Time will tell if former Miami Hurricanes head coach Butch Davis gets that second chance to coach-up the program he walked away from a decade-and-a-half ago. If he does or doesn’t; it certainly won’t be for lack of trying.
While republicans and democrats alike are pounding the pavement in effort to run for president in 2016; no one is campaigning harder for a coveted position right now than Davis.
Former head coach Al Golden was let go on Sunday evening—an aftereffect of Miami absorbing the worst loss in program’s history day early; falling 58-0 to Clemson—and come Monday morning, Davis was already on 790 The Ticket, giving the equivalent of a verbal resume and unofficial interview.
A day later, a proper interview with Gary Ferman over at CaneSport.com—where he again laid out his desire to get a second chance as head coaching “The U” back to prominence.
By Thursday, the trifecta was complete as Davis was a guest on allCanesRadio—calling in and giving a good 15 minutes to host Brian “The Beast” London, while co-hosts Harry Rothwell and Platon Alexandrakis of proCanes chimed in.
The two-hour long show also featured former player and defensive coach Greg Mark and former quarterback Stephen Morris in the house, while former running back Clinton Portis called in and dropped some knowledge.
It was as jam-packed an episode of allCanesRadio in the five-year history of the show—earning a solid journalistic nod this week in getting Davis on board; far and away the biggest story surrounding Miami football currently.
For those who missed it, part one and part two of the show have been posted to The Ticket; where they can be downloaded or streamed. The show kicked off at 7:00 p.m. ET and Davis was on the horn within that first minute, so for all those interested in his segment, check out part one of the broadcast.
Understanding that some of you won’t make the time to listen, here’s a breakdown regarding what Davis was asked and what he discussed with Team allCanes on Thursday night, live from GameTime in South Miami.
A rowdy crowd in the background was audibly excited when Davis was on the line. The former Miami coach and current ESPN analyst went back and forth with the crew, talking up the college games on the docket, as well as the Dolphins / Patriots match-up.
Throughout the call and in other recent interviews, Davis continues to make it clear that he has a passion for coaching again—but is obviously enjoying his role as an analyst; watching each week’s docket of games, chiming in, breaking things down and what not.
The man’s love for football couldn’t be more apparent—as well as his general excitement as he continuous throws hit hat in the ring in regards to the opening at Miami.
London opened the segment immediately addressing the fact that folks at ESPN (namely talking head Paul Finnebaum) have trashed the opening at Miami; going as far as to refer to it as a “dumpster fire”.
Davis immediately called out his cohorts and praised UM’s on-the-field success and hotbed of high school talent in South Florida—but wisely pivoted towards academics at Miami, as well as the vibrant metropolitan city just outside of Coral Gables.
Academics at “The U” have grown leaps and bounds since Davis left 15 years back. Well-done on his part letting the admin and Board of Trustees know that he’s speaking well on behalf of athletics, but academics, as well.
London quickly steered it back to high school talent and athletes; allowing Davis to talk about “The State of Miami” that former head coach Howard Schnellenberger coined—geeking out on the level of talent, the type of competition these kids face and their love for getting after it. It served as a subliminal reminder that Davis has been there / done that and completely understands how things tick down here.
Alexandrakis shifted to the job itself; asking what makes coaching at Miami difficult—and Davis didn’t flinch. While immediately bringing it back to his era, the former Canes leader admitted that you can’t flinch, you have to be ready for that onslaught or negativity and you need to have the cojones to deal with it.
From a recruiting standpoint, Davis acknowledged that the opposition will use that negativity against Miami—but when coaches get those in-home visits, they have to combat it, go to work and sell.
Davis acknowledged that the way to get high-expectations fans back to the stadium is through winning and he understands that—going on to explain that there are a lot more positives than negatives with the gig at UM.
Rothwell was next and went all-in, point blank, asking Davis if he wanted back in at Miami—the former coach coming back with answers similar to those he gave earlier in the week; touching on his history, the happy years spent in Coral Gables and being ingrained in the community.
Davis admitted he’s “very much interested” in the opportunity and wants to be considered.
“Everything that I was ever able to accomplish, as a coach—whether it was being part of Jimmy’s staff there, being a part of Jimmy’s staff in Dallas and winning two Super Bowls—and getting a chance to be a head coach at Miami, and then fortunately, later on—or unfortunately, later on at other places—they all have their roots in Miami,” Davis explained to the hosts.
“How to coach high-profile players, how to go into homes, being able to compete against all the nation’s top head coaches and other places—it all came from being able to be at Miami and being associated with that program and learning.”
London was next and came at Davis with an age-related question; talking about younger guys in the game now and asking how a soon-to-be 64-year old feels he can still get the job done 15 years after he left for what appeared to be greener pastures in Cleveland—and half a decade removed from being let go by North Carolina.
When asked why he still had the fire and wanted to be part of it, Davis started talking over London in his desire to build his case—talking about his love for coaching, coaching being in his blood (re: his father was a coach), his love for helping kids grow and mature, as well as why some older coaches lose the fire.
Davis’ cites his appreciation for the recruiting process—the competition, the grind, being on the road—as something he loves and misses the most about coaching.
Davis called recruiting “the lifeblood of the program”. It was never a negative and all that “beating the bushes” to bring in top talent—that’s what it’s all about. Build a staff of solid assistants who can teach the kids and help them “live up to their potential”.
Davis reminded everybody listening that age is nothing but a number; that it’s all about energy and passion. He was quick to cite Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski winning two national championships over the past six seasons and the fact that the Blue Devils’ leader is a few months shy of his 69th birthday.
In other interviews this week Davis mentioned that Alabama’s Nick Saban turns 64 this weekend and again, that it’s not age as much as the heart and soul a coach puts into a program.
The rest of the interview focused on Davis’ current ESPN gig keeping him involved with college football, high school coaches, the process, what other programs are doing right or wrong and generally providing a bird’s eye view of the sport that has helped educate him the past several years.
Davis also talked about a “ready list” regarding assistants and staying in the loop regarding guys who could potentially be part of his staff moving forward; how that process is always evolving and how good coaches always need to be on top of all that.
From there, a little more talk about the ESPN gig before the allCanesRadio crew let him go—but not before taking a dig at Finebaum; the cohort who trashed the program days back—London asking the former Canes’ leader to give the pencil-neck a little shoulder should they run into each other.
Davis admitted that he doesn’t see the talking head often, as he does most of his bits remote, but admitted that if and when he does cross paths with him, the hammer will be dropped.
“The next time I see him I’m gonna give him a piece of my mind because he’s totally—got a total, poor perspective of the University of Miami.”
Where it all goes with Davis, time will tell—but he deserves an interview and to have his day in the son with Miami’s admin, top brass and Board of Trustees.
If these folks were fired up over Golden’s 300-play binder—they’ll go nuts regarding Davis’ energy, attitude and Canes-like approach to righting the ship.