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Yesterday is History. . .Today is the Day

So apparently not too many of you folks liked the Kool-Aid concocted in the last blog. Kool_3

So we'll return the DeLorean and bring in golfing sage, Chi Chi Rodriguez, to take us to this blog with one of his colorful quotes: "Yesterday is history, tommorrow is a mystery, today is the day."

Chichi_2 Before we get to today, having closely covered FIU football on a daily basis since its inception, I still stand by my Kool-Aid about last year's team. All that team needed was direction to have a successful season. But let's get to today.

FIU baseball is suddenly a hot topic among college players. Word is there have been plenty of calls placed to Turtle Thomas about players looking to transfer. GPP asked TT about it and he had no comment. One of the more potent bats that appears headed to FIU is Louisville first baseman Jorge Castillo.

Castillo, who hit mostly fourth or fifth in the Cardinals lineup and helped UL (47-23) get to the College World Series, is a local kid who played at Gulliver. The first baseman would be a senior next season and unlike other NCAA sports, in baseball, Castillo (picture, below right) would not have to sit out a year. He hit .317 with 7 HR and 62 RBI and was 5 for 13 in the CWS. Cast

Yes, I know the follow up question is "What about the pitching coach?" Talking to TT, he has narrowed down his choices, but there hasn't been any contracts signed. But rest assured, there will be a "real" pitching coach in place at FIU next season.

Speaking of a "real" coach, I texted MC the other day about doing a Question and Answer session with you good people on the GPP. Earlier this year, you guys asked for an MC interview, the GPP did one better....we're going to make it a Q & A with you guys and MC. By the way, MC's response to the idea: "Absolutely!"

Mc_2  So send in your questions and I'll bring them to my meeting with MC later next week and we'll get all your answers on this blog. I imagine we may have to divide the Q & A into two separate blogs, but we'll get it done!

As for other "today" FIU news, Mark Lewis, a former FIU soccer player, won Arena Football League Kicker of the Year this week. Lewis, a kicker for the Austin Wranglers, is the AFL's all-time leader in field goal percentage. Lew_2

PANTHER PAWSE No. 18

YouGotGold: We'll soon have a blog on FIU's upcoming opponents.

FIUGolden: I'm not too familiar with what's going in Sweetwater, but that would be a great idea to try and make that area into a college town atmosphere. Slowly, but surely FIU is shedding its commuter school image. Winning in sports will be a major factor for that.

FIUJay: We're glad the GPP can be your one-stop shop for FIU sports news. Sort of like Tar-jay.

A Realisst: You may or may not have drank the Kool-Aid, but thanks for understanding the point of the previous blog. I think too many people jumped the gun thinking I was saying FIU should have been in a BCS bowl last season. All I was trying to get across was that last season's talent was wasted.

FIUMom: 56 days until Happy Valley.

The June numbers are in for the Herald blogs and the GPP is holding steady at No. 4 out of 9 Herald sports blogs, but we dropped four spots from No. 6 to the No. 10 among all the Herald's 32 blogs. The four blogs that leaped the GPP: TV, gossip, crime and politics.

24/7: The GPP won't go into the future until after seeing what develops in Camp Cristobal with the returning players and incoming freshman class. After that we'll have a blog on thoughts for this upcoming season.

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hey pete ask MC how my old teacher mirabal is doing w/ the tight ends, the guy is a great teacher/ coach and i would love to see the TE's explode in the new offense.

I think the Q&A with Cristobal is an excellent idea. Let's see how many of the UCGers come up with legitimate questions for our fearless leader.

My question for MC:
What fundamentally is being done to shore up the O-line (and I don't mean bringing in new recruits)? I want to be able to see the running game have a chance to let our starting backs can do the job or else move over and let one of the younger guys show their stuff.

As usual, great blog, Pete. If you could, ask MC:

1. To give us a "timeline" of his future expected success at FIU...in terms of wins and losses and/or type of recruits being lured our way, and/or bowl game participation, etc.

2. How is the walk on program coming along? What are his plans in this regard?

3. How far along are we in the APR scholarship hit taken?..when can we "sign"..or better yet fully award those lost schollys?

4. BTW, are we going to be "fully funded" scholarship-wise to give out the full 85 once the APR thing is over?

5. Are you (MC) seeing a shift in recruits' perception of FIU and its football program?. How difficult is it recruiting for FIU outside of Florida? I ask this, since we are getting a good number of players from out of state...contrary to the previous leadership and strategies.

6. What aspects of FIU you have found a surprise? either positive or negative.

7. What do you mostly sell recruits about FIU? What do they tell you they like the most?

Great blog PP; by the way I'm drinking the kool-aid ;) .

My question for MC is: Coach are you seeing the QB situation at FIU the same way many of us are, i.e. is Wayne Younger going into the Fall practice as your #1?

and a follow up might be: Coach, do you feel you have the horses up front to be able to compete in the Sun Belt this year? or are we still a year away.

