Nick Saban must really hate
Saban sank yet another ice pick into the collective psyche of South Floridians with the expected hire of former
The career of the now-aptly-named Cristobal has had an interesting trajectory, as he has for years been considered one of the nation’s hot coaching prospects. Prior to the 2012 season, he was on the short list of several mid-major football programs across the nation, most prominently Pitt and
When hired to front the FIU football program in 2006, Cristobal had meager resources with which to lure recruits, especially considering the competition for talent posed by larger in-state powerhouses such as
Cristobal, the first Cuban-American head football coach in NCAA Division 1 history, made the most of what he had, turning in a five win campaign in 2008. Following a 3-9 season in 2009, the Golden Panthers went on to post two consecutive winning seasons (7-6 in 2010; 8-5 in 2011). The success propelled FIU into its first two bowl games in the history of the program. (Granted, they were Restaurant Bowls, but beggars can’t be choosers). The Golden Panthers also won the school’s first Sun Belt football title in 2010. The success created the impression that Cristobal was a hell of a coach, and the FIU program was unexpectedly on the rise.
Cristobal was strongly considered for the open job at
Most recently, Cristobal has served as associate head coach on Al Golden’s staff at The U, where he also coached wide receivers and coordinated the Hurricanes’ recruiting program. His roots run deep in South
In his final season, 1992, Cristobal was named first team All-Big East at the tackle position, though he would not get that coveted third ring. In a twist of fate, Cristobal and the ‘Canes were denied that third championship by none other than Gene Stallings’ ’92 Crimson Tide team in the '93 Sugar Bowl.
After finishing his college career, Cristobal tried his hand in the NFL, spending a season (1994) in
Cristobal began his coaching career as a GA at UM in 1998, and after two years in that capacity, joined Schiano at
What This Means for Bama
This coaching hire can be summed up in one word: touchdown. Cristobal is as solid a coach as one can find on the current college football landscape, having spent years on multiple staffs before taking on head coaching responsibilities himself. Despite his sharp termination from FIU, one can surmise that his departure had little to do with the program he developed, either on the field or off. His two consecutive winning seasons, despite the odds working against him, demonstrate that Cristobal has the demeanor and skill set to become a welcome addition to the already-loaded UA coaching staff.
As a former all-league offensive lineman and champion at the college level, his technical credentials for the role he will fill at
As detailed above in the bio, Saban could have found few, if any, coaches more familiar with recruiting south
Cristobal will face a bit of a rebuilding task in
It has been said many times before: replacing position coaches should not create fear and loathing among the