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Miami Hurricanes

Manny Diaz leaving Miami giving Mark Richt “right kind of fear?”

Matt Zemek

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Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Certain situations and certain feelings have a way of focusing one’s emotions and sharpening our responses to problems.

Fear has a marvelous capacity to force human beings to shed their doubts. Fear can often enable human beings to shed a number of secondary concerns and focus on the one or two things which affect life and death, prosperity and poverty, or integrity and disgrace.

Fear can be a very destructive force, to be sure, but the right kind of fear makes our inner voice say to us, “Oh, sh**! You are in very deep trouble if you don’t do THIS, right now!” Fear can enable us to look squarely at problems, with no B.S. or pretense, and finally face up to the truth, if we tried to avoid it in the past, or if we hoped that our previous methods would sufficiently deal with a crisis

Fear can elicit needed — and properly-calibrated — change.

Focus on not just the change itself, but on calibrating that change properly.

Anyone can make changes in the midst of crisis. Making the right changes is what matters.

This is what Manny Diaz might have done for Mark Richt by leaving Miami for the head coaching position at Temple.

This move makes perfect sense for Diaz. Recent history has shown that if you coach well at Temple, you will soon get a Power Five head coaching job.

Al Golden did this, as Cane fans know all too well. Matt Rhule rode this train to Waco, Texas, and the Baylor Bears. Geoff Collins got a ticket to Atlanta to coach Georgia Tech. Diaz wants to join the parade to — and then from — Philadelphia, up the coaching ladder.

This not only requires Richt to hire a defensive coordinator of similar quality. It means that in light of the successes of Miami’s defense these past few seasons, Richt HAS to get the offense in order if 2019 is to be reasonably successful. If 2019 blows up to a degree which is even remotely similar to 2018, Richt will be on the hot seat. Even with his credentials and his history at The U, including his 2017 season, 2018 was such a mess that a similar 2019 might not be enough to keep him around.

Richt has to fix the offense. He might now need the offense to be a few notches better in 2019, compared to a world in which Diaz had stayed as defensive coordinator. Richt’s standards for improving the offense might now need to be elevated even more than he was previously projecting. It is a daunting challenge.

It is a source of undeniable stress — and again, it doesn’t even relate to the stressful-enough process of needing to find a replacement for Diaz as defensive coordinator.

If Richt had established various metrics in his mind for the 2019 offense, he probably has to elevate them to a degree if he wants the results he and the program need.

Hopefully for Richt, this isn’t merely a stressful time; if this loss for Miami is to have a silver lining, it must show that this stressful time is also a time in which Mark Richt’s veins and arteries are filled with the right kind of fear.

Matt Zemek is the co-editor of Tennis With An Accent with Saqib Ali. Matt is the lead writer for the site and helps Saqib with the TWAA podcast, produced by Radio Influence at radioinfluence.com. Matt has written professionally about men's and women's tennis since 2014 for multiple outlets: Comeback Media, FanRagSports, and independently at Patreon, where he maintains a tennis site. You can reach Matt by e-mail: mzemek@hotmail.com. You can find him on Twitter at @mzemek.

Miami Hurricanes

Former Canes coach Golden apparently ready for trial against school

Florida Football Insiders

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USA Today Sports

Former Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden is apparently about to have his day in court, while trying to recoup what he says is multi-millions of dollars that the University still owes him from firing him 5 years ago.

Miami Herald writer and columnist Barry Jackson had more on Monday evening that there apparently will not be a settlement by the school with the man that coached them for parts of five seasons in the 2010s.

Golden is seeking in excess of $3 million for what he says is compensation per his contract that he was owed when Miami terminated him in October of 2015 after a humiliating 58 – 0 lost to Clemson. The University says that Golden has been paid what the contract required.

As Jackson reported, there have already been depositions on both sides, including with Miami athletic director Blake James. And both James and Golden will be testifying in the civil suit about what went wrong and how it has not been rectified for almost three years, since the dispute started.

Golden came to Miami after having turned around the Temple football program, but only went 32 – 25 in his four plus seasons. He contends in a chain of emails that were obtained by the media recently, that the University mislead him about the Nevin Shapiro payment scandal and the punishments that Miami was going to receive for scholarship losses and a bowl ban.

He further contends that he asked for tough opponents like Wisconsin and Michigan State to be pushed back on the Canes schedule early in his tenure, while they were in the middle of the sanctions. However, that  James would not relent, thereby, making it much tougher for Miami to compete and win.

The University has had no comment on the possible suit going to trial. Golden’s lawyer told the media recently that they are anxious to have their day in front of a judge and jury.

Golden has been a position coach in the NFL with the Detroit Lions the last two years. Meanwhile, Miami is still trying to find their footing with coach Manny Diaz coming off a dismal 6-7 season where they lost their last three games. That included a humiliating 14-0 shutout loss to Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl.

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Miami Hurricanes

Hurricanes name College Hall of Famer Ed Reed Chief of Staff

Florida Football Insiders

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Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes are hoping to reestablish their winning ways, and coach Manny Diaz is starting 2020 by reaching back to a prominent member of their recent past to help them.

Diaz and the school announced Thursday afternoon that former All-American, National Champion and College and NFL Hall of Fame safety, Ed Reed, will be coming aboard as a newly-created “Chief of Staff” position for Hurricanes football:

As the school’s release said, Reed “will be responsible in advisory role of all aspects of the football program including strategic planning, quality control, operations, player evaluation and player Development among other duties.

Diaz said in the statement,

“We are thrilled to welcome Ed back to Coral Gables,” Diaz said. “He is not only one of the most decorated players in Miami football history but also a devoted Cane who cares deeply about this program. All of our players, coaches and staff will be fortunate to tap into his experience, knowledge and passion on a regular basis.”  

This hire comes on the heels of Miami apparently botching the hiring in a similar role of former star RB  from the 80’s Alonzo Highsmith earlier this month. Highsmith negotiated with Diaz and AD Blake James about looking to come back to Coral Gables after having been in a similar role with the Cleveland Browns in the NFL this past year. Alas, they could not agree. Highsmith has since been fired after the Browns fired GM John Dorsey and shook up their front office.

As for the “Chief of Staff” position, numerous college programs, including Clemson Alabama and Georgia have a similar positions to aid and assist the head coach with the day-to-day administration of program.

You cannot find a more decorated Cane willing to help, as Reed was arguably the best safety in college football in the 2000s. Miami posted a 23 – 1 record over his final two seasons (’00-’01) and he was part of the 2001 BCS Championship team that finished 11-1 and destroyed Nebraska in the Rose Bowl.

Reed with a consensus First-team All-American in 2000 and 2001 and set the Hurricanes record for interceptions with 21 before leaving Coral Gables.

Reed was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2018 for his accomplishments.

Reed was later a first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2002, playing at 11 sasons with them before playing his final year with the Texans and the Jets. He is a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and was an All-Pro six times. Reed was just inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame year ago.

Read was not quoted in the release by the Hurricanes on Thursday afternoon.

However, he did participate earlier during Super Bowl week in Miami with former Hurricanes legendary coach Jimmy Johnson in a special program from Fox Sports with other famous Hurricane alumni like Michael Irvin.

The program called “The ReUnion” dealt with Miami trying to regain the winning ways and dominance of the 80s and 90s.

Miami stumbled to a 6-6 finish and then was embarrassed to end Diaz’s first season with a 14-0 shutout loss to Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl.

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