The Dan Werner era isn’t a fond one for University of Miami fans. The Hurricanes’ decline was underway when the then-quarterbacks coach was promoted to offensive coordinator after the departure of Rob Chudzinski entering the 2004 season.
Werner lasted two seasons as OC, his final game being a 40-3 loss in the 2005 Peach Bowl against LSU. Miami went 18-6 on his watch after a four-year run that saw UM reaching four straight BCS games, back-to-back title game appearances, winning one national title and compiling a 46-4 record over that span.
Prior to that 2001 to 2004 stint with the Canes, Werner was an assistant under both Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson between 1987 and 1989. From there, UNLV to coach quarterbacks, a return to Miami – this time Southridge High to coach the offensive line – and then Louisiana Tech, James Madison, Auburn and Murray State before his final stint in Coral Gables.
After Miami, the UM coaching ties brought him to Ole Miss, where he worked under new head coach and former Canes assistant Ed Orgeron, which paved the way to a head coaching opening at Northwestern State – a job he never took after his life was altered when his wife Kim, a thirty-seven-year old mother of two – died suddenly of an enlarged heart in January 2009.
Take a minute to read the article posted at Yahoo! Sports earlier today as it not only gives true meaning to what real fathers go through, but also let it serve as a reminder that coaches are human. What they do on the field is only one small facet of a bigger live.
These are men with wives, daughters, friends, passions, loves, hobbies and soul. As fans we oft make these guys one-dimensional, judging them solely on wins, losses, schemes and overall results.
Werner’s tenure at Miami may not have been the success fans were looking for, but his role as a man, a father, a husband and a friend is obviously somewhere he’s been victorious.
Father’s Day wishes to a man who has endured much more than anyone should.
Hang in there, Coach and keep kicking ass.