Thanks Pete.

Great job with the blog and what a great idea to bring soe interactivity to the audience!

1. I want to know how Mario sizes up the SBC conference and how many more recruiting classes he thinks he needs to win the SBC. Thats the first step tp everything else.

2. and as 2nd part to that, what conf he says us joining next.

Pete,

Thank you for your FIU blogs.

Questions:

With the departures of defensive leaders like Bouie,Barnes,Smith and Bostic; who does he think will be the leader of the defense?

2nd Questions:
During scrimmage, TE Moses Hinton looked impressive; can he be as good or better than Sam Smith was the last two years?

Thanks again. Keep up the great work!!

MC Question: How has Pete Garcia enabled you to do your job effectively?

MC Question: How have the players attitudes and perspectives changed from the first day you arrived at FIU to now?

MC Question: How do you plan to get the community more involved with our program, particularly Alumni?

MC Question: You have compared this program several time to Rutgers a few years back, what are some similarities and differences in this program to Rutgers AND between the coaching philosophies of Greg Schiano and yourself?

MC Question: Describe for me how you will feel when FIU beats scUM this year?

Pete,

You da man...but you knew that already.

Coach MC,

1. You inhereted a schedule with some very tough OOC opponents on it. I understand you've got to play and eventually beat the best if you want to be the best. However, is having soo many tough OOC opponents the best strategy for such a young FIU program?

1A. Now that you have an opportunity to negotiate future OOC games, will you seek to play such an agressive OOC schedule or seek more balance and schedule some OOC games that are more winnable, at least on paper?

2. You will win at FIU and eventually start winning big and often. When that occurs, the more established progams will come calling on you. Is your vision to jump on an opportunity to join an established program as HC OR are you a Joe Paterno in the making, that young coach who made something great out of a young, unknown, unproven program and stayed for the long haul?

Thanks for all you've done already coach MC. You have all of our support on this blog, with the exception of the haters...read this blog long enough and it's easy to identify who they are.

As always, Go G-Panthers!

Mirabal was my teacher too...the guy is GREAT...on and off the field
There are some good Q's out there...I like the one about bringing more fans to the stadium and the one about recruiting in Fla

My question is: How are you going to address the kicking issue since it was something that really hurt us last year?
I don't think anybody new was brought in (freshman class)...so is it just going to be "battle it out in august" between the 2 guys you already have?
Best of luck this year
T.D.A.O.S.

THANK FOR THE COMMENT PETE

MY QUESTION WOULD BE:

IF AND WHEN HE ENDURES SUCCESS OTHER TOP PROGRAMS / NFL WILL COME CALLING, DOES HE THINK ABOUT THAT OR DOES HE SEE HIMSELF AT FIU FOR MANY YEARS TO COME???

THANKS AGAIN

Another great idea and blog Pete!

Coach MC,

Q1) Does Coach Mirabal still head bunt people without a helmet???

Q2) Has it been a big challenge to change culture of losing within the program, or has the team been receptive and ready for change?

Q3) What are some of the things you have done to stress dicipline within the team?

Good luck and Adelante!!!!!

YouGotGold.....
There is another kicker on the team, but Coach Strock kept him on the sidelines with a clipboard in his hand as a redshirt QB last season. Because of that, it has been since December 2005 when he last kicked, except for the little bit they had him do this spring. I was told that during the summer break he was working on it at home, and if he is where he used to be, John Paul Fraites is the money-man in the kicking game.

My question is:

After the success that was our spring scrimmage event, are there plans to continue the big event every year like it was this year?

Thanks mom...
But if he is money, why wasnt he given a chance instead of watching the other guys miss so many crucial FG's and EXTRA POINTS !!!
Come on people, you cannot expect to beat good teams like Miami, Penn State and Arkansas if we miss EXTRA POINTS !!!
I guess I have to come up with another question then...
Mr. MC, would you wear a T.D.A.O.S. t-shirt?

Pete,

I having been posting, but I have been viewing from afar!

Here's my question to Mario:

So far the preseason rankings and season projections for FIU have been downright insulting, with most predicting another winless season. What's your answer to all of the negativity sports writers across the nation are showing the program? What do you have to say to them?

I hope he pats em on the back, says great job, your doing the best you can and lets our team continue to be the underdog sleepers!!! Let em rank us last in every poll in the world! It's all just post up, motivational material.

