Miami football coaching job falls to middle of pack but moving up

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 2: (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 2: (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

The head coaching job for the Miami football program was once the most desirable in the nation. Four coaches from 1983-2001 won national championships with the Hurricanes.

Howard Schnellenberger turned the Miami football program into the most desirable job in the nation when he led the Hurricanes to the 1983 national championship. Three of the next four Miami coaches, Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson and Larry Coker, won National Championships with the Hurricanes.

Adam Rittenberg of ESPN ranked the college football coaching jobs on a five-tier scale. Miami which was once the preeminent program in college football was in the middle on tier three with a pair of other once-elite college football programs. Rittenberg explained the three tiers and what has happened to Miami.

Coker does not get enough credit for what he accomplished as the Miami football head coach. In six seasons, Coker led the Hurricanes to a 60-15 record. Miami was 53-9 in the first five seasons under Coker. After Miami finished 7-6 in 2006, Coker was fired. A lack of success in recruiting is often blamed for Coker’s downfall.

The five recruiting classes that Miami signed with Coker from 2002-06 ranked 6.6 nationally. It was not the recruiting that did the Hurricanes in. Miami has not recovered since Coker’s final season. The Hurricanes have four nine-win seasons, one 10 win season and only two bowl wins in the post-Coker era.

Tier Three

"“Tier 3 jobs: Good location and/or access to regional recruits; solid facilities and salary pool for assistants and support staff; adequate administrative/fan support with occasional challenges; a place that should regularly contend for division titles and occasionally win the league with a College Football Playoff appearance as a realistic ceiling.TIER 3: Arizona State, Baylor, Iowa, Louisville, Miami, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, UCLA, Utah, Virginia Tech, WisconsinClosest to moving up: MiamiMiami, Nebraska and Tennessee once were Tier 1 jobs, but all three are struggling for relevancy in their leagues. Miami has tremendous access to talent, but dysfunction and financial issues have led to a mostly forgettable 15-year stretch.”"

Being grouped as a Tier three program should be motivation for Manny Diaz and his coaching staff. It’s understandable to see Miami grouped with Michigan State, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech and Tennessee. Nebraska is the only other school on the list that was once the powerhouse Miami was.

The Hurricanes, Cornhuskers and Volunteers are the only Tier Three programs that have national championships in the last 25 years. Virginia Tech has played for one, Wisconsin has been a frequent New Year Six bowl participant and Michigan State the only one of the above schools with a college football playoff appearance.

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It has been nearly 20 years since Miami has been a frequent part of the discussion of the best teams in college football. It is going to take staking recruiting classes and consistent and near-annual production on the field to move up a tier or two. At least Rittenberg projects Miami as the closet Tier Three program to move up.