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#pounditMonday, January 17, 2022

Articles tagged: Miami Hurricanes football

Mario Cristobal flips big recruit from Alabama

Jaleel Skinner in Miami gear

Mario Cristobal is already doing some big work at Miami.

Cristobal flipped Jaleel Skinner, who had previously been committed to Alabama. Skinner announced his decision on Friday.

Skinner is a 6-foot-5 tight end from IMG Academy in Florida. 247 Sports has him rated as a 4-star recruit.

Skinner had scholarship offers from several top schools and chose Miami over Bama, Florida, Florida State and Texas, among others.

Skinner originally committed to Alabama in October, so he wasn’t committed to the Tide for long before signing with Miami.

Manny Diaz takes shot at Miami over his firing

Manny Diaz adjusts his headset

Manny Diaz was fired by Miami on Monday after spending days with his job status in limbo. He took a shot at the school over the way his firing was handled.

Miami was engaged in a very public pursuit of Mario Cristobal for about two weeks before ultimately reaching a deal with him. The school’s pursuit of Cristobal played out all the while Diaz was still employed as the head football coach.

Diaz alluded to the unconventional manner in which his firing transpired in a statement he issued on Monday.

“I am disappointed in the University’s decision and the manner in which this played out over the last few weeks,” Diaz began his statement.

The manner in which his firing played out certainly was unfortunate. But that is just part of the way things go sometimes in the college football coaching business. Diaz should know that better than anyone.

Prior to becoming Miami’s head coach in early 2019, he had just signed a contract to work as Temple’s head football coach. Yes, Diaz ditched Temple less than three weeks after accepting their job. He left them high and dry, right after they had made a commitment to him, and right after he made a commitment to them.

Diaz has no place to criticize anyone else for the way they handle business after he did that to Temple, and after he saw how Miami poached him right after he took another job. He should just suck it up and recognize he’s as big of a culprit as anyone.

Photo: Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz puts his headset on against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mario Cristobal informs Oregon he has accepted Miami job

Mario Cristobal in an Oregon shirt

Mario Cristobal is headed home to Miami.

Cristobal will be introduced as the next head football coach at the University of Miami in the very near future. After days of negotiating with Cristobal, Miami fired head coach Manny Diaz on Monday morning. Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reports that Cristobal held a players-only meeting at around the same time to inform his Oregon team he is leaving. Several of Cristobal’s staff members were on the road and learned of the official decision shortly thereafter.

The news is hardly a surprise. Cristobal has deep ties to Miami and has been viewed as almost too perfect of a fit. He a Miami native and was an all-conference player for the Hurricanes from 1989-1992. The 51-year-old was a graduate assistant at Miami from 1998-2000 and an offensive position coach from 2004-2006.

Cristobal will reportedly be getting a significant raise with Miami, though it’s unclear if he gave Oregon a chance to match the offer. He may have simply been set on coaching at his alma mater in the city where he grew up.

Oregon will now have to find a replacement for Cristobal, and one report claims they could reach out to someone very familiar.

Photo: Nov 23, 2019; Tempe, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Manny Diaz fired by Miami, paving way for Mario Cristobal

Manny Diaz adjusts his headset

The University of Miami got one step closer to hiring Mario Cristobal as head football coach on Monday, as Manny Diaz has been fired.

Diaz has been informed by Miami that he is being let go, according to multiple reports.

The move was widely expected, as Miami has been working to hire Cristobal away from Oregon. The Hurricanes have reportedly offered Cristobal a sizable contract, and there was talk that they had given the coach a deadline of midday on Monday to make his decision.

Diaz finishes with a record of 25-15 at Miami. The 7-5 Hurricanes got off to a slow start this season before winning five of their last six regular-season games. They have been invited to the Sun Bowl, where they will play Washington State on New Year’s Eve.

Cristobal is a Miami native and was an all-conference player at Miami from 1989-1992. The 51-year-old was a graduate assistant there from 1998-2000 and an offensive position coach from 2004-2006. He has been viewed by many as a perfect fit, so the latest development with Diaz is hardly a surprise.

