Let me be the first to officially say “adios” to this long-time Cane and let him know The U will be just fine without his services for this lesser bowl game.
It has nothing to do with not wanting Cristobal around. I wish he was still part of the staff and that Randy Shannon would’ve done what needed to be done to keep him with the program.
I just believe that once it’s done, it’s done. Cristobal accepted another job. He is no longer a Miami coach. I don’t care what the contracts technically read at this point. He is taking another gig and the FIU clock started the minute he gave his press conference earlier this week.
Larry Coker has come out and requested that his former offensive line coach sticks it out for one more game, but that sentiment is coming from a man who for all intents and purposes shouldn’t be coaching the Canes on New Years Eve.
That’s not a knock on Coker, that’s just the fact. I’ve tried to see the good in keeping the former Canes leader around one more game, but outside of giving the players a rallying cry, there’s really no reason Coker should be sticking around. He was fired almost a month ago and now that the dust has settled and Shannon has been promoted, it’s making for an uncomfortable situation in house.
There are rumors that defensive backs coach Tim Walton is the new defensive coordinator, but nothing has been made official yet, as it’s still theoretically “Coker’s team” through Boise. A new offensive coordinator hasn’t been hired, nor have other coaches been told if they’ll be retained after the new year.
After seeing the strangeness in how this Coker situation has been handled, I am hoping that Cristobal and all parties involved can logically see that his days at Miami are over… for now. I’ve read some message board posts stating that, “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” and others chastising Mario for heading to FIU. Can that crap here and now.
We’re talking about a Miami kid who won two National Championships as a player and coached at The U for six seasons. That holds a little more weight than the chat room yahoos who feel post counts give them more “street cred” than a guy who spent almost 1/3 of his life inside the walls of this sacred program.
Cristobal is the new head coach of FIU. That job will springboard him to a better one, but make no mistake – this guy is U Family and Miami Football alumni to the core.
That said, there’s no place for him on the sidelines coaching this bowl game. When the dust settles and Cristobal realizes the mountain he’s about to climb, I’m hoping logic bests emotion and he realizes he chose a different path.
Coach Coker keeps mention it’s a dead period for recruiting, but Cristobal’s task list has much more on it than recruiting. Coaching Miami’s offensive line for a meaningless bowl game would be an irresponsible move for someone recently named head coach at another university. Sure, it’s hard to say goodbye to the kids he’s recruited and taught these past few seasons, but that’s how this coaching game is played.
Coker has nothing lined up when 2007 kicks off, hence his desire for one last hurrah. Cristobal is in the prime of his career and has bigger fish to fry. The goodbyes have already been said. Let’s keep it that way, wish him the best and let the Canes limp through the final game of the most disappointing season in three decades. 2007 is new era for Miami, FIU, Cristobal and even Coker.
Hopefully everyone realizes that this week when Miami treks west to brave that Boise cold next weekend. This is just a game. Not a nostalgia tour.
The U already made one mistake keeping a fired coach in house an extra month. Don’t make yet another by keeping another departed coach around one game too long.