CHARLOTTE, NC — Relentless, maniacal, ferocious, driven…
These are all adjectives used to describe Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal as a recruiter.
Louisville’s Scott Satterfield has seen this process up close as a member of Cristobal’s staff in 2010-11 as FIU’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
“He is relentless when it comes to recruiting,” Satterfield said. “I think for him that is more important than X’s and O’s because if you get the right players, your X’s and O’s don’t have to be as good because the players don’t have to be as good. He is relentless and he demands that throughout the building.”
Satterfield says Cristobal holds his coaching staff to the same high standard of relentless recruiting effort.
“He is going to hold [his staff] accountable and if they are not doing the things that need to get done, he is going to get on them and make that happen,” Satterfield said. “Recruiting doesn’t stop. When you leave the office and you are home, you are still on your phone. It is as busy now as it has never been and it is so competitive.”
While at FIU, Cristobal was able to unearth and land hidden gems that went on to the NFL level like wide receiver TY Hilton, safety Jonathan Cyprien, and defensive back Anthony Gaitor.
At Oregon, Cristobal had the best consecutive three-year run in recruiting in program history with the Ducks landing the No. 8 class in 2019, the No. 14 class in 2020, and the No. 7 class in 2021.
Miami currently ranks No. 10 in the latest 247 Sports Team Recruiting Rankings.
“Now he is at a place that is a hotbed for talent,” Satterfield said. “He is coming from out west to where he had really good ties there and he is in a good situation to land some really good recruits. I think there is no substitute for work and that is what he does.”
Dabo Swinney Is Excited About Miami’s Investment Into Football
Miami athletic director Dan Radakovich arrived this offseason after a successful run at Clemson in the same role from 2012-21.
Radakovich helped complete more than $200 million in facility construction and enhancements at Clemson, including the renovation of Littlejohn Coliseum and the construction of facilities for football, tennis, baseball, and softball. Department revenue nearly doubled under his leadership, and philanthropic contributions are at an all-time high.
Radakovich, who earned his MBA from the University of Miami, was named Athletic Director of the Year by Sports Business Daily in 2017 and served as a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee from 2014 to 2017.
Prior to Clemson, Radakovich served as director of athletics at Georgia Tech from 2006 to 2012 and as a senior associate athletics director at Louisiana State University. At LSU, he worked closely with then-head coach Nick Sabanincluding during the Tigers’ 2003 national championship season.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is confident that Radakovich can help lead UM’s athletic department and football program on a path to success.
“Dan is great,” Swinney said. “He is a really smart athletic director. He is a good thinker and a good business guy. He is progressive and he is going to push the envelope when it comes to being competitive at the highest level from a facilities and staffing standpoint. He is very supportive and I loved working with Dan, but this is a great opportunity for him. It is a chance for him to work with Mario and help Miami become the best version of themselves.”
Swinney admits he knows Mario Cristobal ‘a little bit’ dating back to when he was the head coach at FIU. Swinney shared that Cristobal came up to Clemson and observed some practices as well.
“He is a great coach and there is a reason why he has been so successful,” Swinney said. “He has a proven track record. We played against each other when he was on that Miami team when I was at Alabama in that National Championship game in 1992. We know a lot of the same people and Miami is going to be tough. are always tough. I have never played Miami where they didn’t have talent.”
Swinney admits that he wished wide receiver transfer Frank Ladson stuck around at Clemson, but he is confident that if he can stay healthy, he can be productive.
“He graduated and he is a really smart kid,” Swinney said of Ladson. “Hopefully he is capable of having the type of year he is capable of having and wants to have.”
Ladson caught 31 passes for 428 yards and six touchdowns while at Clemson.
Mike Norvell Talks The Changing Landscape in The State of Florida
Amongst the ‘Big Three’ college football programs in the state of Florida, Mike Norvell is the longest tenured head football coach as he heads into year three at Florida State.
Both Miami and Florida made changes to the leadership of their football programs with the Hurricanes hiring Mario Cristobal away from Oregon and the Gators hiring Billy Napier from Louisiana.
Cristobal enters his 11th season as a head coach in 2022 and owns a 62-60 record while leading FIU and Oregon.
Napier will enter his fifth season as a head coach after posting a 40-12 coaching record at Louisiana.
Norvell admitted at the ACC Kickoff on Wednesday that he doesn’t have a relationship with Cristobal or Napier, but he does respect their careers.
“I have a lot of respect for those coaching staffs and they have great careers behind them,” Norvell said. “I don’t know them all that well, but you get to be here and being in Florida State, we get to play both in-state rivalry games and that is exciting. That is why you come here, for the opportunity to compete against those programs.”
The hiring of Cristobal signaled the University of Miami is now ready to invest heavily in the football program.
According to reports, Cristobal has a ten year contract in which he will be paid in the $8.5 million range and the assistant coach salary pool for Miami now is now the highest in the ACC (which is roughly $8 million for the on-field coaches) .
Athletic director Dan Radakovich was hired from Clemson to take UM into the next phase of whatever the future of college athletics looks like.
The university leadership is also working on plans to unveil a facilities upgrade that figures to be north of $100 million.
College football is a constant arms race (especially between rivals) and Norvell maintains he is excited about the investment FSU is making into the football program.
“There is always a constant push at Florida State…There has always been investment. I am grateful for our administration and our supporters and it is not a reactive thing…I am excited about where we are going and I don’t get caught up much with what is going on the outside. It is more about are we doing the things inside for what is best with Florida State.”