Gold,
That is a question that we were all asking last season. I have my opinion on that, but I will not put that on here for the world to see for personal reasons. I can't get my hands on J.P's statistics right this moment because all of my newspapers are packed away. But he was named all-state as a kicker. Probably 90-95% of his kickoffs were touchbacks. I have seen him put the ball through the uprights on kickoffs in games on several occasions. He has kicked field goals to win the game in overtime multiple times, so the pressure doesn't get to him. I think he may have missed only 3 or 4 PAT's in 4 years as Niceville's kicker (his freshman year he split the kicking duties with a junior kicker). Trust me, if his leg is anywhere close to what it used to be...it is money!

Friends of the GPC (Golden Panther Community),

I ecourage you to continue posting your insightful questions for HC MC on this blog. Additionally, i'd like to get your sense of win/loss expectations for next season. Our schedule is simply brutal. With that, my most optimistic outlook yields approximately 4 wins. Is that too high or too low? What's your take?

As always, Go G-Panthers!

We need to improve our kicking game ASAP...give Fraites a shot, maybe he is the real deal...we don't need yet another QB anyway.

Thanks for the info on Castillo transfereing in for the baaseball team, however what we need is pitching. There will be a log-jam at first base. John Petika lead the team in RBI, Where does he go? Are you planning a sit down with Turtle any time soon? What happens to the players that signed letters of intent? I am sorry to be off the subject but to me there is no other sport but baseball.

I am working on getting John Paul's actual kicking stats for you guys. I have them from all four years of high school, but they are packed away. I have a contact in the media getting them together for me. Perhaps with stats to look at, rather than just my opinion, you will be able to form a better opinion about J.P.'s kicking abilities.

Almost all of the pre-season reviews have pointed out the loss of our starting linebackers and because of the lack of experience and depth predict this years LB unit will be the weak point of the defense. Does MC see this years LB unit as having enough talent and or depth to hold up under a demanding schedule and be the playmakers that last years crew turned out to be. Will other teams try to take advantage of this young unit and how does he think they will respond ?

A lot of our guys on defense got a good deal of experience last season. I think that will pay off for us. Will we be as strong as were were with our "fully in-tact" defense? No, not this year. But I beleive over the next 2 or 3 years we will be even stronger. Especially if the some of the guys with this incoming class turn out to be as good as expected.

By the way.....you have a very polite and mannerable son.

Question for Coach: How is our offense responding to the change from the old pro-style to a newer more spread format?

Question for Pete: Any word on when Turtle is hiring a pitching coach?

One Question...

Paw or Claw?

FIUgrad, I feel your enthusiasm for FIU baseball as well. I see that all of a sudden, FIU is getting a second look among the players. Some transfers, and some out of high school. Whether or not it's attributed to Turtle is yet to been seen - we'd have to see the type of talent we're getting.

Nice to see local talent return to S. Fla if Castillo transfers to FIU.

When is the Cage expected to reach the 45,000 capacity- any timelines? And are there plans for a sponsor or a name change to the stadium? Thanks and can't wait for this season!!

As always,
GO FIU!!

PETE WILL YOU LET US KNOW WHICH QUESTIONS YOU SELECTED???

REMEMBER:

MY QUESTION WOULD BE:

IF AND WHEN HE ENDURES SUCCESS OTHER TOP PROGRAMS / NFL WILL COME CALLING, DOES HE THINK ABOUT THAT OR DOES HE SEE HIMSELF AT FIU FOR MANY YEARS TO COME???

THANKS AGAIN

Coach, I see in your FIUAthletics.com forum, you have a Want-A-Be Mom who is maybe wanting to get a coaching job at FIU. Appears by what I have been reading over the last year, she has many years of experience and knowledge of how the game of football should be played. Just ask the Niceville coaches they will tell you how she told them how to play football. Is there a chance for the hiring of a single assistant coach that knows it all? Imagine the money on coaches that you would save. Good Luck this season.

Coach, Under Don Strock, the opponents knew FIU's Game. How much of a benifit do you believe the other opponents will have not knowing your strategy?

My response to a Realisst is, don't worry about a coach at FIU having success, it would be a bleesing if it ever happens.

My question to the blog is; name a coach from FIU that has ever moved up in class or money. I can't think of a single one.

If MC can do it, more power to him.

FIU FAN

I CAN THINK OF A QUICK ONE. MARK CALVI THE FORMER PITCHING COACH GOT A GREAT JOB AS THE PITCHING COACH AT USC AND IS MAKING A TON MORE MONEY.

Can you ask MC what he feelsd makes him qualified to run a D-1 Program when he was never even a coordinator at a D-1 program?

Sounds more lateral to me, but I'll give that one to you. Point still remains; let's cross that bridge when we get to it.

although i think that might of been an attempted shot from 24/7. it should be an interesting answer from him. actually im supprised it wasnt a worst question

I posted this on another blog...(Sorry):

There are rumors that state that recruit Bryan Mann did not qualify, therefore he won't be at FIU, at least this year. Can you mention if this is true, and confirm whether Jermaine Malcolm and Shaquan Hicks will play for FIU as well?

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