How titanic coaching moves could affect potential Miami football search

Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

A pair of dominoes in the coaching football coaching search was closed on Sunday and another major one opened up on a titanic day. Florida and USC have reportedly found their next head coaches. The Gators and Trojans filling their head coaching vacancies could affect any potential Miami football head coaching search.

Reports emerged earlier in the day that Florida will hire Billy Napier from Louisiana as their new head coach to replace Dan Mullen. USC delivered a shocker with reports they will hire Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma. One day after finishing the regular season with a 7-5 record, Manny Diaz remains the Miami head coach.

Napier to Gainesville and Riley to Los Angeles could have an impact on who Miami hires if they chose to replace Diaz. Some speculation has been that Miami covets former Miami offensive lineman Mario Cristobal who is the head coach at Oregon or Mississippi head coach Lane Kiffin if the Hurricanes chose to part with Diaz.

Cristobal was potentially connected to USC before the Trojans shocked college football on Sunday and pried Riley away from Oklahoma. Kiffin had been mentioned as a potential replacement for Mullen at Florida. With the Gators and Trojans off the board, the two favorites for the Miami football program remain a possibility.

With Oklahoma leaving the Big XII for the SEC expect the Sooners to try and make an

equally big hire

to them losing Riley. Cristobal is happy in Eugene and it seems that Coral Gables would be the only location he would leave the Ducks for. Kiffin in Norman would be a good fit to replace the high octane offense of Riley.

Former head coach Bob Stoops will reportedly replace Riley as the interim head coach for the Sooners bowl game to be determined. Stoops’ younger brother Mark could potentially be a candidate as the Sooners’ full-time head coach. Mark Stoops was defensive backs coach for Miami from 2001-2003.

Miami is currently searching for a new athletic director to replace Blake James who was fired nearly two weeks ago. Initial speculation was that Miami would wait on a decision with Diaz when the new AD is hired. More recent information has emerged that Miami could make a decision on Diaz before a new AD is hired.

Speculation on what Miami will do with a new AD and the future of Diaz will continue to run rampant until a concrete decision is made. LSU is another big-name school that still has an opening. Rumors emerged last night was that Riley was going to leave Oklahoma for LSU. Riley denied interest in the Tigers.

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The coaching carousel has been as wild as the season has been. More big-name programs will have new head coaches in 2022 than in recent memory. Miami would be another one added to the list if they decide to move on from Diaz. The next few weeks will be important to the future of the Miami football program.