FIU fans recently breathed a sigh of relief when Mario Cristobal was passed over for the head coaching job at Pitt, but fans are tense again this morning as several reports indicate that Cristobal is close to be being named the new head coach at Rutgers.
Mario Cristobal likely will be announced as Rutgers' next head football coach today if ongoing negotiations between the sides are worked out and if the school's Board of Governors gives its approval, according to two people familiar with the situation.
Both people requested anonymity because the final details of the contract have not been finalized.
Cristobal has spent his entire life in Miami save for a short stint on the coaching staff at Rutgers. He played tackle with the Hurricanes before becoming a graduate assistant with the team in the late '90s. He then went to Rutgers to serve as tight ends and offensive lines coach at Rutger before returning to UMiami to fill the same position.
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In 2007 he took over the head coaching job at FIU and turned the Golden Panther from a winless team into a Sun Belt conference sensation. The team has no appeared in two bowl games in the past two season. Those were the very first bowl games in school history.
The Rutgers job became vacant after Greg Schiano, a former University of Miami defensive coordinator, was hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Incidentally, Schiano is now looking to hire Butch Davis, his old Hurricanes boss.)
Rutgers isn't exactly the country's most prized coaching job, especially considering the instability of the Big East. In fact, Rutgers is the only remaining football member remaining from the days when the Hurricanes dominated the conference.