Photo: Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz puts his headset on against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mario Cristobal responds to reports about Miami job

Mario Cristobal in an Oregon shirt

The future of Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal is uncertain, and rumors are now beginning to run rampant.

Following a humiliating loss to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday night, Cristobal was asked about those rumors and his future with the Ducks. The 51-year-old coach attempted to pump the brakes on some of the speculation, but left the door cracked to other potential opportunities.

One of those opportunities may come by way of Miami, who are reportedly preparing an offer for Cristobal.

“I haven’t talked to anybody, so let’s not create narratives as we sit here in this press conference,” Cristobal said, via ESPN. “Oregon’s working on some stuff for me, and that’s what I have right now, and that’s the extent of that conversation.

“If there’s anything to report, I’d report it. I always have.”

Currently, Miami is in the midst of an AD search and have not made an announcement about head coach Manny Diaz’s future. For the time being, Diaz remains in charge and is preparing the Hurricanes for an upcoming bowl game.

That could change in short order, however.

Cristobal is scheduled to return to Florida next week as he begins recruiting for the 2022 season. While in town, it’s entirely possible he meets up with some shot-callers from Miami.

“Do I expect people to come [after] me? Yeah, I do, it happens every single year,” Mario Cristobal said. “There’s nothing else to report besides that. If there is, or when there ever is, if there ever is, I’ll make sure to get it to [the media] as fast as I can.”

Cristobal, who grew up in Miami, is a former Hurricanes offensive lineman and coaching assistant. He was last with the program in 2006 when he coached the O-Line.

Image: Nov 23, 2019; Tempe, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Mario Cristobal likely to take Miami job

Mario Cristobal in an Oregon shirt

The Miami Hurricanes may be the latest team set to tempt a big-name coach away from another program.

Miami is targeting Oregon coach Mario Cristobal to replace current coach Manny Diaz, and high-ranking officials appear to think they will be successful. Hurricanes officials are “optimistic” about bringing Cristobal to Miami, according to Susan Miller Degnan, Barry Jackson, and Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald.

In fact, Miami officials are confident enough that the Herald says an announcement on Cristobal is expected before Tuesday.

We heard earlier on Friday that Miami was making a run at Cristobal. The timing of this report is incredibly awkward as well, as Cristobal is set to coach Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship later Friday night. Cristobal also made a trip home to Miami last weekend to be with his ill mother.

Cristobal was all all-conference offensive lineman for Miami from 1989 to 1992, and spent time as an assistant at the school from 2004 to 2006. He’s also a Miami native. It certainly looks like the allure of returning home to coach his alma mater may prove too much for him to resist.

Photo: Nov 23, 2019; Tempe, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Miami targeting top head coach as potential Manny Diaz replacement

Manny Diaz adjusts his headset

Top officials at the University of Miami are said to be split on whether they should bring back Manny Diaz next season, but there appears to be at least one head coach that they would prefer to have over their current one.

Miami is expected to make a run at Oregon coach Mario Cristobal, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Some close to Cristobal believe he would consider the Miami job, while others feel he is content in Eugene.

That meshes with what a source told John Canzano of The Oregonian, which is that Miami is “going after Mario.” The Hurricanes are reportedly planning to reach out to Cristobal after Oregon faces Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday night. For what it’s worth, Canzano doubts Cristobal would want to leave the Ducks and abandon what he has built over the past four seasons.

The connections, of course, run deep. Cristobal is a Miami native and was an all-conference player at Miami from 1989-1992. The 51-year-old was a graduate assistant there from 1998-2000 and an offensive position coach from 2004-2006. He coached FIU in Miami from 2007-2012

Cristobal flew back to Miami following Oregon’s win over Oregon State last week to visit with his mother, who is ill.

While Oregon’s program is in better shape than Miami’s, the intrigue would be obvious for Cristobal. Hurricanes fans are desperate for their team to be relevant again, and it would be an incredible story if Cristobal could put them back on the map.

