The serious talks and rumors have culminated in a monumental day in Miami football history as the Canes have changed leadership by firing Manny Diaz and officially agreeing to a deal with Oregon head coach, Mario Cristobal. The official agreement reportedly came after Cristobal held a players’ only meeting with the current Ducks’ roster and multiple sources confirmed his decision to become the 26th head football coach. The contract details have not been released but The Athletic reported the deal is for 10 years, $8 million per season.
The deal Mario Cristobal signed with Miami this morning is 10 years, $8 million per season with significant investments for support staff, assistant coaches, recruiting. Miami will have the highest assistant coaching pool in the ACC, a source said. @TheAthleticCFB— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) December 6, 2021
Cristobal is originally from Miami where he attended Christopher Columbus High School and played offensive line at the U from 1988 to 1992 where the team won two national championships. He played professional football for the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent prior to joining the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe but then retired to pursue a coaching career.
From 1998-2000, Cristobal was a graduate assistant at the U and then joined Rutgers staff as offensive line and tight ends coach from 2001-2003. Cristobal returned to Miami from 2004-2005 as tight ends coach and then one more year as offensive line coach. He stayed local and joined FIU from 2007-2012 in his first head coaching stint where he implemented a spread offense and led the program to their first ever winning record in 2010 and he earned Sun Belt Coach of the Year.
Cristobal initially returned back to Miami as an assistant head coach and tight ends coach in 2013 but then was hired by Nick Saban to help Alabama as assistant head coach, offensive line coach, and recruiting coordinator. Cristobal was considered an elite recruiter, which finished no. 1 in the 247Sports composite rankings each year he was there. He also led the offensive line to win the Joe Moore award in 2015, which is awarded to the toughest, most physical offensive line in the nation.
Cristobal joined Oregon in 2017 as offensive line coach and run game coordinator and was quickly named permanent head coach after Willie Taggart’s abrupt departure. During his tenure, Cristobal was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year in 2019 and led the program to two Pac-12 championships. He also coached the team to a Rose Bowl victory in 2019 where quarterback Justin Herbert earned MVP and was drafted in the top ten in the 2020 NFL Draft. The following season, offensive tackle, Penei Sewell was also selected in the top ten.
In the time leading up to Cristobal’s decision to join the Canes, media outlets reported that Miami would need to make many changes which included increasing the budget and dismissing former athletic director, Blake James. Beyond that, Cristobal now has an opening at offensive coordinator as Rhett Lashlee took on the SMU head coaching job and sources say significant investments for support staff, assistant coaches, and recruiting will give Miami will have the highest assistant coaching pool in the ACC.
Stay tuned for further decisions and this story will be edited as details emerge.