Mario Cristobal to Bama is a huge hire. Nick Saban collecting coaching baubles and trinkets like Zsa Zsa collects diamonds.
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) February 18, 2013
Only a few days after it was first reported that Mario Cristobal was interviewing for the open offensive line coaching position with the Alabama Crimson Tide, it is now being reported that Cristobal is leaving Miami and heading to Tuscaloosa.
In an era when college football coaches will leave teams in the dust for promise of riches elsewhere, Cristobal proved his loyalty to FIU early on. The Panthers gave Cristobal the opportunity to become the game’s first Cuban-American head coach. The former Miami Hurricanes star repaid the downtrodden program by leading it to the first two bowl games in the history of FIU football.
However, Cristobal was taught an ugly lesson following a down year in 2012. He was unceremoniously shown the door despite the fact that he had turned down several offers from bigger programs over the previous half-decade.
A bright coaching mind, Cristobal quickly landed on his feet. He returned to the campus where he became a star player and where he began his coaching tenure.
He was set to be the Miami Hurricanes’ associate head coach and tight ends coach in 2013.
That is, until Nick Saban and the Tide came calling. Saban was turned down initially by South Carolina’s Shawn Elliot, who elected to stay with Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks instead.
Now, hardly a month after being hired by The U on Jan. 10, Cristobal has shown that he has learned the business of coaching at the elite level very quickly.
Unfortunately, Cristobal leaving Miami was not a matter of loyalty; the Tide, with its three national titles in the last four seasons, simply offered the coach a better opportunity to succeed.
His exact title with Alabama has yet to be made public.