Impact of Miami football losing WR coach Bryan McClendon to Georgia

Dec 29, 2021; Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 29, 2021; Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Multiple media outlets are reporting that Georgia is hiring alum Bryan McClendon as their wide receivers coach away from the Miami football program. McClendon played at Georgia under former Miami head coach Mark Richt from 2002 through 2005. The first nine years of his coaching career McClendon was at Georgia under Richt.

McClendon worked at Oregon with new Miami head coach Mario Cristobal for the last two years as the passing game coordinator and WRs coach. When Richt was fired by Georgia in 2015 and when Cristobal left for Miami this season, McClendon was the interim head coach for the Ducks and Bulldogs.

McClendon will be in the interesting position of coaching against Oregon and former Georgia defensive coordinator and now Ducks head coach in the 2022 season opener for both teams. Miami loses an elite recruiter with McClendon returning to Georgia. McClendon is credited with signing five five-star players.

In 2014 McClendon was named the 247Sports National Recruiter of the Year. McClendon was hired at South Carolina following his first stint as an assistant at Georgia. In two seasons with the Gamecocks, McClendon was the co-offensive coordinator and WR coach from 2016–2017 and sole OC from 2018-’19.

This is the second year in a row the Miami football program lost a coach shortly after they were hired. After former head coach Manny Diaz hired Travis Williams as the Miami linebackers coach, he left to become the defensive coordinator under Gus Malzahn at Central Florida. Miami will have five WRs coaches in five years.

Rob Likens was WRs coach for Miami in the last two seasons and the passing game coordinator in 2021. Likens joined former Miami offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee at SMU in the same positions he held in Miami. Previous Miami WRs coaches were Taylor Stubblefield in 2019 and Ron Dugans from 2016-17.

McClendon was hired as the co-offensive coordinator with Miami but was not going to be the play-caller. In the two seasons with South Carolina McClendon called plays. Cristobal now has another assistant coaching position to hire. Miami has all three coordinator positions and all but three position coaches to hire.

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Kevin Smith was hired from Mississippi as the Miami running backs coach. Cristobal brought defensive line coach Joe Salave’a and offensive line coach Alex Mirabal with him from Oregon. Miami loses McClendon less than three days before National Signing Day. Isaiah Horton is the only WR Miami has in the 2022 Class.