As the Miami Hurricanes football team putters toward the merciful finish of what has been an exhausting year, it's time for everyone involved to pull up their big-boy pants, remove their faces from their palms, and take a gander at how to fix this mess. Fans wanted Al Golden gone, and gone he is — but that was just the first step in picking up the pieces of a program that was once the greatest in the nation.
Who will be the man to bring the Miami Hurricanes back to their dominant ways? The team hired a search firm this week and brought in former players — including Jonathan Vilma and Vinnie Testaverde — to help choose the next head coach. Here are a few of the candidates most are mentioning and what they bring to the table, both good and bad.
Strengths: He has become a Miami Hurricanes fairy tale at this point. Going 51-20 from 1995-2000 and producing an army full of NFL prospects who are just now leaving the NFL will do that sort of thing. If Davis came back to Miami, there might be some pots-and-pans action on the streets — that's how ridiculously beloved Butch Davis still is by some.
Weaknesses: He left the University of Miami like a complete ass-hat, and now — at 63 years old — is practically promising to wash cars if given the job. It's a bad look. Having good-for-North Carolina teams sounds a lot like, Well, he turned around Temple. Davis wants you to remember the good times, not the times when he left you for his secretary. He ruined a good thing; now he wants to make up for it and is hoping to capitalize on the Hurricanes' desperation — and honestly, it's borderline unethical.
Strengths: Charlie Strong has a resumé that indicates he is a solid recruiter and a dynamite defensive-minded coach. Strong has spent much of his career recruiting in the South Florida area, so you can be sure he has relationships with coaches and kids that a candidate from Montana wouldn't exactly have.
Weaknesses: About that resumé — he might want to leave the last two years off of it. After going 37-15 at Louisville, Strong is 10-13 at Texas. You do not go 10-13 at Texas — people have died for less. Charlie Strong is also apparently four feet six inches tall. Your head coach shouldn't have to look up when talking to Snooki.
Strengths: He absolutely recruits the crap out of South Florida. He's a Miami guy. People like him. He's handsome. He's like Latin Dan Campbell. He once coached at Miami — for a couple weeks.
Weaknesses: Everyone feels like he did an awesome job as head coach of Florida International University, but then they consult the Wikipedia machine, which spits out that he was 27-47. Also, in his Wikipedia picture, he looks like he's calling you a buttface. If we hire this man, we'll have to deal with people saying, "Mario is going to get us that Crystal-ball! We just got done with a coach named Golden, and nobody needs this kind of pun machine in their life.
Strengths: Meh, he had a pretty good run at Rutgers. He was sought-after enough as a coach that he parlayed a little Rutgers success into the Tampa Bay Bucs job, which is sort of a promotion, kinda. He has since been spending his days preparing for his next job and trying to figure out how to be less of a jerk.
Weaknesses: He used to be a total jerk, but maybe he's not a jerk anymore. He's not exactly the sort of hire who will get the 2015 e-Hurricane fans off their computers and into the stadium, at least not until he does some winning. We aren't entirely sure what Greg Schiano does well other than coach good football teams with Ray Rice on them. Wait — would he hire Ray Rice as an assistant? Nope. Nope. Nope.
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Strengths: "Chud" is a known offensive mind who is also a well-known Miami guy. He was just entrusted with taking over play-calling duties for the Indianapolis Colts. His expertise in everything NFL offense would be a major positive in exploiting crappy ACC defenses all year.
Weaknesses: Do you really want to hand over the keys of the most important car ever to a guy named "Chud," whose lone head-coaching experience was a 12-month stint with the Cleveland Browns where he chose to start Brandon Weeden at quarterback? He has no idea if he can recruit at all, much less in the South Florida area. Does he even want to coach kids? He hasn't since 2003.