Around this time a year ago, FIU coach Mario Cristobal was a candidate to become the head coach at both Pitt and Rutgers. Now, he’s out of a job altogether.
In a surprising move, Cristobal has been fired after six seasons according to FootballScoop.com and Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated. ESPN’s Brett McMurphy later confirmed the news. The university announced Cristobal’s dismissal a short time later.
“Today we informed Coach Cristobal a change was being made in the direction of our football program” said athletic director Pete Garcia.
Cristobal had a 27-47 overall record and a 3-9 campaign this year, but the wins and losses don’tt nearly tell the story of what Cristobal has meant to FIU. He took over the program in 2007 one year removed from a winless season and led the Panthers to their first-ever winning seasons in back-to-back fashion in 2010 and ’11.
Cristobal, a former University of Miami player, has been instrumental in building FIU into a program that could compete in the Sun Belt Conference. He was connected to job openings at Rutgers and Pitt last year, but opted to stay and received a renegotiated contract from the school.
There are already reports that former UNC coach Butch Davis is the frontrunner for the job.
There has to be something more to Cristobal’s dismissal other than wins and losses. If not it would be a shocking (and stupid) move by the university.