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Mario Cristobal Agrees to Become Miami HC After Manny Diaz's Firing

Erin WalshDecember 6, 2021

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 06: Head coach Mario Cristobal of the Oregon Ducks celebrates after beating Washington Huskies 26-16 at Husky Stadium on November 06, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Mario Cristobal has accepted the Miami Hurricanes head coaching job, leaving the Oregon Ducks to return to the program he once played and coached for.

“My family and I are excited to return home to the University of Miami, which has been so instrumental in shaping me as a person, player, and coach,” Cristobal said in a school release. “This program has an unparalleled tradition and an exciting future ahead of it. I can’t wait to compete for championships and help mold our student-athletes into leaders on and off the field who will make our University, our community, and our loyal fan base proud.”

Matt Zenitz of On3Sports and Brett McMurphy of the Action Network first reported Cristobal's decision to take the job.

That followed reports Sunday that the Hurricanes had come to terms with Cristobal and reports Monday the team had fired current head coach Manny Diaz:

Bleacher Report CFB @BR_CFB

Mario Cristobal has agreed to terms on a contract to become the new head football coach of the Miami Hurricanes, per <a href="https://twitter.com/MiamiHerald?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MiamiHerald</a> <a href="https://t.co/7EI4OCVqn1">pic.twitter.com/7EI4OCVqn1</a>

Bruce Feldman @BruceFeldmanCFB

BREAKING: Miami coach Manny Diaz has been informed he has been let go, per source. He was 21-15 in three seasons at UM. The move paves the way for the Canes to hire Oregon’s Mario Cristobal as Miami’s next head coach.

Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz

Miami now has complete confidence that Mario Cristobal will become their next head coach. Contract terms agreed to. Will make $8 million range annually. <a href="https://t.co/n6sIV6nn8D">https://t.co/n6sIV6nn8D</a>

Oregon reportedly was aggressive in trying to keep Cristobal. Per John Canzano of The Oregonian, Oregon's offer to Cristobal was "aggressive and in line" with what Lincoln Riley (set to make more than $110 million over his contract) and Brian Kelly ($95 million plus bonuses over 10 years) received from USC and LSU, respectively. 

It was reported in early December that Miami was going to "make a run" at Cristobal for its head coaching position. The Hurricanes were also reportedly "optimistic" about hiring the 51-year-old. 

Cristobal, who was born and raised in Miami, was an offensive lineman for the Hurricanes during his playing days and also served as a graduate assistant to start his coaching career. In addition, he was a tight end and offensive line coach for the school, so he's familiar with the program.

Cristobal was named head coach of the Ducks in December 2017. At the time, he agreed to a five-year contract through January 2023. A new six-year, $27.3 million contract for the head coach was announced in December 2020, and it was supposed to run through 2026. 

Cristobal owns a 35-12 record as Oregon's head coach, including appearances in four bowl games (wins in the 2018 Redbox Bowl and 2019 Rose Bowl). The Ducks have had a winning record in each of his full seasons at the helm, so it should come as no surprise that Miami was interested in his services.