Monday, January 14, 2013
Want a head coach? Look to Miami
By Andrea Adelson
The Miami football teams of the early 2000s churned out NFL prospects left and right, producing 20 first-round picks between 2001-04.
Do you know what else Miami produced in the early part of that decade? Head coaches. The Miami coaching staffs of 2000 and 2001 -- staffs that had a huge role in the recruitment and development of those pro prospects -- have produced both NFL and college head coaches.
Not just one or two, either.
With the Cleveland Browns' recent hire of Rob Chudzinski, the 1999-2000 staff under Butch Davis produced six head coaches -- three of them now in the NFL.
- Rob Chudzinski, tight ends coach. Interestingly enough, his former boss (Davis) left Miami after the 2000 season to coach Cleveland.
- Greg Schiano, defensive coordinator. Left for Rutgers after 2000 season and now Tampa Bay Bucs head coach.
- Larry Coker, offensive coordinator. Succeeded Davis after the 2000 season, now head coach at UT-San Antonio.
- Chuck Pagano, defensive backs. Now coaching Indianapolis Colts, and became an inspiration for his battle with leukemia.
- Curtis Johnson, receivers coach. Entering his second year as Tulane head coach.
- Mario Cristobal, graduate assistant. Spent six years as FIU head coach before rejoining Miami staff last week.
As for the 2001 staff, which helped Miami win the national championship and produced arguably the greatest team in college football history:
- Mark Stoops, defensive backs. Replaced Pagano and is now head coach at Kentucky.
- Randy Shannon, defensive coordinator. Succeeded Coker and served as Miami coach from 2007-10.
- Chudzinski and Johnson. Both remained on staff.
Lots of folks mention the Nick Saban coaching tree, but when you look at the staff Davis assembled, the group he had around him in the late 1990s and 2000 is pretty impressive.
We can sit here and debate Davis and his abilities as a head coach, and go back and forth on his role in what went down at North Carolina. But it's hard to ignore the fact he has a pretty good eye for talent -- both among players and coaches.