The University of Miami officially fired head football coach Manny Diaz On Monday, paving the way for the school to poach another Miami native in Mario Cristobal from Oregon.
This was unsurprising considering that his entire run in Coral Gables, FL, was unspectacular, posting a 21-15 record in three seasons. What was surprising, however, was the chaotic and quite frankly, gross nature for how the school finally arrived to what should’ve been a cut and dry decision.
The university parted ways with athletic director Blake James in mid-November and while that move was a long time coming for UM athletics, it was a curious decision to fire the AD right before having to make a tough choice about the head coach of the football program. No guiding hand can create a “too many cooks in the kitchen” scenario for programs and that appears to be what happened in South Florida.
Action Network’s Brett McMurphy reported about that “mess” with both the AD and potential coaching search as board of trustee members and donors were split about what to do with Diaz. Matt Zenitz of On3 Sports reported last week on how Diaz had a good chance of staying, only for word to start leaking out of Coral Gables later in the week that the power brokers at “The U” were actively pursuing Cristobal.
The college football world was bombarded over the weekend with rumors about contract details and assurances that the Cristobal hiring was a done deal, all of this happening before they, you know, actually fired the sitting head coach of the football program. In fact, the school was planning on keeping Diaz in case Cristobal changed his mind like he’s done in the past. Yes, there was a scenario where Miami would’ve acted like everything was peachy keen with Diaz after openly courting his potential replacement.
As has been illustrated to us over the last week, the college football coaching cycle can be cut throat and Miami did what it felt it needed to do to signal that it was serious about this football thing again. And while it did what it had to do to land an alum who has multiple Pac-12 Championship rings, there’s still dysfunction and chaos simmering in the ranks of the power brokers at the U. Reported new athletic director Dan Radakovic will have to get take control of these things or we’re in for more embarrassing situations like this.