SportsCollege SportsUniversity of Miami


Miami, athletic director Blake James part ways

Move comes 2 days after Hurricanes lost to Florida State
Miami Hurricanes athletic director Blake James in 2018
Posted at 7:04 PM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 08:33:02-05

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami is searching for a new athletic director.

Blake James' tenure ended Monday in a move that came two days after the Hurricanes football team lost at Florida State.

Both sides said James' departure was a mutual decision.

The school said it was beginning a search for his replacement.

Deputy athletic director Jennifer Strawley will serve as the interim athletic director during the search.

Miami is likely to consider more changes in athletics, and football coach Manny Diaz faces an uncertain future.

The move was made about six weeks after school president Julio Frenk released a letter to the university community insisting he would increase his involvement with athletics.

"It has been an honor to lead Miami athletics and to be a part of such a world-class institution," James said in a statement released by the university. "I am proud of the work that we have done together, though I know there is still more yet to be achieved. ... I wish the Canes nothing but the best and look forward to my next endeavors."

Football — the biggest part of Miami's athletic brand — has struggled again this season. Miami is 19-15 in Diaz's three seasons, including 5-5 this year. The Hurricanes wasted an eight-point lead in the final minutes of Saturday's 31-28 loss to Florida State.

Manny Diaz and Blake James hold Miami Hurricanes jersey after Diaz introduced as football coach in 2019
Manny Diaz, center, smiles as he poses for photos after a news conference after being introduced as Miami's new head football coach, along with Board of Trustees member David Epstein (left) and athletic director Blake James (right), Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in Coral Gables, Fla.

Miami has yet to win an Atlantic Coast Conference football title since joining the league in 2004 and hasn't won a national title since 2001.

James, who was hired in February 2013, was part of the decision-making group that hired Diaz in 2018, luring him away from a job at Temple that he'd held for less than a month. Diaz had been Miami's defensive coordinator under Mark Richt, and when Richt resigned on Dec. 30, 2018, the Hurricanes needed only a few hours before completing a deal with Diaz.