The Beast : Tale of Two Coaching Staffs

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s odd seeing the screaming, motivating, teaching and laughing coming from the assistant coaches that Randy Shannon left behind. But there they are, hard at work, whistles around their necks and going at it full throttle even though many know they’ll be jobless come January 1st.

While the old guys coach away, on the sidelines you have the former Temple crew, geared up in polo and khakis. New head coach Al Golden, new defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio, new defensive backs coach Bobby Williams and new defensive line coach Jethro Franklin.

I’ve been to hundreds of UM practices over the years and have truly seen it all. High school coaches, pro coaches, scouts, former players, current NFL guys (re: Terrell Owens, etc.) and others who never played a down at ‘The U’, politicians, A-Rod, you name it; but I’ve never seen anything like this.

Four guys with clipboards, licking their chops and excited about the future, while the other guys are coaching up their kids for one final game before getting their resumes together and dealing with a completely different future.

We did get some good news days back when we found out that interim head coach / offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, wide receivers coach / recruiting coordinator Aubrey Hill and linebackers coach Micheal Barrow were added to Golden’s staff. Whether anymore current Cane coaches are added remains up in the air.

I’m extremely happy for Coach Stoutland as he’s made the best of an awkward situation this past several weeks. Beyond that, his group improved this year and are only going to get better with guys like Seantrel Henderson, Jermaine Johnson and Brandon Linder coming into their own.

Hill and Barrow were also must-keep guys for their strong recruiting ties and relationships with South Florida high school coaches.

That’s not an indictment on any assistant past, present or future, but on a coaching staff you always have a few guys who are on board more for their recruiting that coaching skills. That’s just the reality. When this staff is complete, don’t scratch your head as to why some of the guys out there might not be Xs and Os guy. Having the ability to get kids to sign on the dotted line is a skill all unto itself.

Speaking of signing on the dotted line, Miami Northwestern quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and wide receiver teammate Eli Rogers are headed to Louisville, which really shouldn’t be a surprise. Bridgewater’s connection to Miami had a lot to do with Shannon and when you cut a coach loose there are going to be recruiting casualties.

Earlier in the year I was told that a big reason Miami was trying to keep Stephen Morris on the bench was to no scare Bridgewater off regarding the competition level when Jacory Harris left.

The old adage is still in place; if you don’t want to compete, don’t come to Miami. Bridgewater may end up winning a Heisman and that’s fine. But if he wanted to be promised playing time and expected to have a job handed to him without earning it, Coral Gables isn’t the place for him.

Former UM recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach Clint Hurtt is now the coordinator up at Louisville, so with his Miami ties it’s not a surprise a few local guys are now headed that way.

All that said, don’t fret Hurricane faithful – I believe Golden will find the next great quarterback. Even though a lot of guys are verbally committed right now, Signing Day is still six weeks out and a lot can happen between now and then. It’s only been a week and there’s still time for things to swing UM’s favor.

IN OTHER NEWS: The men’s basketball team squandered away a great opportunity to get a very quality win against Central Florida last Saturday at the Bank Atlantic Center. Miami’s gotten a few good non-conference wins this year against Ole Miss and West Virginia, but you always want to get a win against a team in state – especially one that’s undefeated.

I won’t sit here and pass any judgment on this team until the conference season is underway, but with this current group that Frank Haith has assembled, there are some serious expectations for this team. This is definitely an athletic bunch, but one that made too many mental mistakes down the stretch against UCF.

Athleticism only gets you so far and this team has to put it all together. The three-game ride in Vegas against Oral Roberts, Rice, Akron and Pepperdine, only to hit the road for a showdown with No. 1 Duke just after the first of the year. That’s when we’ll truly know where this team is headed – when ACC play is underway.

The women’s team has won nine straight and faces Ole Miss in Oxford tomorrow at noon. Normally you wouldn’t get too much women’s hoops chat from me, but this team that Katie Meier assembled is special. You’re talking about two of the best and most exciting players in the country in Riquna Williams and Shenise Johnson.

I’m a huge fan of Coach Meier and I think she does things the right way with a great combination of good coach / bad coach. She can play that big sister-type role, but can also be a drill sergeant in practice, getting them ready for anything. This definitely is a team that deserves your support. No doubt about it.

The women’s soccer program hasn’t been around that long, but has really made a mark – especially in the ACC, which is one of the tougher conferences in the sport. Miami finished 10-8-1 this year and is looking for a new coach after Tricia Taliaferro was let go. I’m hoping the right replacement is found soon as these girls deserve the best coach to lead them into next season.

We’re about six weeks out from baseball season getting underway, so stay tuned form the latest on that front, as well.

Lastly, we have a great show lined up for you this Wednesday night – including a one-on-one interview with Coach Golden, as well as some from Seantrel, Coach Stoutland, Jordan Futch and much, much more. Come out out to allCanes, say hello and get any last minute UM gear before the holiday. Remember that you save 20% OFF EVERYTHING IN STORE if you shop while we’re on the air.

