- Heather Dinich, College Football Reporter
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Former Florida International coach Mario Cristobal has returned to the
University of Miami (FL) as associate head coach, the school announced Thursday.
Cristobal also will coach the tight ends, and assistant Brennan Carroll has been reassigned to the wide receivers.
Carroll will replace George McDonald, who was hired to be the receivers coach at Arkansas.
Cristobal was fired by FIU in December after a 3-9 season. He had guided FIU to two bowl appearances and was 27-47 in six seasons at the school. He coached tight ends and the offensive line at Miami from 2004 to 2006.
Cristobal was a graduate assistant at Miami from 1998 through 2000. He played at the school from 1988 through 1992, and was part of two national championship teams.
"Even with all the places I've been, I've always loved the University of Miami," Cristobal said last year.
Cristobal also has coached at Rutgers, was briefly with the Denver Broncos as a player in 1994 and had a playing stint in NFL Europe.
Cristobal left Miami to become the coach at FIU, turning around a moribund program and taking it to a Sun Belt championship and the first two bowl games in the school's history. His firing surprised many around the Panthers' program, and speculation immediately began that he and Miami would find a way to reunite.
Cristobal's addition would figure to be a major help for Miami in recruiting, particularly in South Florida. Cristobal is a Miami native, with strong ties to virtually all of the region's top high school programs, and recruited all parts of talent-rich Florida extensively when he was running the program at FIU.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Former FIU coach Mario Cristobal will return to the University of Miami as associate head coach, according to a source who confirmed the hire on condition of anonymity because it is not official yet.