New Miami Hurricanes coach Mario Cristobal set to start first fall camp on Friday


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It’s now an annual question in Miami, the official precursor to the start of a new football season for a program that was once a permanent national championship contender and hasn’t been at that level for two decades and counting.

“Is the U back? »

New Hurricanes coach Mario Cristobal has an answer: “The U is back to work,” said the Miami alumnus.

This back-to-work process began when the private plane that brought Cristobal home from Oregon last December landed in Miami, began to pick up speed as it gathered a staff and hit the ball rolling. spring and was reaching a new level when the first Hurricanes’ preseason camp under the Miami native begins this week.

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The first practice is Friday; there are a host of acclimatization activities taking place over the next few days. Expectations from an eager fanbase are still high in Miami, are higher now due to Cristobal’s presence, and likely rose even higher when the Hurricanes were installed last week as preseason favorites. the coastal division of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Miami head coach Mario Cristobal answers a question during the NCAA College Football Atlantic Coast Conference media days in Charlotte, North Carolina. Cristobal’s first camp as Miami coach is scheduled to begin on Friday.
(AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

“Oh, I think we’re going to deal with that by how we approach practice,” Cristobal said. “There’s no one in this organization who should feel like they’ve arrived. If anyone feels that way, they’re going to quickly change their perspective by the way we approach the practice.”

Cristobal inherited a program that went 7-5 last season, a schedule that was cut short because coronavirus issues kept Miami out of its scheduled Sun Bowl appearance against Washington State. Miami has a 10-win season in the past 18 years, with just one bowl win since 2006, and has yet to win an ACC title.

He is the latest coach tasked with changing that. Armed with incredible job security – a 10-year contract worth around $80 million – Cristobal returned to school as an offensive lineman and played for winning teams. the national championships in 1989 and 1991.

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These are just a few of the rings he scattered around his office. Rings from his days as Oregon head coach and assistant to Nick Saban at Alabama are also on the table, a huge collection of jewelry that shows what he’s talking about.

“When things changed, we were all scrambling,” tight end Will Mallory said. “We didn’t know what was going to happen. Coach Cristobal came in. We were lucky to have him. Then week after week you kind of saw the additions he was making. makes me even more excited. I wouldn’t want to play for anyone else for my senior year.”

Cristobal didn’t come home thinking that getting Miami back into championship mode was going to take a few months. There’s an obvious push to win now — quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, widely presumed to be in the 2023 NFL Draft, could be one of the best in the country this season. But Cristobal also builds for the long term; recruitment has gone extremely well in terms of commitments, and plans for who to pursue in the coming years are already underway.

His desk contains stacks of papers, files and notes, ranging from past game plans at other schools to Miami’s current roster breakdowns to plans for the future — both for building a team and build more buildings, which is a top priority for the Hurricanes. .

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Camp Cristobal starting this week is just another of many stages on his hopeful way back to the top.

“When people see that, it’s like a grenade went off,” Cristobal said, looking around in his office. “But I love preparation. I love planning. It’s what I can do all day.”


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