College Football: Mike Haywood to Coach Miami RedHawks

Matt PoloniCorrespondent IDecember 23, 2008

ESPN is reporting that Mike Haywood, Notre Dame's offensive coordinator, will be named the head coach at Miami of Ohio on Tuesday after agreeing to terms on a contract with the university.

To college football fans, there is one thing that might immediately come to mind: The addition of Haywood increases the number of minority head coaches.

With Tyrone Willingham, Sylvester Croom, and Ron Prince not returning to their teams next year, and the media attention garnered by those firings/resignations, it can be assumed that many of the higher-ups in college football are thankful. While there will still be pressure to increase the number of minority head coaches much further, this is no doubt a much needed hire.

There may also be a question among some fans of why the RedHawks would hire the Irish coordinator.

Haywood has been at Notre Dame for four seasons as the offensive coordinator and running backs coach. Those four seasons are his only years as an offensive coordinator, and this past season was his only one with play calling duties, which Charlie Weis later took over.

The Irish offense the past two seasons has not been great, and the running game has been a particularly glaring weakness. At times, the play calling under Haywood was called unimaginative, predictable, and mostly ineffective.

But Haywood was also on the staff for the very successful 2005 and 2006 campaigns, which led to BCS berths, and has been credited with an important role in Darius Walker's development as a running back.

In 2003 and 2004, Haywood was the running backs coach at Texas. There he coached the likes of Ramonce Taylor, Selvin Young, and Cedric Benson.

In his second year with the Longhorns, he was also the recruiting coordinator. The recruiting class that he was responsible for brought in Colt McCoy, Jermichael Finley, Jamaal Charles, Quan Cosby, Roy Miller, and Rodderick Muckleroy.

From 1995 to 2002, he held the same position for LSU. During his tenure, he helped to develop Kevin Faulk, LaBrandon Toefield, Domanick Davis, and Joseph Addai. To a lesser extent, he also had a hand in developing Devery Henderson and Josh Reed, who started their college careers as running backs before becoming productive wide receivers.

As with any first time head coach, he hasn't truly proved that he can put together a great program, so there is no way to predict how well the RedHawks will play during his tenure.

He has, however, put together a very good résumé. The only potential marks against him are the past two seasons with the Irish.

Miami of Ohio has been a stop along the way for many successful coaches, such as Ara Parseghian, Woody Hayes, and Bo Schembechler. Perhaps Mike Haywood will follow in their footsteps.

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