Miami Following SEC Blueprint with Recent Hire of High School Coach

Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterMarch 4, 2014

Miami coach Al Golden talks during an NCAA college football new conference, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Miami. He said that he has been pursued by other programs, doing so while reaffirming his commitment to the Hurricanes and refusing to discuss his reported candidacy at Penn State. Golden played under Joe Paterno for the Nittany Lions and served as a team captain. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
J Pat Carter/Associated Press

The Miami Hurricanes put Tim "Ice" Harris, former head coach at Booker T. Washington High School, on staff and in the process, Al Golden and his staff are continuing to try and elevate the recruiting in Coral Gables. This staff, now with a prominent South Florida high school coach in the mix, is looking to climb to a high, SEC-type level, in recruiting. 

South Florida High School Sports' JT Wilcox was one of the first to break the news of the big get for Golden's staff. The Sun Sentinel confirmed the news as the beloved and extremely successful high school coach had resigned his post, leaving the the team in his son's hands, to take the Assistant Director of Football Operations job.

Now, Miami, a team that has had the NCAA's shackles removed, is ready to stretch its legs and see just how fast it can go. A year ago, Golden brought in James Coley, an experienced South Florida recruiter, to work as an offensive coordinator. This year he's added Harris to the mix as a man who knows the lay of the land in great detail. The 'Canes are ready to run, and that means they want to try to challenge for those recruiting national championships that have so often landed in the SEC.

Before UGA, FSU or Bama, Pruitt was a well-known and respected HS coach.
Before UGA, FSU or Bama, Pruitt was a well-known and respected HS coach.Jason Getz/Associated Press/Associated Press

Harris becomes Miami's version of Daryl Jones, Jeremy Pruitt or Charles Baglio. Jones, Georgia's Director of On-Campus Recruiting, was a longtime Georgia football coach before taking the job in Athens. Pruitt, now Georgia's defensive coordinator, got his collegiate break at Alabama for Nick Saban following several seasons as a successful and well-respected head coach in the Yellowhammer State. Baglio, an LSU fixture for over a decade now, spent 1967-2000 working as a high school coach.

These men know their respective landscapes. They understand the concerns and the desires of the high school football coach and they bring that knowledge to the collegiate staff in order to help the school better execute its strategy. 

In the case of Miami, that means Harris helping Golden, and staff, where he can to better canvas the state of Florida for quality athletes. Not Harris doing the recruiting, only coaches can make contacts with players in that fashion, but rather to help Miami tailor its message to appeal to coaches and players. Appealing to coaches, and being a friendly, safe landing spot for their talent, opens doors.

Open doors mean more opportunity to land the biggest fish on the landscape and that is the ultimate goal for the Hurricanes.

Sitting at, or near, the top 10 in recruiting is nice, a place the bulk of college football's teams will never reside. However, when it is Miami, sitting at No. 12 as they did to wrap the 2014 cycle, according to 247Sports Composite Rankings, that means looking up at Florida State and Florida—a position the Hurricanes do not want to be in on a yearly basis.

Florida State was the only conference team ahead of the 'Canes, although conference affiliate Notre Dame was No. 10, but just beating the ACC is not Miami's goal. Golden's team wants to become a national player, again, something the Miami program has not been since the current players were in elementary school. 

Hiring Tim "Ice" Harris should help further the Hurricanes' goal of elevating recruiting, and with the NCAA leash taken off, the nation will find out if the Canes can run its way closer to the top.