Cristobal a great get for Miami

Mario's Cristobal return to Miami should help in a lot of ways. CanesTime's Mike Bakas takes a closer look at it.

Mario Cristobal is widely considered one of the top up-and-coming coaches in all of college football. He was hired by Butch Davis at Miami. Greg Schiano (now a successful NFL head coach) hired him right away when he left for Rutgers. FIU hired him to become their head coach after watching him serve as a Division 1 assistant (despite not having coordinator experience at that point) for just five seasons. He led his FIU team to a conference championship just a few years after getting the job.

Those things don't happen on accident. Those things don't happen to guys who don't deserve it. Those things don't happen to guys who don't work their tails off. Mario Cristobal made it happen.

I'll be the first to admit - losing George McDonald was a tough blow for the Hurricanes. He had a pro coaching background, and many considered him one of the top coaches on Al Golden's staff last year. If the Canes were going to improve their coaching staff in anyway, it had to be a home run hire.

With Cristobal, Golden seems to have done that.

I think it always helps having coaches on staff that have been there and done that, coaches who have sat in the same shoes as the kids they're coaching. Someone like Micheal Barrow has been at the highest level as a player for the Hurricanes. He was born and raised in Miami. He knows the mentality. He knows the work ethic. He knows what it takes. Those are probably just a few of the reasons why he's such a talented recruiter.

Now, you can add Cristobal in there as having that same experience. He grew up here. He has Miami roots. He won a championship here as a player. There's not a single recruit that he won't be able to look in the eye and tell him what it's like.

People often say that college football is more about the Jimmy's and Joe's than the X's and O's. To what extent that's the case is debatable but what's not debatable are three things -- recruiting has never been more important in college football than today, Miami's roster is making progress but still needs to be upgraded tremendously, and Cristobal is considered a very strong recruiter. He was widely considered Miami's strongest recruiter when he was on Coker's coaching staff several years ago.

With Cristobal back on board, he can play a big role in making sure the Canes continue recruiting well. Having him on board will likely make life even more difficult for the coaching staffs at schools like Florida State, Florida, Ohio State, and Alabama to come into South Florida and take away players that Miami wants. That happened way too much during the Larry Coker and Randy Shannon days. It's happening much less under Golden, and will likely happen even less with the addition of Cristobal.

Again, the guy coach coach. His resume speaks for that. And he can recruit. In today's game of college football, that's a pretty tough combo. And throw in the fact that UM is in his blood, and it seems like a tremendous match, and a great day for the Miami Hurricanes.


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