As we all know, Miami has a huge alumni base of former football players both currently playing in the pro's and many who have retired. What many casual fans may not have realized however is that a select few have gone on to coach their craft at the high school level, the college level and even in the pros. A few names were bandied about for the head coaching job and in the end, a former alumnus in quarterback Mark Richt was selected for the head coaching vacancy. I started thinking: what would the team look like with ALL or close to all former Miami alumnus?
Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Mark Richt
Unless you've lived under a rock the last week or so you know all about Coach Richt's past and his coaching history. Richt graduated from Miami in the 80s and worked his way up to eventually becoming a premiere offensive coordinator for the Florida State Seminoles. In 2001 he took over the Georgia Bulldogs and for the next 15 years was consistently successful and created a stable program at UGA. The rest is history.
Jon Richt - Quarterbacks
The son of Mark, Jon is currently on the staff of the Buffalo Bills. Yes, I know he did not graduate from Miami but early indications are that he might be brought onto the staff for the Canes. As we've seen many coaches do this over the course of their careers (having family on the staff) I see this as a pretty good bet he will be on the staff and added him to the piece.
Kevin Beard - Wide Receivers
Beard is currently on the staff and is one of a possible few to be retained. Since being brought on by former Head Coach Al Golden, Beard has been nothing short of a revelation at the college ranks. He's recruited the South Florida area well and many heralded recruits call him their main contact with the Hurricanes program.
After graduating from Miami in 2003, Beard was undrafted but spent time in the Arena League. After a few seasons playing in the Arena League from 2005-2007 he decided to hone his coaching skills as a 7 on 7 coach for young football players in the South Florida area as well as work as the wide receivers coach for University High School in Davie. In 2012 University High School won the 3A High School Championship. In 2014 coach Golden recognized his developments of many of the best local talent (Amari Cooper, Travis Rudolph, Ermon Lane, etc.) and asked him to be the Assistant Director of Football Operations at Miami. After position coach Brennan Carroll left for a position with his father's staff on the Seattle Seahawks before the 2015 season, Beard was promoted.
Tim "Ice" Harris - Running Backs
Just like Kevin Beard, Ice is also on the current staff and could be looked to be retained. One of the main reasons is because of his deep connections to the local area in terms of high school recruiting.
Harris has been coaching in the local Miami area since 1986 in a few capacities. First he was the Offensive Coordinator at Miami High School from 1986-96. From there he actually had two stints as the Offensive Coordinator for Miami Northwestern from 97-98 and 2001-02. Sandwiched between the two stints at Northwestern, Harris was the Offensive Coordinator at another local school, Miami Central. His last stop was then his promotion to the Head Coaching position at Booker T Washington from 2003-13.
Due to his status as almost like a "god father" of the local recruiting environment, Harris was brought on to Golden's staff in 2013 in an administrative position very similar to what Kevin Beard was originally brought on as (Assistant Director of Operations). Just like Beard, Harris' predecessor Terry Richardson left for the pro ranks to follow Jedd Fisch to the Jaguars so Harris was promoted to fill the vacancy.
Leon Searcy - Offensive Line
If you're a newer Canes fan (from the late 90s or early 2000s and on) you may not remember Leon in a Canes uniform but he was on three national title teams spanning from 1987, 1989 and then in 1991. In his last season as a Cane he was voted a first team All-American while anchoring the offensive line. After leaving Miami in 1992 he went on to have a 10 year career at the pro level playing for the Steelers where he was a first round selection and then went on to play for the Jaguars, Ravens and then finally the Dolphins. After he retired in 2002 he took a year off from the game but came back to coach the offensive line for FIU from 2004-2006.
Larry Scott - Tight Ends
Alright, so Scott isn't a Miami alum but I think he deserves a spot on the next staff anyways as he's done a phenomenal job at keeping the team focused when the season could have unraveled after the firing. He's proven that he can develop talent at the position as we saw Clive Walford develop into an All-Conference tight end and are currently seeing David Njoku develop right in front of our eyes as an aerial deep threat. From all the reports I've read it also seems that the local area high school coaches seem to respect him too so that certainly can be an asset in recruiting moving forward for Coach Richt.
Mike Barrow - Defensive Coordinator
I had to think long and hard about whether I wanted to go with either Mike Barrow or Randy Shannon as Defensive Coordinator. In the end I went with Barrow because he's new and I think a breath of fresh air to the program whereas we all know this would be Shannon's second go around in the position..