Some Miami boosters reportedly want to keep Diaz, but they could probably be swayed if Cristobal had interest. The Hurricanes may also target an even bigger name.

Photo: Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz puts his headset on against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Manny Diaz reportedly in limbo amid ‘mess’ at Miami

Manny Diaz adjusts his headset

Manny Diaz has led Miami to a strong finish this season after a very rough start, but it is still unclear if the head coach will be back in 2022. From the sound of it, administrators are nowhere near a decision.

Miami needs an athletic director. James Blake was fired last month after being with the Hurricanes since 2013, and Brett McMurphy of Action Network reported on Thursday that the search for Blake’s replacement has been a “mess.” There are more than 50 board of trustee members and donors trying to sort through the AD situation and weigh Diaz’s future. They are said to be split.

That meshes with what Michelle Kaufman and Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald wrote earlier in the day, which is that there are differing opinions on what to do with the AD and head coach situations. Some board members want Diaz replaced with a big-money head coach. Others want to allocate more resources toward improving the athletic department as college football enters the name, image and likeness era. Many board members believe hiring a prominent head coach will help get Miami football back in the national spotlight, and the money will follow.

A decision needs to be made fairly quickly, otherwise Miami will fall behind in recruiting. The Hurricanes are 7-5 in Diaz’s third season. If the rumors about one top head coach being interested are true, Miami might be more likely to fire Diaz. For now, it sounds like there is as much uncertainty behind closed doors as there is publicly.

Photo: Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz puts his headset on against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mario Cristobal heading to Miami but not for reason you think

Mario Cristobal in an Oregon shirt

Mario Cristobal and his Oregon Ducks pulled off a big win in the Civil War rivalry game against Oregon State on Saturday, and Cristobal delivered some somber news afterwards.

The Miami native said he would be flying from Oregon to Florida after the game to visit his mother, who he said was ill.

Cristobal is in his fourth season as Oregon’s head coach and has the Ducks 10-2 after a 38-29 win over the Beavers. The 51-year-old was an all-conference player at Miami from 1989-1992. He was a graduate assistant there from 1998-2000 and an offensive position coach from 2004-2006. He coached FIU in Miami from 2007-2012. All in all, Cristobal has strong Miami ties.

Some will question the timing of Cristobal’s trip, especially considering recent reports. Oregon fans though will take him at his word and offer prayers for his family.

Oregon is set to face Utah next week in the Pac-12 Championship Game. They will be seeking revenge following their bad loss to the Utes last week.

Photo: Nov 23, 2019; Tempe, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Miami boosters want team to pry away prominent Pac-12 coach?

Mario Cristobal in an Oregon shirt

Boosters for the University of Miami may have a head coaching target in mind, and it does not matter that he is already employed.

Five Reason Sports Network reported Saturday that major boosters tied to the university are pushing the administration to try to pry away head coach Mario Cristobal from the Oregon Ducks. Cristobal is probably the biggest fish in the Pac-12 right now after leading the No. 11-ranked Ducks this season to a 9-2 record, which leads the conference.

As for the Hurricanes, they have stumbled to a 6-5 record this season under third-year coach Manny Diaz. The Hurricanes also just fired athletic director Blake James, which could be a signal that a coaching change is next.

The link for Cristobal is obvious. He is a Miami native and was a four-year letterman for the Hurricanes during his playing career. Cristobal played on two of Miami’s national title teams in 1989 and in 1991 and also began his coaching career with them in 1998 as a graduate assistant followed by stints as the tight ends coach and then the offensive line coach for the Hurricanes.

Additionally, Miami probably offers a bit more prestige and excitement for Cristoabl than Oregon, especially if he can be the native son who restores the program to its winning ways. It’s almost as if Cristobal makes too sense for the Hurricanes. That is unless they are eyeing an even bigger name.

Photo: Nov 23, 2019; Tempe, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports