Before we talk about Mr. Butch Davis, let us first delve into a quick personal history of the athletic director set to hire him.
After leading the Panthers to the first bowl games in the program’s history in 2010 and 2011, now-former coach Mario Cristobal was fired in a shocker of a move after finishing 3-9 in 2012. One at first might say that a 3-9 year deserves a canning, but take a quick Google search of Cristobal and it will be plain to see that the wrath of the blogosphere is directed at Pete Garcia.
Widely understood to be the FIU athletic director, Garcia’s official title is “Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment.”
If that sounds like a joke, that is because it probably should be.
But no, oh no. It’s not a joke.
Garcia not only fired Cristobal, but he hired on Isaiah Thomas, a clown in New York and even more of a sideshow in the state of Florida.
Cristobal took the Panthers to its aforementioned very first bowl game in the program’s history — and the second.
Most of the time, a move of this ilk only comes when a school already has a potential hire in the proverbial ‘bank’.
Such seems to be the case at FIU.
According to sources, Florida International is set to hire Butch Davis, the former head coach of both the Cleveland Browns and the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Davis began his coaching career after playing defensive end at Arkansas by taking on offensive coordinator roles at various high schools until being hired on as the wide receivers and tight ends coach at Oklahoma State in 1979.
His hiring at Oklahoma State began a 15-year block of time during which Davis never left Jimmy Johnson’s side. Davis followed Johnson to Miami, where he coached the squad’s defensive line during the program’s 1987 national title season before being promoted to the defensive coordinator role with the Dallas Cowboys.
After Johnson retired, Davis stuck around for one more year under Barry Switzer, but soon accepted the head coaching job at the University of Miami, a program he obviously knew very well. In 2000 his team finished the year 11-1 and ranked second in the BCS, but interestingly were forced to sit and watch as Florida State, a team it had beaten in the regular season, lost the Orange Bowl to Oklahoma, 13-2.
However, he did garner recognition as a coach who managed to post outstanding graduation rates.
Davis was then hired on himself to coach the Cleveland Browns, and he actually led the team to a 9-7 record and a playoff berth in his second season with the team.
However, as has been the case time and again in Cleveland, things went downhill quickly and Davis was out only a few years later. His career record wound up at 24-35.
From there it was back to the college ranks, where he revived a North Carolina program that had enjoyed only one winning season in its previous six and had seen an erosion in its fan base. After all, Chapel Hill is a basketball-mad campus.
Davis waved his magic wand and turned everything around. Packed stadiums watched his Tar Heels teams beat ranked programs for the first time in more than a decade. His 2008 and 2009 teams both made bowl games. They were the first back-to-back teams to reach the postseason since the 1997-98 seasons.
Still, he continued to graduate a spectacular number of athletes.
Then the roof caved in on Davis, his program, and his coaching career in general.
Allegations of academic improprieties and various ‘gifts’ provided to athletes surfaced and then proved true.
Every single win enjoyed in both 2008 and 2009 was vacated by the school after Davis was fired in disgrace.
Now, after a man of Mario Cristobal’s stature and passionate loyalty to a program has been fired, the school’s Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment is set to hire a great coach with exceedingly questionable moral integrity.
After bringing in an embarrassment such as Isaiah Thomas, however, these two, Garcia and Davis, deserve each other.
We will keep you posted as this situation continues to evolve.
What do you think about FIU’s decisions? Let us know below!
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