My oh my, things remain interesting for the Miami Hurricanes. As if Wednesday’s NCAA flub, as well as the basketball squad’s win over top-ranked Duke weren’t enough, UM went out and poached FSU’s offensive coordinator for the trifecta.
The rumor started floating around days back, but on Thursday it became official – Miami native James Coley has spurned Florida State and is headed back to Coral Gables to take over as the Hurricanes’ offensive coordinator less than a week after Jedd Fisch left ‘The U’ for the same post with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Opinions vary on the hire, but based on the ‘now’, this was the perfect move.
The departure of Fisch left left Miami scrambling, giving a rival like Florida State some serious ammo with so many on-the-fence recruits who are choosing between the Canes and the Noles. By poaching FSU’s top recruiter and offensive coordinator, advantage UM – in a big way.
Soon-to-sign kids like running back Alex Collins, linebacker Matthew Thomas, wide receiver Stacy Coley and defensive tackle Keith Bryant have bounced back and forth between the two Sunshine State programs, minds changing daily.
What does this coaching shake up do to push these kids towards Miami and away from Florida State? We’ll all find out less than two weeks from now, but it’d be foolish to downplay the magnitude of this move.
The Canes didn’t just land an offensive mind – UM added one of the best recruiters in-state, on the heels of bringing Mario Cristobal back to Coral Gables, no less.
Which all leads to the main point here; trust in head coach Al Golden, Hurricane Nation.
Miami has been a whipping post and doormat for a while. Florida State and Florida both thrived when Larry Coker and Randy Shannon both combined for just shy of a decade of ‘lesser’ football at ‘The U’. Both programs had a field day poaching recruits from the Tri-City area, while UM not only struggled on game day, but also lost an edge bringing in local talent from its own backyard.
No freakin’ mas.
How is Coley as a playcaller? Honestly, no one really knows – but Golden thought enough of the thirty-nine year old to turn over the keys to a high-octane scoring machine, and if he’s good enough for Al, then he damn well better be good enough for this fan base.
Coley is a Miami native who spent his early years at Norland High coaching the offense and quarterbacks. He then spent three years as a grad assistant at LSU on the staff of Nick Saban and from there a few years with the hometown Dolphins, also under Saban.
Cristobal brought Coley on board as Florida International’s offensive coordinator – and one would guess gave Golden the green light on his former assistant.
The stint with the Golden Panthers only lasted a year before Florida State came calling. Coley first served as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator in 2007, before assuming the role of offensive coordinator with the Noles.
The catch? The fact that Jimbo Fisher was ‘the man’ on gameday, calling the shots, despite Coley game planning all week. Because of that, an air of unknown surrounds Coley’s official playcalling ability.
Still, Miami’s offense is loaded in 2013 and it won’t take much to make the most of what guys like Stephen Morris, Duke Johnson, Phillip Dorsett, Allen Hurns, Clive Walford and a veteran offensive line can do.
There may have been other viable candidates, but when you grade this out across the board, who could’ve had as much upside as Coley? Not just with what he could do for Miami as a coach and recruiter, but what his departure means to Florida State.
Talk about addition (for the Canes) but subtraction (from the Noles). This is a win-win even before Coley coaches one down for Miami, simply because of how it hurts Florida State.
The x-factor here? Golden and Cristobal, who spend a year with Coley and as assistant head coach, obviously had an opinion to share with the head honcho regarding this new hire.
Again, if he’s good enough for Al – and Mario, who know the whole story – he should be good enough for the outsiders.
Two weeks until Signing Day. Let’s see what Coley’s addition to the Miami staff can do for some big names at the Canes look to close strong.
From there the new offensive coordinator has over half a year to fine-tune and tweak a loaded offense before the new season is here.
Trust the process. Go Canes.