Mario Cristobal building Miami football staff with South Florida roots

Jul 21, 2022; Charlotte, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 21, 2022; Charlotte, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

Mario Cristobal is building a Miami football staff with South Florida roots. Led by Cristobal, a sizeable percentage of the Miami staff has ties to the Hurricanes and/or South Florida. In several cases, staff members have ties to both. Cristobal of course is a graduate of Miami Columbus and played for the Hurricanes from 1988-92.

Cristobal was a graduate assistant from 1998-2000 on the Miami football staff under Butch Davis. As a player, Cristobal helped Miami win national championships in 1989 and 1991. Cristobal helped create the culture that led Miami to win the 2001 national championship before being hired as an assistant coach at Rutgers.

On the coaching staff, Assistant head coach and offensive line coach Alex Mirabal, tight ends coach Stephen Field, quarterbacks coach Frank Ponce and running backs coach Kevin Smith all have ties to South Florida. Mirabal, Ponce and Smith all played high school football in South Florida.

Field was the head coach at Miami Northwestern High from 2012 through 2014 where 46 players earned scholarships in those three seasons. Field joined the Miami football program for the 2019 season from Oregon where he first coached under Cristobal in his inaugural season as head coach.

Mirabal played on the OL at Columbus with Cristobal. Ponce was a star QB at Miami Senior High. Smith excelled at Southridge before gaining 5,123 yards and scoring 46 touchdowns at UCF prior to an NFL career primarily with the Detroit Lions. Smith is one of three Miami assistant coaches who played in the NFL.

Other Miami football staff with ties to South Florida include recruiting assistants Edwin Pata and Mike Rumph, defensive analysts DeMarcus Van Dyke and Jason Taylor and chief of staff Ed Reed. Of course, all except for Taylor are former Hurricanes. Pata, Rumph and Van Dyke are all from Miami.

Next. Miami assistant Steve Schrum named rising personal staffer. dark

Reed and Taylor provide Miami with the unique tandem of two Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees on the staff. Cristobal has been praised for completely getting what it takes to win at Miami. Having a staff full of coaches and personnel from South Florida and some that played for Miami should help build the Hurricanes’ culture.