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17 thoughts on “The Beast : Tale of Two Coaching Staffs

  1. Bridgewater didn't leave because Shannon left, and he didn't leave because he would have to compete. With the exception of STA, is there any school in Florida where Miami can get recruits? We need to start doing a better job of recruiting overall and stop blaming decommitted players

  2. As far as Bridgewater and Rogers going to Louisville – so be it. If you don't want to compete then move along (That goes for any HS kid). Good luck elsewhere and prepare to get rolled if we see you on the field.

    I don't understand the QB quandry we have been in for the last 8-10 years with the lack of depth. As someone else said, we are pretty much in the same position with QB's as when Shannon took over for Coker and there's no excuse for it. Don't promise these kids anything except a chance to compete. Look what only recruiting one QB this year has done once again. We're a D1 program and can't get enough bodies at the most important position in football. I don't see any other schools having this issue, even with Heisman finalists as juniors, and we are back at square one with signal-callers. I'm dumbfounded at having only 2 QB's on the whole roster. WTF.
    -Columbus Cane

  3. If a recruit's reasoning for not coming to The U is that he wants immediate playing time and doesn't wanna have to compete for the starting spot, then good riddance. The U did not become THE U by recruiting players who were scared off by competition. Miami Hurricanes football has always thrived on players who are fearless, determined, and passionate about everything orange and green. Teddy is a talented player and he may yet prove to be a fantastic player at the college level, but considering the type of culture Al Golden wants to bring back to Coral Gables, The U is better off without him.

    p.s. God bless Mike James and his family during this trying time. May his mother rest in peace.

  4. Bridgewater left,,,,, no more guaranteed playing time,,, as was bequeathed to Scarecrow Harris.

    Sold his soul to Harris to get the Northwestern boyz. Did not quite work out as planned for Randall.

    Now Scarecrow #2,,, no longer assured unquestioned starts since Randy is gone,,,, boltz.

    Who cares,,,,???? Name me the last QB,,,, Stephen Morris has skillz but not there yet,,, ,name me the last QB from this area who has done a DAM thing as a Cane.

  5. And it's certainly not a matter of two good quarterbacks wanting to go to the same school and one not minding riding the pine..

    Prime example — FSU. As much as it PAINS me.

    Christian Ponder is smarter with the ball than any of our current qb's, and I'd go as far as saying EJ Manuel will be better than ours as well unless something happens with the QB coaching situation.

  6. HOPE WE KEEP WHIPPLE AND GET A QB COMMIT ..ANY WORD ON ONE? REALLY…YOUR EITHER WITH THE U OR AGAINST THE U…HOPE BRIDGEWATER AND ELY DO WELL WITH STRONG ANYWAY.. UNLESS THEIR PLAYING MY CANES!

  7. Canes26
    For me being a cane's fan for decades now, I would choose UM because I am a Cane Fan. College coaches come and go today with all the NFL fanfare luring them to what they think are greener pastures. There are exceptions like Joe Pa, Bowden, Beamer true college level coaches. My Dad was a Florida HS coach for over 40 years, he had many college offers yet he knew is place was high school. I wanted RS to succeed, and I waited to pass judgment for it to happen with each year ending with too many questions I couldn't answer as to why we were not getting back to the level of playing expectation we hold at the U. He just didn't seem to have everything it takes to be the head master. I loved his recruiting capabilities, however it seemed to become stale or less visionary as the job of HC grew to be too much for him. I started to have reservations about T Bridgewater as the year went on. It is not fair to compare him to JH as I even wonder if JH has more capability that just has not been coached up yet. TB wants to walk in and start. Well I thought football was all about competition and earning your spot. If you have the goods then you should have no worry that your heart, talent, and work ethic will earn you the starting QB job! If you lack ANY of these 3 qualities in LIFE yet alone football you will never achieve all your potential. Being a big fish in a little pond lures young teenagers of today's mindset more than the allure of a program that help set the path for what we know and love…..college football.Good luck to him and hope his decision was not based on quick judgment of the new coaches, pressure from people that may not have his best interest in such a tough decision, and starting without a good old fashion competition! I know I sound so level headed and mature now here is the other side of my personality. I can't wait until UM is relevant and at the top, again, in all the mix and ESPN can't help but talk about the U in a good light and all the people (fans and recruits) are trying to hitch a ride on the wagon! Don't forget, there are many more that LOVE the U, worldwide than the loud mouth haters. GO CANES GO GOLDEN and let's take this team we have (with all the talent) and get to work! See you in EL PASO:)

  8. Beast – I love you man but if that's true about Teddy than why is he going to UL? They have a kid named DaMarcus Smith committed there who is a damn good QB. I don't think he's afraid of competition. I think he was seriously turned off by the way many UM "fans" treated him. A LOT of people said some pretty hateful stuff to him. To me this is very unfortunate and could really come back and bite us down the road.

