Donald Trump Once Tried to Get the Miami Hurricanes to Hire His Friend as Head Coach

Immigrant advocates say Florida lawmakers have been swayed by Donald Trump's harsh immigration rhetoric.
Immigrant advocates say Florida lawmakers have been swayed by Donald Trump's harsh immigration rhetoric.
Photo by Gage Skidmore

One of the odder habits of Donald Trump is that he likes to cut out articles from newspapers, write notes on them in Sharpie, and mail them in envelopes to various people. This appears to be one of his preferred methods of communication. Just do a Google image search for "Donald Trump Sharpie" for a treasury of these missives.

Usually, the articles in question are about Trump himself and are addressed to the authors, but sometimes something else catches the Donald's eye. 

In 2010, he saw on the front page of the Palm Beach Post that the Miami Hurricanes had fired head coach Randy Shannon. So Trump decided to clip it out and send a message to then-UM President Donna Shalala. 

Donald Trump Once Tried to Get the Miami Hurricanes to Hire His Friend as Head Coach

Here's the text of the message if you can't make it out

DONNA
You made a big mistake when you did not take my advice and hire Mike Leach of Texas Tech — Look what's happened to them since he left — (they know its [unreadable]) — Jealous! Hire Coach Leach and you will be #1 —
Best Wishes,
Donald Trump

— And you can now get him for the right price
Best Wishes
Donald Trump

The University of Miami authenticated the message at the time. 

Shalala, by the way, is one of the Clintons' most trusted allies. She served as Bill's secretary of health and human services for eight years before heading to the University of Miami. She left UM last year to become CEO of the Clinton Foundation. 

It's unclear how Trump and Shalala know each other or when Trump first advised Shalala to hire Leach. It's also unclear why anyone would take football administration tips from the guy who is widely credited with driving the United States Football League into the ground.  

At the time Trump sent his note, Leach had been fired the previous season from Texas Tech over allegations that he sent a player who had suffered a concussion during practice to rest it off in an equipment room instead of sending him for medical care. He was considered a controversial hire at the time, which is why Trump noted he could be hired for a lower price. 

Leach was not named head football coach of the Hurricanes. Instead, he wound up at Washington State. After three losing seasons with the team, he finally posted a decent 9-4 record last season. In any event, Leach and the Washington State Cougars are decidedly not "#1." 

Not that Shalala's ultimate choice proved to be successful either. Al Golden was fired in the middle of last season after a disappointing start. The Miami Hurricanes then hired former Georgia coach Mark Richt. 


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