It's official: UM hires RB coach

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Mike Cassano has been named running backs coach at the University of Miami announced head coach Randy Shannon on Friday.

Cassano spent the last three seasons at Florida International where he was the Golden Panthers' running backs coach and recruiting coordinator.

Prior to FIU, Cassano spent three years as a volunteer coach and an offensive graduate assistant where he played a major role in the success of the Hurricanes offense and running game. He coached in the 2004 and 2005 Peach Bowls, as well as in the 2006 Micron PC Bowl in helping the ‘Canes to an overall 25-12 record. Cassano worked primarily with the running backs in 2006 as a graduate assistant, helping true freshman Javarris James set numerous Miami freshman records with a team-leading 802 yards on 175 carries. With Cassano's assistance in 2005, Miami's backfield scored 19 touchdowns and averaged 137.6 rushing yards per game.

In 2004, Cassano served as a volunteer assistant and helped the Hurricanes to 365.5 yards of offense and 31.7 points per game. That year's offense produced NFL draftees in wide receiver Roscoe Parrish (Buffalo Bills, second round), tight end Kevin Everett (Buffalo Bills, third round), running back Frank Gore (San Francisco 49ers, third round) and offensive lineman Chris Myers (Denver Broncos, sixth round).

Before Miami, Cassano was running backs coach from 1998-2004 for one of the most successful programs in the FCS, the University of Massachusetts, where he coached with current Miami assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. The Minutemen won the 1998 national championship and advanced to the NCAA playoffs after winning Atlantic 10 championships in 1999 and 2003. His most distinguished student-athlete at UMass was current Arizona Cardinals running back, Marcel Shipp, who was a three-time finalist for the Walter Payton Award and three-time FCS All-American. Shipp was the sixth all-time leading rusher in Division I-AA history.

In 1997, Cassano coached the running backs at Brown after graduate assistant stints at Lehigh (1994) and Eastern Michigan University (1995 and 1996).

A native of Andover, Mass., Cassano was a two-year letterman at Colgate before transferring to New Hampshire where he earned two more varsity letters as a defensive back. He earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from New Hampshire in 1994 and attended graduate school at Lehigh and Eastern Michigan.

Cassano's Coaching Career

2007-09 Florida International University (running backs/recruiting coordinator)
2005-06 University of Miami (volunteer coach/graduate assistant)
1998-2004 University of Massachusetts (running backs)
1997 Brown University (running backs)
1995-96 Eastern Michigan University (graduate assistant)
1994 Lehigh University (graduate assistant)

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