    At one pint this kid bleed green and orange. Remember the when he wore the his UM skull cap to Doak Campbell.

  9. BzCanes here-

    Just wanted to send 2 quick thoughts along—first of all, My sincere condolences to the James family. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Secondly–Congratulations to Devin Hester. I'm not sure whether anyone has entered the NFL Hall of Fame as a returner. When his career is all said and done, I have no doubts he'll be headed to Canton. One of my favorite all time Canes, and the now unquestionably the greatest returner in the history of the league. Hell of an accomplishment, especially in just 73 games. Way to rep the U.

  10. I may be wrong, but wasn't Teddy having his doubts way before Randy left? I remember reading that he was upset with all the criticism Jacory was getting.

    I'm not even sure that it wasn't as much about Teddny not wanting to compete as it was finding somewhere a little safer to play, away from the big lights and big attention you get at the U.

    So… if you doesn't want to be a big-time guy, have fun at Louisville playing it safe.

    As always, we have the most success when we have guys who truly want to be here and who love stepping their game up in big situations.

  11. I'm tired of the excuses for my Canes. Its not the coaching that wins games. Its the players..You could dig up Vince Lombardi himself or even bring back one of our great coaches from the past and it still would not matter. Look in April at the NFL draft, see how many players from Miami go in the first or even second round..I bet we don't even have 5 go in the first two rounds. What does that say?? Not to mention titles are what people used to associate with the U, now its becoming a joke..We have a bad system. The only thing we have ever had in the past 5 seasons is a somewhat decent defense. What ever happened to the U and beating teams like a red headed step child on Saturdays? What ever happened to watching the draft and seeing all the Canes go in the first three or four rounds?? What is Golden going to offer to kids?? He coached at Temple, they are a big front runner for snagging recruits…NOT!!! Temple gets recruits that are not good enough to play at PITT or PSU or any other big school..

  12. Any chance one of the scholarships will be awarded to Latwan Anderson? We really haven't heard anything about him since Randy answered every question with "He's on track". From the highlight reels, he seems like he would be an amazing/explosive addition to the team. What's his status?

  13. Anonymous said…

    I'm tired of the excuses for my Canes. Its not the coaching that wins games. Its the players..You could dig up Vince Lombardi himself or even bring back one of our great coaches from the past and it still would not matter. Look in April at the NFL draft, see how many players from Miami go in the first or even second round..I bet we don't even have 5 go in the first two rounds. What does that say?? Not to mention titles are what people used to associate with the U, now its becoming a joke..We have a bad system. The only thing we have ever had in the past 5 seasons is a somewhat decent defense. What ever happened to the U and beating teams like a red headed step child on Saturdays? What ever happened to watching the draft and seeing all the Canes go in the first three or four rounds?? What is Golden going to offer to kids?? He coached at Temple, they are a big front runner for snagging recruits…NOT!!! Temple gets recruits that are not good enough to play at PITT or PSU or any other big school..

    11:39 AM
    —-

    Quit crying.

    Miami has had it's greatest success with coaches that were unknown. You act as though this team was built off 4 and 5 star recruits and big name coaches. Big name coaches got their START here and a little bit before, so quit your goddamn whining and wait for next season to kick off.

  14. I wish Teddy the best of luck in Louisville…

    Just by observing this kid through the recruiting process you can tell he just isn't cut out to handle the pressure that comes with playing at the U. He felt more comfortable going to Louisville where if he loses, no one will care because they are more worried about beating the wildcats in basketball, BUT if they win, he will probably get a lot of credit. Thats exactly the kind of attitude Randy Shannon recruited; people unwilling or unable to deal with pressure and adversity.

    Which leads me to my next point… I disagree with ANONYMOUS about it being ALL about the players. To start, college football is very competitive in its recruitment of good players; in order to get the good ones you have to be an outstanding recruiter (especially if you aren't winning national titles). Furthermore, as a coach you have to be able to evaluate talent and make sure you are selecting the kids with the highest likelihood of excelling at the next level (while ignoring ESPN's "star" system). Then once you get the players, you have to make sure they hit the weight room to get their bodies ready for the physicality of college football, then teach them how to watch film, then make sure to put them in a position to win (system, playys..etc). At the point where it becomes just about the player is when that ball is snapped and he either makes the play or not; but before then there are a lot of aspects of any players game that can be enhanced by a coach or hampered by them.

    I get your point about Lombardi; he's a great coach obviously. But this isn't your grand daddy's college or pro football anymore. Although a lot of it is the players, it's the coaches who get them to the point where they can make the plays…

  15. I really hope Golden names a new offensive coordinator soon! I don't think I can bear the thought of him letting Whipple return for another year. The players didn't respond for him and his predictable offense was a key to the Canes failing in big games the past couple years. Golden has got to make a change there!

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