Mario Cristobal: We Built FIU "From a Hole in the Ground"

Do you have a college football team that's little more than a couple JuCo rejects and a dream? Is it basically a hole in the ground? Well, freshly fired former FIU coach Mario Cristobal would like to remind everyone that he specializes in turning laughingstocks into semi-respectable players. Perhaps most of all he'd like to remind his former bosses of that, too.

"We built this place, not from ground zero, but from a hole in the ground," Cristobal said on WQAM this morning The Sun-Sentinel.

"I know nobody wanted to touch this thing," Cristobal continued. "Now it's one of the better jobs in the country for a smaller Division I institution and it's due to the hard work of everyone, myself included. And you couldn't be anything but proud of that."

Just about every one who commented on his surprise firing yesterday noted he shouldn't have a hard time finding a new job. Whether or not that job will be as good as the Pitt and Rutgers head coaching jobs he was rumored to be in play for last year remains to be seen. Though, he's certainly not shy about playing up his accomplishments at the moment.

Cristobal wouldn't comment on rumors that Butch Davis might be taking over as FIU's coach, but did seem to take some issue with AD Pete Garcia's remarks that this season was a collapse.

"Nobody used the word 'collapse' straight to my face," he said.

Of course, FIU going 3-9 just a few years ago wouldn't have been a collapse so much as it was standard practice.

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Kyle Munzenrieder