing review of his time with the Panthers.

Davis, 69, told McMurphy he asked the school for a one-year contract extension which expires on Dec. 15, but FIU said no. The Panthers are 1-14 in their last two seasons under Davis, back to where they were before Davis took the job in 2017. Davis immediately led the Panthers to back-to-back winning seasons. From 2017-2019, FIU went 23-16, the best three-year run in the team's history.

That included a historic 30-24 win over Miami on Nov. 23, 2019, which still was not enough to keep Davis around.

“The administration has been sabotaging the program," Davis said.

Look beyond the on-field product and you'll see the challenges that Davis had to work around. Davis said when he arrived in 2017, he found out the shoulder pads were at least 10 years old. Davis' plea to the university to provide money for new shoulder pads was declined. He would have to take matters into his own hands.

A Davis assistant reached out to a contact at Mississippi State to acquire shoulder pads that were five years old.

“They were five years old,” Davis said. “But they were new to us.”

In early October, FIU posted on its official website an opening for the head coaching position, with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) following suit. McMurphy said the university lists job postings for every coaching position in every sport. The school did not address the AFCA posting.

“This year has been a nightmare,” Davis said. “You can imagine the players’ reaction when a head coach’s job was posted online. The administration has been sabotaging the program.

"Their decisions to post the job has resulted in a major negative impact on the football program and our ability to recruit and retain players.”

On the field, COVID-19 has severely limited Davis' ability to recruit. FIU hasn't allowed coaches to recruit while on the road for two years, citing financial reasons. In the talent rich state of Florida, FIU needs to stick out to grab recruits' attention. Its uniforms have done nothing to garner a look at the school. FIU's uniforms are nine years old.

Davis' team has been ravaged by injuries this season, with 13 players going down with season-ending injuries. Last season, FIU had just 50 players available, 20 of whom were walk-ons, leaving Davis concerned. Davis said he didn't think it was safe for FIU to play, but they still took the field for five games, going 0-5.

His second tenure in Miami will end up being a far cry of his first. Davis was head coach at the University of Miami from 1995-2000, going 51-20. Miami returned to prominence under Davis, going 11-1 in 2000. Davis fled to the NFL to coach the Browns, but he is revered at the university today.

Davis will end his tenure at FIU as the first head coach to appear in three bowl games. Current Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal appeared in two during his tenure from 2007-2012.

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Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.