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Brandon Odoi’s Blog: University of Miami Head Coach Search Notes

Butch Davis appears to be the favorite to be the next football coach at the University of Miami.  If hired, Davis would return to coaching after sitting out several years after leaving UNC.  He’s thought to be, by those with the power to influence the hire, the best choice for the position at this juncture in the process.  This is as of Tuesday, December 1, 2015.

Here’s the story with where Miami currently is with their search from what I’m told:

Butch Davis is Miami’s first option as the next head coach.

Here’s why:

-They want a coach in place by December 13th for recruiting purposes and he’s available right away.

-They want a coach who can develop talent.  Butch, they feel, can do this.  After all, he did it before.

-They want a coach who can instantly get the fan base excited and put butts back in the seats at Sun Life Stadium.  Again, they see this being something Butch Davis brings.

Particulars from sources regarding Butch Davis:

-He’s going to be asked to give Miami a strong 4-6 year commitment and then they’ll turn the program over to a ‘coach in waiting’ type of assistant who will shepherd the program Davis rebuilds.

-In a perfect world scenario, Miami would like Butch Davis to be the head coach and Mario Cristobal to be the ‘coach in waiting’.   However, they’re pretty certain Cristobal wouldn’t sign on for this. Notwithstanding, this would be what would be pleasing to most people within the hiring process at Miami.

-Before a move is made to finalize Butch Davis as the next coach, Miami will check with the NCAA about any potential lingering issues.

-There is some concern that he hasn’t coached in a while but those concerns are being addressed by the perks they feel he adds, particularly with popularity with fan base and player development.

-Expect a high potent offense and a stingy defense to be the focus of the assistant hires.  Miami wants to put up 30-40 points per game and really impress people offensively.  Defensively, they like what Butch Davis brings to the table.

Assistant names to keep in the back of your head under Butch Davis:

Ed Orgeron-the kind of coach-in-waiting candidate that’s really attractive.  Coached in Miami under Jimmy Johnson.

Steve Sarkisian– Has spent a lot of time in South Florida recently. Has the offensive credentials the Miami brass favors moving forward.

Regarding Mario Cristobal:

-He has some champions inside the board of trustees at Miami but not as many as Butch.

-He’ll be interviewed after the SEC Championship this weekend, most likely on Sunday.

-Some [within the sphere of influence at Miami] feel like he didn’t really win enough at FIU. ‘What has he really done?’ they asked.

-Many HS coaches have reported that he’s already put together a staff of coaches should he get the job at Miami.  That includes the retention of some current assistants (none of which are Golden disciples) and bringing in some outsiders, at least one of which is a current Alabama assistant.

Greg Schiano has been interviewed already.

-It didn’t leak because there’s a small inner circle of people involved in the decision making process and all are sworn to secrecy and so far appear to be playing by the rules.

Long shot guys who will be approached:

Bob Stoops– The pitch will be how tough it’s going to always be to have to fight your way into the final 4 without a league championship.

Mark Richt– But the feeling is that he wants to stay closer to Georgia.  But this is the biggest wildcard as he was just released.  This is clearly fluid.

-Mike Gundy: ‘He’ll get a call,’ I’m told.

As a three year beat writer covering the University of Miami since the Al Golden tenure began in 2010, and from a distance for the past two years, the hiring of Davis would be surprising.  It doesn’t accomplish the ‘big splash’ that you would think Miami needed at this juncture but it may check every other box.

Miami needs a guy who can recruit and keep local talent home while working with high school coaches and key influencers with recruits to accomplish this.  Butch Davis has done this in the past, can he still do it?  Only time will tell.

Miami needs a better defense.  Davis is known as a defensive coach.

Miami needs program excitement to fill the stands, improving the overall atmosphere and raising funds for better facilities.  Winning and season ticket holders all speak to this.  Davis is the most popular choice outside of Cristobal to get the coaching position so this makes sense.

Mostly, Miami needs to win.  If Davis can put together the assistants to develop the talent and scheme in and outside of games to propel Miami to the ACC Coastal championship annually (a very realistic goal given its current make up) then winning immediately isn’t farfetched.


About Brandon Odoi

Brandon Odoi is a tenured journalist. He's covered youth football since 8th grade, high school football since 2009 and began covering college football in 2011 as a beat writer for the University of Miami Athletic programs. In 2011, he founded Football Hotbed a national multi-media platform for football across the country. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and spent his first five years as a professional working at ABC Television Network, ending his career as a producer in Miami. He's married with two sons and resides in South Florida.


  1. Ed Orgeron? Steve Sarkisian? Ed’s previous troubles with domestic violence (in Miami) and boozing (in Miami) won’t foster any confidence in the BOT. Sarkisian may show up drunk at the interview if he hasn’t pulled it together. Why not mention Dennis Erickson? We can have an all-AA team.

  2. I don’t consider Bob Stoops or Grundy a splash hire. More so than anything Miami just needs to get this hire right. All signs point to Davis as an obvious choice however Richt would seem more of a splash hire than any other candidates

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