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    Miami hires Mario Cristobal as head football coach

    Mario Cristobal is the next Miami head football coach.

    Cristobal will replace Manny Diaz, who was fired earlier Monday after three middle-of-the-road seasons with the Hurricanes. Cristobal is coming over from Oregon which lost the Pac-12 Championship to Utah last week.

    CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

    Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal reacts after the game against the UCLA Bruins, Oct. 23, 2021, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Oregon defeated UCLA 34-31. 

    Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal reacts after the game against the UCLA Bruins, Oct. 23, 2021, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Oregon defeated UCLA 34-31. 
    (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

    Miami made the official announcement later Monday.

    “We are incredibly excited to welcome Mario, his wife, Jessica, and their sons Mario Mateo and Rocco home to Miami,” university president Julio Frenk said. “Mario’s legacy as a student-athlete at the U is well established. And the standard for competitive excellence that he and his teammates helped establish is one to which we continue to aspire. Our selection, however, was not one based in nostalgia for a proud past, but rather in a bold vision for a promising future.

    “The characteristics that helped Mario excel as a national championship-winning player—drive, determination, and discipline—continue to propel his success as a coach. In Mario we have found a head coach who shares our belief in providing student-athletes with the very best opportunities to succeed on and off the field, and our commitment to winning at the highest level.

    Cristobal said he and his family were excited to come back to Miami.

    “My family and I are excited to return home to the University of Miami, which has been so instrumental in shaping me as a person, player, and coach. This program has an unparalleled tradition and an exciting future ahead of it. I can’t wait to compete for championships and help mold our student-athletes into leaders on and off the field who will make our University, our community, and our loyal fan base proud,” he said.

    Rumors swirled around the Miami head coaching position after the Hurricanes lost close games to Virginia and North Carolina. Miami would rebound with big victories over North Carolina State and Pittsburgh but it appeared the final nail in the coffin for Diaz’s tenure came with a three-point loss to Florida State.

    “We are grateful to Coach Diaz for his many contributions to our campus community and to his native South Florida, and for the strong leadership and exemplary character he exhibited during his tenure at the University,” Frenk said. “We wish him and his family the very best as they move forward.”

    Cristobal was among the first coaches mentioned in the rumor mill because of his background in the city of Miami and because he was a player and a coach with the Hurricanes.

    Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal reacts against the UCLA Bruins in the first half Oct. 23, 2021, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

    Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal reacts against the UCLA Bruins in the first half Oct. 23, 2021, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
    (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

    He played offensive line with Miami from 1989 to 1992 and later played two seasons in NFL Europe with the Amsterdam Admirals. He returned to Miami in 1998 as a graduate assistant and later as a tight ends and offensive line coach.

    MIAMI FIRES MANNY DIAZ, PAVES WAY FOR MARIO CRISTOBAL HIRE

    He got his first head coaching job at Florida International and was there from 2007 to 2012 before becoming an associate head coach under Nick Saban for Alabama from 2013 to 2016. He became Oregon’s head coach in 2018 after one season as a co-offensive coordinator.

    He was 35-13 as Oregon’s head coach. He was 2-2 in bowl games for the Ducks with the biggest bowl win coming in 2019 when Oregon beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. His teams have produced some recent NFL players as well, including Justin Herbert, Penei Sewell, Jevon Holland and a handful of others.

    Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal watches players during warm-ups before a game against the Washington State Cougars at Autzen Stadium Nov. 13, 2021, in Eugene, Oregon.

    Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal watches players during warm-ups before a game against the Washington State Cougars at Autzen Stadium Nov. 13, 2021, in Eugene, Oregon.
    (Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports)

    Now, Cristobal will get a chance to resurrect Miami’s football program. The Hurricanes have been a far cry from their glory days but appear to have hope with quarterback Tyler Van Dyke who has performed well in the latter part of the 2021 season.

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    Miami will play in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl against Washington State.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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