Miami football QB coach Frank Ponce returning to Appalachian State

Nov 26, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 26, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Manny Navarro of The Athletic reported on Monday afternoon that quarterback coach Frank Ponce is leaving the Miami football program to return to Appalachian State as the offensive coordinator. Ponce was the co-offensive coordinator and QB coach at Appalachian State from 2013-18 and in 2021.

Ponce and offensive coordinator Josh Gattis oversaw a Miami passing offense that regressed significantly in 2022. Miami was 60th nationally in 2022 averaging 239.1 passing yards per game. The Hurricanes were 10th nationally in 2021 under former offensive coordinator and QB coach Rhett Lashlee averaging 321.2 passing YPG.

A shoulder injury to QB Tyler Van Dyke severely hindered the Miami passing game in 2022. Miami had a largely inept passing game without Van Dyke. Jake Garcia averaged 100.4 passing YPG and Jacurri Brown posted 28.4 passing YPG. Miami returns all of its QBs to the 2023 roster entering the spring semester.

Fifth-year redshirt junior Peyton Matocha will also return for Miami at QB and Miami signed three-star signal caller Emory Williams in the 2023 class. Garcia and Van Dyke will work with their third QBs coach in as many years. One or two of the backup QBs could decide to transfer following spring practice.

Ponce who was a QB at Miami Central worked under head coach Mario Cristobal at FIU as the wide receivers coach. The second stint for Ponce at Appalachian State was the first time he was a play caller. Gattis called plays for Miami last season. The next question for Miami will be if Gattis stays as offensive coordinator.

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Cristobal could choose to go a more traditional route and hire a new OC that is also the QBs coach. Gattis as OC and wide receivers coach and Ponce as the QB coach was an unusual arrangement. In most college football programs the OC is also the QBs coach. No candidates have emerged to replace Ponce.