Goodbye, George McDonald, hello Mario Cristobal.
The Canes reportedly went out and landed themselves a big fish in the coaching ranks on Tuesday (FootballScoop first had the news that it was done, CaneInsider first reported it a few days ago). Former FIU head coach Mario Cristobal has joined the Canes' staff, and will reportedly become a recruiting coordinator, wide receiver's coach, and associate head coach. NOTE:That's quite a mouthful for one person, and it also impacts a few other coaches already on staff, so we will of course update you if any of that is debunked or confirmed.
Not too long after being fired from FIU under dubious circumstances, only to be replaced by something named Ron Turner, Cristobal was widely rumored to be a target of more than few previously vacant head coaching gigs. His name was never selected as the final candidate for any of them, which fortunately paved the way for today's hire.
Cristobal's is a name not unfamiliar to the Canes, since he was a 4 year player in the 80's and wont two national titles with them. Of course, he also made a cameo in the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary The U. Outside of his playing days, Cristobal was also a part of the Canes staff from 2004 to 2006, when he coached both the tight ends and the offensive line. That job led to his head coaching gig at FIU.
The only questionable part of the hire is that he was brought on to coach the wide receivers, even though he has no wide receiver coaching experience. Coaching tight ends are the closest he has been, and that in itself is not all that close. While he certainly may be able to learn the position enough to coach it, it seems to be a bit of a weird hire. However, position coaches are generally interchangeable, and Al Golden and his folk know what they are doing more often than they don't. If they think this is their guy, I'm inclined to go along with it. UPDATE: According to Tim Reynolds, Brennan Carroll will now coach WR's, and Cristobal will handle coaching the tight ends. This makes much more sense:
Mario Cristobal has been hired as associate head coach at the University of Miami. He'll also coach TEs. Brennan Carroll now WRs coach.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) January 10, 2013
The best part of the hire, hands down, is the recruiting aspect that he adds to an already powerful recruiting coaching staff. His ties to Florida are undeniable, and with Golden's push to reinstate the state of Miami, that goal just got that much easier. In his third season at FIU, Mario brought in 23 kids, 20 of which were from the Sunshine State. That's exactly the type of class that Miami needs to start putting together. With Cristobal, Barrow, Carroll, Golden, and the rest working the recruiting trail, Miami is in damn good shape to continue and absolutely build upon their already stellar recruiting.
I'm sure that I speak for almost all of the Canes fan base when I say Welcome back, Mario!