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Miami Hurricanes announce hires of RB coach Eric Hickson and OL coach Butch Barry

2 more members of Manny Diaz’s staff have been announced

University of Miami Introduces Manny Diaz
“I love it when a plan comes together”
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

A day after announcing the hire of Dan Enos as Offensive Coordinator and QB coach, the Miami Hurricanes announced two more members of the offensive coaching staff.

Joining the Canes are RB coach Eric Hickson and OL coach Butch Barry. Here’s more on both from UM Athletics:

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami football program has hired Eric Hickson as running backs coach and Butch Barry as offensive line coach, head coach Manny Diaz announced Saturday.

“We’re excited to welcome Eric and Butch to the Miami family,” Diaz said. “Both men are outstanding teachers with diverse coaching backgrounds, and I’m confident they will be tremendous assets to our offensive staff.”

Hickson, a native of Ft. Lauderdale, comes to UM after spending this past season as running backs coach at his alma mater Kansas State. Barry spent the past four seasons as the assistant offensive line coach for the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He previously coached five seasons at Central Michigan under new Hurricanes offensive coordinator/quarterbacks Dan Enos.

In 2018, Hickson helped Wildcats junior running back Alex Barnes lead the Big 12 with 1,355 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Overall, Kansas State ranked third in the conference in rushing, averaging 182.6 yards per game.

Prior to his one-year coaching stint in Manhattan, Hickson spent three seasons as the running backs coach at Akron, where he helped the Zips earn a pair of bowl berths, including the 2017 campaign in which Akron won the MAC East Division and played in the Boca Raton Bowl.

Hickson joined the Zips after serving as the interim head coach, running backs coach and outgoing recruiting coordinator at Garden City (KS) Community College in 2014. Prior to joining the Broncbusters, Hickson coached at Emmerich Manual High School in Indianapolis for two seasons, serving as the head coach his last year. He launched his coaching career in the high school ranks in South Florida, first as assistant head coach at Coral Springs Charter School (2003-06) and then as running backs and special teams coach at American Heritage (2007-11).

Hickson left Kansas State in 1998 as the school’s all-time leading rusher with 2,537 yards and 26 touchdowns, marks that still rank fifth and seventh in program history, respectively. A three-year starter and two-time team captain, Hickson led the Wildcats in rushing during the 1995, 1997 and 1998 seasons. He signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent in 1999, and eventually played in the XFL and Arena Football League.

Hickson and his wife Keisha have one son, Eric, Jr.

Barry helped the Buccaneers average 415.5 yards per game in 2018, good for third in the NFL. In 2017, Tampa Bay amassed 352 first downs, which ranked second in the league,and tackle Donovan Smith started all 16 games for the third consecutive season, joining Paul Gruber as the only players in franchise history to start all 48 games in their first three seasons.

In 2016, Tampa Bay’s offensive line helped the Buccaneers convert a franchise-record 43.9 percent of their third-down attempts. In 2015, his first season with the team, Barry assisted an offensive line that featured two rookie starters, but still managed to block for the NFL’s second-leading rusher (Doug Martin – 1,402 yards) and tied for the fourth-fewest sacks allowed in the league.

Prior to his stint with the Buccaneers, Barry spent five seasons at Central Michigan, serving as offensive line coach in 2014 after coaching the tight ends from 2010-13. In 2014, Barry’s unit paved the way for a 1,000-yard season by running back Thomas Rawls. As tight ends coach, Barry headed a group that combined for 63 receptions for 644 yards and six touchdowns over 2012-13, while helping CMU record another 1,000-yard rusher in Zurlon Tipton, who finished with 1,492 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2012.

Barry began his coaching career with the Chippewas as a graduate assistant in 2002-03 prior to coaching stops at Southwest Minnesota State University (2004-05), Michigan Tech University (2006-08) and North Greenville University (2009).

Barry played offensive line at CMU, earning Academic All-Mid-American Conference honors as a senior. He and his wife, Andrea, have two daughters, Aislin and Bridget, and a son, Finn.

Hickson is a South Florida native, hailing from Ft. Lauderdale. An accomplished player in his own right at Kansas State, Hickson has moved up through the coaching ranks, spending time at American Heritage at the HS level where he coached 5-star RB and eventual 1st round NFL draft pick Sony Michel, and Akron and K-State at the college level.

Hickson’s high level position coaching and local ties should help him be a strong recruiter, something Miami’s staff needs, for sure.

Barry is the 2nd coach on staff who has NFL experience, Jess Simpson being the other. Before being an OL assistant with the Bucs, Barry coached in college for years, including a 5 year stint at Central Michigan where he worked for new OC Dan Enos. That connection is clear, and that’s a huge reason why Barry is now coaching at The U.

Both Hickson and Barry have strong track records for success in terms of player development. It remains to be seen how they’ll recruit at Miami, but if their players play well, then they should be able to make positive inroads on the trail as well.

Welcome to the U, Eric and Butch!