Running Backs Without a Coach

Head coach Larry Coach made four coaching changes on his staff today including Don Soldinger who has been at Miami for 11 years as the running backs coach and a total of 16 years at UM.

Soldinger has coached a number of prominent Miami running backs during his tenure including Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee, Frank Gore, James Jackson, and Najeh Davenport.

"If he can find somebody better, more power to him," Soldinger said. "Maybe he'll find younger, but he won't find anybody better."

With the 40-3 loss to LSU in the Peach Bowl changes were likely to be made despite a 9-3 season.

Soldinger was asked if he felt they needed to blame someone and if he was a guy to blame.

"I don't know that," Solinger responded. "I thought my guys played pretty good the other night, but we didn't win. Obviously, I wasn't happy with the effort--nobody was."

Soldinger added, "There aren't too many programs around the country when you lose one game by a big score and four guys get fired, I don't think."

Coker said in his press conference it has been a continuing evaluation of the program and it wasn't just one game that he based his decisions on.

"Unless they weren't happy before the game, but nobody said anything to me," Soldinger said.

Miami has a number of talented tailbacks currently on the roster including Tyrone Moss, Charlie Jones, Derron Thomas, and Andrew Johnson.

It will be imperative for the next coach to get as much out of them as possible.

Also on the roster and scheduled to be the starting fullback is James Bryant.

This past season Miami rushed for 1,651 yards and have two straight seasons of rushing for less than 2,000 yards in a season.

Soldinger reminded reporters that he is in a similar situation as before when he coached at UM 1984-88 before a 6-year run at Southridge High School and then a return to Miami in 1995.

"We'll see what happens, I'll be around. I will probably be doing something athletically in the South Florida community," Soldinger concluded.

Christopher Stock is a Senior Editor with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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