The news that has been hovering over Miami Hurricanes fans’ heads for the past few days is reportedly on track for a resolution. On February 1, Manny Diaz notched a celebrated hire with former AuburnTigers coach Travis Williams. Now, it appears Miami’s short-lived linebackers coach is headed to UCF for a bigger opportunity.
News began swirling earlier today that Williams will reportedly take over UCF’s defensive coordinator duties.
Source: #UCF is expected to hire #Miami's Travis Williams as defensive coordinator. Deal should be finalized soon. Williams worked for Gus Malzahn from 2014-20 at Auburn, the last two seasons as co-DC and linebackers coach. He then joined Miami's staff as linebackers coach.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) February 16, 2021
With this move, Williams will reunite with former Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn.
Earlier in the day, UM athletic director Blake James touched on Williams’ speculated departure on a conference call with reporters:
“I think any time someone leaves you’re disappointed, the timing is part of the industry that we live in. I think you’d be hypocritical to question on one case, but be fine with it when it benefits you with others. I accept that it’s part of the industry. Obviously you’d hate to lose people who are great coaches and great parts of a staff. Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to meet Travis yet in person given the COVID situation and lack of ability to really interact within the department. If the rumors are in fact true that he is going to become the defensive coordinator at Central Florida, it’s something that’s disappointing, but I would understand and obviously be supportive as I would with any of our staff that would have an opportunity to improve their position in life and do what’s best for them and their family.”
The moves brings flashes of 2013 Mario Cristobal back to mind when he took the job as the Canes tight ends coach and left for Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide weeks later.
If the reports are true, Diaz will have to add finding a new coach to his growing list of duties, in his first season re-assuming the defensive play-calling job.