Anyways, getting back to Barrow... Coach Barrow played at Miami from 1989 to 1992 and was able to gather several awards as a linebacker from All-American listings to even Big East Player of the Year. He was drafted in the second round by then the Houston Oilers and went on to have a solid 13 year pro career.
After his pro playing days were over he decided to head back home to his former High School (Homestead) to take up coaching and it took only one season for then head coach Randy Shannon to come calling for his services at Miami. His tenure at Miami bridges two coaching staffs between Shannon's regime and then later Al Golden's. From 2007 to 2013 he was the linebackers coach, special teams coordinator and during the Golden era he was tasked with also overseeing the state of Florida during the recruitment cycles.
Coach Barrow left the program in 2013 due to personal matters and took a year off. In 2014 he started putting feelers out for new/open positions around the country and was able to find a home on Coach Pete Carroll's staff in Seattle coaching linebackers.
Mike Rumph - Secondary
Here we go, here's a newer face that most of our readers will remember seeing on Saturdays: Mike Rumph. Rumph's career at Miami saw him become a homerun threat every time he touched the ball and earned him All-Conference status three years in a row as a cornerback. After he left Miami for the pro's he was drafted in the first round by the 49ers but unfortunately due to injuries he never really caught on at the pro level playing a combined five years for the 49ers, Redskins and then lastly the Rams. Since his retirement in 2007 Rumph has been the Head Coach at American Heritage High School.
Kevin Patrick - Defensive Line
Patrick could be the most decorated player on this write up. During his time at Miami he was named Defensive Player of the Year for the Big East, he was an All-American and even an All-Conference player multiple seasons. Due to his success on the football field he was inducted into the University of Miami Hall of Fame in 2015.
Since his playing days have ended, Patrick has coached the defensive in the state of Florida (USF) and the state of Texas (University of North Texas). During his time at USF he was widely praised as a tenacious recruiter as well as a great developer of talent. His most recent accomplishments at USF can be seen on Sunday's: Jason Pierre Paul and George Selvie, both are impact players that have Pro Bowl talent. At UNT he really landed at a tough situation to have success but he did his best. However, a few weeks before Golden was fired the UNT coach was relieved of his duties as well so odds are Patrick will be available if Coach Richt wants to pursue him for the staff.
Bernard Clark - Linebackers
Clark played for Miami during the glory years from 1985-89 and was a backup for most of his career except for in the '87 title game due to a suspension to the starter. During the game he seized the opportunity for more snaps and actually won the MVP of the National Title game in '87. After he graduated in '89 he went pro and was drafted by the Bengals in the 3rd round. However, similar to Kareem Brown (who you'll read about below), he was unable to sustain success at the pro level and was out of the league after three seasons.
After retiring from the pro ranks, Clark took up coaching and bounced around the state of Virginia and Florida from 1998 to 2011. He started out his career in Virginia coaching at JMU and then Liberty but eventually made his way back to the sunshine state where he was the Defensive Coordinator and position coach for both FIU twice and in between the two stints, USF. In 2009 he spent one season coaching defense backs in Virginia for 1AA HBC Hampton before his old Defensive Coordinator at Miami, Dave Wannstedt called with an opportunity at Pittsburgh coaching linebackers and he obliged the request.
Kareem Brown - Graduate Assistant (Defense)
Brown could be yet another holdover from the previous staff. Brown played for the Canes during the mid-2000s and was drafted by the Patriots in the 4th round in 2007. However, from 2007-10 he was signed and cut by four teams and never seemed to find a place in their defensive line rotations. After the 2010 season he retired and in 2012 he took up coaching as a defensive line assistant with local school, FIU.
After one season at FIU (in 2013) coach Golden again swooped down to grab the former Cane and put him on staff as a Graduate Assistant working with the defensive line. Once the 2014 season concluded Brown was moved to be a Graduate Assistant working with the outside linebackers, many fans clamored for him to be promoted to the newly vacated defensive line coaching opening but Golden hired Randy Melvin instead.
Let me be clear, I don't think this will be who Miami selects as the next upcoming staff. These are candidates that I researched and found to be solid choices for the positions noted above. If this hypothetically did come true though I think Miami would have covered the gambit of having a good mix of younger coaches (Brown, Beard and Jon Richt) as well as a few older ones (Harris, Searcy and Clark). Also, I think it could be argued that this would be the best recruiting staff Miami has ever put together if it came to fruition. Almost all would have direct ties to the program, the area and to the pros. These candidates would be very hard to beat on any coaching staff in terms of recruiting the South Florida area. The weak link that I would see with the grouping would probably be game day preparation and half time adjustments. Head Coach Mark Richt can't do it all by himself out here..