Miami Hurricanes: Why They Should Sign Mario Cristobal

Mario Cristobal talking with an opponent before a game at Florida International University.

If you were awake in Miami on Thursday night you could almost hear a pin drop once it hit around 11:25 pm. The Miami Hurricanes walked off the Nippert Stadium field in Cincinnati, Ohio with their first loss of the season to the Cincinnati Bearcats. Miami got tossed around in the second half only managing to score three second half points finishing with a surprising 34-23 defeat.

Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden speaking with an opponent after a game.
Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden speaking with an opponent after a game.

Now because of the bad loss to Cincinnati a lot of fans and the remaining remnant of people who were defending head coach Al Golden look like their support is finally gone. It sounds like a majority of supporters have turned their back and they’re also starting to call for a change in leadership. Several people are clamoring for the Hurricanes to find a new head coach and it’s understandable because of the way that Miami has performed this year.

There’s one person that could come in and immediately fix the program, Mario Cristobal.

Here’s a 30-second rundown about what you need to know about coach Cristobal. On December 19, 2006, Cristobal was hired at Florida International University, a program that had absolutely no football tradition whatsoever. Four years later on December 26, 2010, Cristobal led FIU to their first bowl game appearance, and subsequently their first bowl game victory. People thought it was a fluke, but another year later FIU shocked the world and played in another bowl game. They had never made a bowl game or had a winning record before in their school’s history and what Cristobal did was bring a winning culture to the school. People hated him, faculty and players alike, but his fierce leadership made the school prominent. Respect is more important than likability and Cristobal did his job to excellence.

After a bad falling out with the school’s athletic director, Pete Garcia, Cristobal was fired from the school that he made a winner. His travels then landed him a job at Alabama where he’s competed for national championship rings yearly as the offensive line coach. Whereas FIU still remains in flux as they’ve never managed to have a winning season or make a bowl game without Cristobal.

Now since Miami Hurricanes fans are tired of Al Golden, Cristobal might be, and should be the obvious target of Miami’s radar. Not only is Cristobal a great coach from the city of Miami, he’s also one of the former Hurricanes that played on the 1989 and 1991 national championship teams. Having someone who is an alumni of the school plays well for Miami because of the Hurricanes pride factor. Best believe that Cristobal wants to see his former school perform to the level of dominance they once were at.

Mario Cristobal coaching from the sidelines for Florida International University.
Mario Cristobal coaching from the sidelines for Florida International University.

Another aspect that people would love to see by signing Cristobal is that he’ll be able to recruit in South Florida. Due to the fact that he has so many Miami ties to the city and to the South Florida area he knows the type of athlete that the program needs. Cristobal was able to turn FIU around because he brought in T.Y. Hilton from Miami Springs, after Miami, Florida State, and Florida missed out on him. He was able to bring in Jonathan Cyprien from North Miami Beach after those same three schools missed out on him. He was able to bring in Anthony Gaitor from Northwestern as well. All three of those players including another recruit in Tourek Williams who Cristobal brought in all have played in the NFL.

If Cristobal can do all of that at a school like FIU, then there’s no telling what he would do with even more talent and utilities surrounding him at Miami. The days of playing zone defense and not using the strengths of the athletes, particularly in man-to-man defense would be long gone.

The Miami Hurricanes have been dying for someone like Butch Davis to come into their program again and turn their fate around. They’ve been dying for a coach like Jimmie Johnson to come in and get the school fired up with elite recruits. They’ve been dying for a coach like Howard Schnellenberger to preach tradition and values of the school again. The Miami Hurricanes have been missing one of their own in Mario Cristobal and they need to move heaven and Earth to bring him back home and turn this program around in a fashion that only he can.

D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter @DJoumbarey.

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