Haywood Hopes to Rock the Cradle of Coaches

Tom ShelleyCorrespondent IMay 5, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 6:  Quarterback Steven Threet #10 of the Michigan Wolverines runs with the ball against Joe Coniglio #51 of the Miami of Ohio Red Hawks during the game on September 6, 2008 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The Wolverines defeated the Red Hawks 16-6. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Coming off a near-win in the NCAA Hockey Championships, Miami University is looking to re-invigorate its sports programs, and they took a large step in that direction by hiring former Notre Dame offensive coordinator Michael Haywood as the new head coach this spring.

In an area where football reigns supreme with such huge rivalries as The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines, one would think a school dubbed as "The Cradle of Coaches" might produce a great football team.

Unfortunately for this Redhawk, Miami football hasn't been the same since the departure of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Last season the Redhawks posted a dismal 2-10 record, placing them last in a lackluster MAC conference. Their worst season in recent history prompted the change in the coaching situation.

Haywood has claimed to bring a "cultural change" to the program and has already done so by signing 9 offensive lineman to a team that rushed for less than 1,000 yards last season. His philosophy is to bring hard-nosed, hard-hitting football to Miami.

That tactic has proved successful for Roethlisberger's team, who has now won 2 Super Bowl titles since his departure from the Redhawks and is well-known for their hard-hitting approach to the game.

Who knows, maybe Haywood will be added to the list of great coaches that have hailed from Miami.

Only time will tell. And maybe, just maybe, he'll bring back the school spirit and pride that used to emanate around this small town.