Miami football likely to make Rhett Lashlee interim head coach if Manny Diaz fired

Sep 18, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

If the Miami football program decides to make an in-season change offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee seems the most likely Hurricanes assistant to become the interim head coach. Miami Offensive line coach Garin Justice is the only Hurricanes assistant with experience as a college head coach.

Justice had a 40–17 record from 2011-15 as the head coach at Division II Concord in West Virginia. Concord finished 13-1 in 2014 and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II playoffs. Miami defensive line coach Jess Simpson had a 164-12 record in 12 years as the head coach of Buford, Georgia High School.

Lashlee and Justice are both in their second seasons with the Miami football program. Miami head coach Manny Diaz hired Lashlee during the 2020 offseason to replace Dan Enos after the Hurricanes were 90th in scoring and 98th in total offense in 2019. Lashlee was mentioned before the season as a potential head coach.

The Miami offense was revolutionized by Lashlee and QB D’Eriq King last season. Miami was 26th in scoring and 32nd in total offense last season. The Hurricanes have regressed offensively in 2021. Miami is 99th in scoring against FBS opponents and 86th in total offense. Lashlee is unlikely to be hired as a head coach for 2022.

Wide receivers coach Rob Likens is in his 30th year as an assistant coach but has never been a head coach. Likens is in his second year as the Miami wide receivers coach. Justice, Lashlee and Likens were all hired by Diaz after the Hurricanes revamped over half their offensive staff during the 2020 offseason.

Most of the Miami defensive staff is in their first season with the Hurricanes. Simpson is in his first season during his second stint with Miami. Simpson previously was the Hurricanes DL coach during the last season under Mark Richt in 2018. Special teams and inside linebackers coach Jonathan Patke has been with Miami since 2016.

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Cornerbacks Coach DeMarcus Van Dyke, defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson and outside linebackers/strikers coach Ishmael Aristide are in their first seasons in those positions. Van Dyke previously worked on the Miami recruiting staff. Aristide and Robinson are in their first seasons with the Hurricanes.