Possible Coaching Candidate: Rich Rodriguez

One of the biggest names in the head football coach search for the University of Miami football program is West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Rich Rodriguez.

Rich Rodriguez is widely considered one of the best coaches in the NCAA and has led West Virginia to success in the Big East conference since his hiring in 2000.

Rodriguez is considered one of the best because he took the reigns of a struggling West Virginia program and in a few short years turned them into a BCS contender.

He joined West Virginia after serving as offensive coordinator at Clemson from 1998-2000. He enjoyed immediate success with WVU.

He was responsible for engineering the greatest turnaround in West Virginia history between 2001 and 2002, when he led the Mountaineers to a 9-4 record and a second place finish in the Big East. In 2003, he won a share of the Big East conference title, losing only to Miami by 2 points in the Orange Bowl (a game which we all remember).

Rodriguez's run with success in the earlier part of the decade is made more remarkable when you consider that the Mountaineers were far from a recognized powerhouse in the Big East during the early stages of his tenure.

West Virginia managed success under Rodriguez despite being overshadowed by more prestigious programs such as Miami and Virginia Tech.

With Miami and VT gone from the Big East, West Virginia has emerged as the conference's premier program, due largely in part to Rodriguez. His offensive approach of spreading the field and using an explosive running game to set up the pass has yielded crazy offensive numbers regardless of who is plugged into his system.

Players like Avon Cobourne, Quincy Wilson, Kay Jay Harris, and now Steve Slaton have all had monster years as running backs in Rodriguez's system. Quarterbacks also enjoy success, most notably Rasheed Marshall and recently, Heisman candidate Pat White.

If chosen for Miami's open position, Rodriguez would certainly implement his system into a Miami team that has struggled to find an offensive identity.

What makes Rodriguez even more appealing for Miami is his ability to find talent despite not having the prestige level of some of his competitors. His current crop of stars includes the aforementioned Pate White and Steve Slaton, who were 2 and 3 star recruits (Scout.com), respectively.

Rodriguez could certainly take advantage of Miami's prestige and fertile recruiting area to bring back some of the homegrown talent that Miami has missed out on in recent years. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Rich Rodriguez's career is that he is still considered by many to be a "young and hungry" head coach.

Miami's dynasty was built on the back of younger and more ambitious coaches with career advancement as a motivating factor for their success.

A successful stint at Miami would certainly be a boost for his résumé and launch him to the NFL, and there is no doubt that if selected, he could achieve that success.

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