Mario Cristobal Q&A

Mario Cristobal, 31, has been named the Miami Hurricanes tight ends coach. Cristobal has spent the last three years coaching the offensive line at Rutgers. The former Miami native played for the Hurricanes 1988-92 and spent three seasons on the UM coaching staff before coaching at Rutgers. Cristobal is extremely excited to return home.

What are your thoughts on the job at Miami?

Having played here at Miami, having been born and raised here in Miami, having played high school ball here, my entire history comes back to Miami. I think anyone that goes through the program and pursues a career in football, to come back is a dream come true. It is as exciting as it gets. I don't know if you will get any more fired up than that. I have been gone for three years and obviously the place has changed. The place is absolutely beautiful. Obviously having played these guys the last three years, you know what is here and it is going to be exciting.

Having played the Hurricanes the past three years, what are your thoughts on the team?

They will explode at any given moment. They are a unit and they play together. Knowing the players before I left, they are a group that even when it is not football time you will find them hanging out together. Miami players are a big family even when they leave here, you find them keep coming back to train here. I think that is something you will see forever and it is something special. That doesn't happen anywhere else in the country except here.

What are some things that you improved upon as a coach over the past three years?

I think being able to actually run your own show with your position, working on game planning, running plays, involving the passing game as I was. I went from being an offensive lineman where my only job was to block, now all of a sudden I have a bigger role and am a part of more aspects of the game. I learned how to prepare a team better than when I was a player. These past three years has helped me so much. It taught me how to go on the road and recruit, how to truly battle, how to be detailed, how to be organized. I was able to work for Greg Schiano who is just a phenomenal coach. I think with football you never stop learning, but at the same time I will bring everything to the table that I can.

What are your thoughts on the current Miami tight ends?

They are a talented young group. They are big, physical and the tradition here has been the best in the country without a question. I think we will continue the tradition and I want to be a part of it.

What did you learn about the tight end position at Rutgers?

My tight end there was L.J. Smith who is now playing for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was a very special guy because he was a wide receiver and we had to transform him into a tight end. My knowledge of the game just exploded on a daily basis in large dosages. At the time he was playing he was one of the biggest weapons on the team so we had to find ways to get him the ball, which advanced my progression as a coach. Being around guys like Craig Ver Steeg who is the offensive coordinator who is there right now.

Christopher Stock is a Staff Columnist for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@grassy.com.

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