Mario Cristobal using Alabama blueprint for Miami football

Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal oversees warmups before the game against Oregon State.Eug 111427 Uofb 02
Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal oversees warmups before the game against Oregon State.Eug 111427 Uofb 02 /

Five of the eight new hires for the Miami football coaching staff have experience at Alabama or other SEC schools. Mario Cristobal is clearly using the blueprint created by Nick Saban at Alabama to create his coaching staff. Three new hires for Miami including both coordinators have worked on the Alabama coaching staff.

The other two hires with SEC experience have worked on staffs under coaches who worked for Saban. Cristobal has spoken about his experience working for Saban as a PhD in coaching, the game of football, mentoring, practice regimentation and recruiting evulation and assesstment.

After Cristobal hired offensive line coach Alex Mirabal and defensive line coach Joe Salave’a from his Oregon staff everyone but new quarterbacks coach Frank Ponce has worked in the SEC. Running backs coach Kevin Smith has spent the last two seasons in the same position under Lane Kiffin at Mississippi.

Smith will be working for Miami offensive coordinator Josh Gattis who was on the staff at Alabama as Co-offensive coordinator in 2018. Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has spent the majority of his career as an assistant coach in the SEC and was at Alabama twice. Steele has two defensive assistants with SEC experience.

Recently hired Miami linebackers coach Charlie Strong has extensive experience working at Florida, has been on the staff at South Carolina and was a defensive analyst at Alabama in 2020. Miami hired defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae from Georgia. Cristobal spoke about emulating the Alabama blueprint.

"“The amount of stuff from his (Saban’s) program and his blueprint that we’ve applied out here…But in our own way because you never wanna just copy…his blueprint has not only great success but it has sustained tremendous success and has withstood the test of the time that I’m just forever indebted and grateful.”"

Cristobal is using the Saban blueprint in nearly everyway he runs his program. The fourth quarter offseason program has been spoken about extensively by Cristobal. Recruiting will reach another level with Cristobal leading the Miami football program. Miami improved to 15th from being ranked in the 70s earlier in the cycle.

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Cristobal realizes the importance that Miami is different from Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Eugene, Oregon. Every program has to build a culture that fits their school. As a Miami native and former Hurricanes offensive lineman Cristobal understands what works in Coral Gables from different angles.