It has been 20 years since Miami football last won a national championship. While the Hurricanes have been talked about a lot in those two decades, they’ve rarely been what they were under Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson, or even Butch Davis and Larry Coker.
In fact, in the last 15 years, the Hurricanes have finished the season ranked in the top 25 just four times and have just one 10-win season.
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And, in staying true to form, the program has made headlines the past several weeks for something off the field; the job security of current coach Manny Diaz, who may be on the outs but has yet to be fired. Diaz is 21-15 in three seasons at Miami, and the Hurricanes won five of their last six games this year to become bowl eligible for the third straight season.
Reports surfaced this week that the Hurricanes were targeting Oregon coach and former Miami player Mario Cristobal to take over the program.
Despite fact Miami doesn’t have a permanent AD, the Hurricanes will “make a run at (Oregon coach) Mario Cristobal in coming days,” @flasportsbuzz reports
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 3, 2021
As of Sunday afternoon, Diaz and his staff had yet to be let go; they reportedly will be retained should Cristobal turn down Miami’s offer. The saga extends far beyond Diaz still working for Miami, though.
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As Miami Herald reporter Barry Jackson noted, Diaz hit the recruiting trail Sunday with his staff.
Diaz and his UM staff are out recruiting today as this most unusual situation continues. UM apparently not comfortable firing Diaz until getting signed agreement with Mario.
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) December 5, 2021
Others have pointed out that recruiting is an area where Diaz struggles. To recruit as a potential lame duck or second choice would seem to make the stuation more difficult.
Whatever your opinion on whether Manny Diaz should return, Miami is treating him like yesterday’s trash – and that is a poor reflection on its “leadership” and “administration.” If you want someone else, fine. But making him go out and recruit like this is ridiculous.
— Andrea Adelson (@aadelsonESPN) December 3, 2021
The Hurricanes have the 10th-best recruiting class in the ACC out of 14 teams and are 52nd nationally for 2022, according to 247Sports.
Regardless of what has transpired until now, it appears as if the situation will resolve Itself in the coming days. Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger reported Sunday that Cristobal has until midday Monday to accept an offer from Miami and return to his alma mater. If he turns it down, then the Hurricanes will retain Diaz.
Final decision on AD – where Dan Radakovich is top candidate – will be made after the coach situation is resolved.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 5, 2021
Oregon has reportedly offered to extend Cristobal’s contract and compensate him similarly to USC’s Lincoln Riley and LSU’s Brian Kelly. Cristobal makes $4.3 million annually at the moment. Diaz’s salary is not publicly known.
Oregon has the ninth-ranked recruiting class in the nation and is 35-13 with two Pac-12 titles and a top-five finish in Cristobal’s five seasons there.
There will likely be a resolution in the next 24 to 48 hours, but it will take Miami much longer than that to get out of the headlines for its handling of its coaching search and Diaz’s status.