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Coaching record: 15-44
Seriously, if you can win at FIU, you deserve a shot to try your hand at on a bigger scale.
And while Cristobal's Golden Panthers won't be making an appearance in the top 25 anytime soon—much less a BCS bowl game—the turnaround he has engineered at FIU has been amazing.
Since taking over in 2006, Cristobal has built FIU into a tiny Sun Belt powerhouse, both on the field and in recruiting.
His first year saw the Panthers lose every single game. Although they lost four by a combined six points, including a four-point loss to North Texas in a seven-OT thriller.
The team made progress in 2007. It notched one win, which put an end to FIU's 23-game losing streak.
In 2008, the Panthers won five games, including a victory over non-conference opponent Toledo.
2009 saw the team take a step back finishing 3-9. But this season, Cristobal has had the Panthers performing well beyond expectations.
They are currently 6-5 heading into their season-finale with Middle Tennessee State. And already have their first even Sun Belt title wrapped up.
As a coach, Cristobal is pretty good. As a recruiter, he's even better.
Somehow, he put together the 50th-ranked class in the nation at FIU in 2009. His 2010 class is widely regarded as the best ever at FIU.
His impressive recruiting dates back to his days at the University of Miami, where he was an assistant coach from 2004-06 and a graduate assistant from 1998-2000.
And there lies the greatest endorsement for Cristobal. He was a Hurricane, and since moving on he has decided to stick around the area and make another South Florida program relevant.
He is one of the hardest workers around, as evidenced by his No. 1 ranking in a preseason poll by ESPN the Magazine's Bruce Feldman who found Cristobal to be college football's top "workout warrior" in terms of coaching.
Cristobal is also a major advocate for education. He has drastically improved graduation rates at FIU and would surely have no problem keeping up with the stringent demands of the "U."