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Hurricanes fire Manny Diaz, announce hire of Mario Cristobal hours later

Miami native leaves Oregon to return to his alma mater
Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal questions pass interference call, Nov. 13, 2021
Posted at 2:35 PM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 15:03:55-05

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Hours after firing Manny Diaz, Miami named Mario Cristobal its next head coach.

The school announced the moves Monday, completing a whirlwind of speculation about the futures of Diaz and Cristobal at their respective schools.

Cristobal returns to his alma mater after leading Oregon to three straight Pacific 12 Conference Championship game appearances and two Pac-12 titles in four seasons.

Miami announced in a news release Monday morning that Diaz wouldn't be back in 2022. A short time later, Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said in a statement that Cristobal informed the school he had accepted the same job at another university.

Within hours of the news, Miami President Julio Frenk announced that Cristobal, who won two national championships as an offensive lineman for the Hurricanes, would be the school's 26th head football coach.

"Mario's legacy as a student-athlete at the U is well established, and the standard for competitive excellence that he and his teammates helped establish is one to which we continue to aspire," Frenk said in a statement. "Our selection, however, was not one based in nostalgia for a proud past, but rather in a bold vision for a promising future."

Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal with whistle in his mouth before game in 2021
Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal runs his players through drills before a game Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Eugene, Ore.

Frenk went on to praise Cristobal's "drive, determination and discipline."

"In Mario, we have found a head coach who shares our belief in providing student-athletes with the very best opportunities to succeed on and off the field, and our commitment to winning at the highest level," Frenk said.

Cristobal won't coach the Ducks in their upcoming bowl game, and Miami hasn't said who will coach the Hurricanes in the New Year's Eve Sun Bowl against Washington State.

The Hurricanes (7-5) have won five of their last six games after a 2-4 start to the season.

Diaz, who replaced Mark Richt after his abrupt retirement in December 2018, was 21-15 through three seasons, including a 0-2 record in bowl games.

Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz claps hands in rain in 2021
Miami head coach Manny Diaz watches during the second half of a game against Virginia Tech, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Miami won 38-26.

Cristobal, who was part of two national championship teams at Miami and later served as a graduate assistant under Butch Davis (1998-2000) and assistant coach under Larry Coker (2004-06), leaves Oregon with a 35-13 record. The Miami native was head coach at Florida International from 2007-12, leading the Panthers to a Sun Belt Conference championship and their first-ever bowl game in 2010.

"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 statement. "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."