<
>

Miami won't bring back longtime strength coach Andreu Swasey

The firing of a strength and conditioning coach doesn't usually elicit much response, unless the person has worked with a locker room full of NFL players who still keep in touch.

After completing his 15th season at the University of Miami, Andreu Swasey was told that he will not be retained by new coach Mark Richt.

Swasey, who was hired by the Hurricanes in 2000, has worked with Jimmy Graham, Andre Johnson, Ed Reed, Reggie Wayne, Santana Moss, Edgerrin James, Jonathan Vilma and more. Many former Hurricanes have returned to work out with Swasey in the offseason, so they were upset that their old coach was on the way out.

"EJ [James] gave me a holler and that gave me a little low blow,'' Moss said, according to the Miami Herald. "I understand the business, but when it comes down to what he meant to that program, it's a tough loss for a lot of us. I'm for change when it's needed, but we've all been sitting on pins and needles just hoping he'd stay. We hope whoever comes in knows the tradition and what we're all about -- coming back and showing love to the school that basically made us.''

Moss also told the Herald that "if it wasn't for Swasey, our teams would have been way worse than they've been the past few years.''

This isn't the first coaching change Swasey has seen. He lived through the reigns of Butch Davis, Larry Coker, Randy Shannon, Jeff Stoutland, Al Golden and this season's interim coach, Larry Scott.

Swasey told the newspaper that he understood that Richt might want to bring in his own person, but that didn't make the move any easier for the 44-year-old Miami native, who played at Baylor.

"I've been there a long time," he told the newspaper. "My heart is there. I've done everything with my heart and soul. If I had done something wrong, then I'd understand. I talked to Mark after I met with [AD] Blake [James] in person. He wasn't rude. He said there was nothing I did wrong. My job is to develop young men and help them become better people and that's what I tried to live.''

Moss' brother Sinorice also played at Miami and in the NFL. He told the Herald that he was "still trying to wrap my head around this situation. We understand the business and the politics behind it, but it's a sad time because of all the things Swasey has done for this program. And not just for football, but baseball, track and down the line. The energy he brought -- he bled for that school. Everything he did, he did for the University of Miami. We came back for Swasey.''