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(A little more on...) Cristobal and Pitt

A couple of reports out of Pittsburgh have Cristobal interviewing for the job today. I have no confirmation of that and one source says flatly, "There was no interview with Pitt."

FIU practiced today. There's an official visit from junior college offensive lineman Delmar Taylor, a Miami Beach High graduate and FIU verbal commit, and home visits with recruits later. The FIU football party heads over to St. Petersburg Saturday at noon.

But surely Pitt will do some background checking on Cristobal. In the last year, Pitt saw one head coach leave for Arizona State after a season and his immediate predecessor, Mike Haywood, last only 16 days before Pitt responded to Haywood's arrest on a domestic violence charge by firing him in January.

Cristobal should come back clean on that check. Also, it helps that FIU's players don't wind up in the miscreant section of the police report. 


A source close to Cristobal said Friday morning any statement that there had been contact betwen Cristobal's agent and the University of Pittsburgh about the Pitt head coaching job was "all speculation."

For his part, Cristobal insisted that with the plethora of coaching rumors, he'd never comment on any job openings aside from FIU and his focus remained on FIU and Tuesday's bowl game.

As mentioned in my last post, compared to what Pitt was paying Todd Graham, now departed for Arizona State, Cristobal's out clause payment is just north of chump change.

Here's the funny part: Pitt would be perceived as a step up for Cristobal. It's a soon-to-be ACC program with a history of national championships, legendary players in a city that's truly drenched in football (go Christmas shopping during a Steelers' game. You'll have the store to yourself, but good luck getting someone to ring you up, even during radio commercials).

But, right now, if FIU was bowl gaming against Pitt (as nearly happened), while Pitt would be favored, I'm not sure I wouldn't take FIU. And if you told me they would be playing early next season, I might pick FIU there, too.

Then again, that's exactly why Cristobal's name comes up with every job opening east of the Mississippi.


Defensive back Davison Colimon tweeted that he remained strong in his FIU committment despite hot pursuit by Middle Tennessee State.


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It will take a very big opportunity for Cristobal to leave FIU and the city of Miami. I believe his the highest payed coach in the Sunbelt (which is not much when it comes to big big conferences like the SEC, Big 12, etc). I honestly think Coach Cristobal wants to be here when FIU changes conference (which might be in less then 5 years) and he simply loves Miami.. Will he retire as a Golden Panther? Not a chance, but it will take a big opportunity for him t go. Like North Carolina, Georgia, GT, etc.. For now lets enjoy what we have and the great players him and his staff have brought in.. Lets bring the Beef Home!


I think it's very possible that Mario retires a Golden Panther. I also wear rose-colored (or blue and gold) glasses, but whatever -- I can believe.

It will be a great opportunity for Cristobal and for FIU.. FIU needs to move forward. Cristobal is mediocre at best.. He beat six bad teams plus Louisville and UCF.. If we would play Louisville with Bridgewater today we would lose by a bunch (this will be proven next year when Louisville comes to Miami)and UCF proved the whole season that they weren't who we thought they were and that in fact were a pretty mediocre team..

Hopefully Pitt takes Mario..

apparently the offer is for $2M?! ouch... FIU can't compete with that just yet.

another panther, while there have been some questionable game calling this year, man we've come soooo far from just a couple years ago. keep in mind we STILL don't have our full allotment of scholarships. its pretty amazing what he has done, all things considered.

@Another Panther: I'll take Mario over any previous coach we've had. Who would you replace him with?

Don't look at records just yet. Look at direction. We've improved every year since Mario got here. I don't think we've reached our top yet. Sure, at some point it will level off, we will have our ups and downs, but I think we have reached a level that would take others schools many more years to achieve.

Rumors are that Pitt offered Luke Fickell the HC job. Whatever happens with Coach Cristobal he has guided FIU in the right direction.

There is too much potential for FIU as a university and as a football program to be worried about Mario’s departure. If he does decide to go, I wish him the best, but I don’t see much of a bump in the road for this program.

Mario Cristobal can not talk about job openings to the media all he wants, but he interviewed with Pittsburgh today.


Guys,we are fourth in the worst conference in FBS..There are three SBC teams ahead of us..

Why is MC so great in the mind of some people? We didn't beat anybody good this year (except Louisville that were pretty bad before Bridgewater started playing).

FAU has better facilities than us, Miami has better tradition than us.. We need to really win a lot to stand out in South Florida. Mario is not cutting it.. Nobody in their right mind believes in this 8-4 record.

The bowl was a gift, WKU beat us on the field they should be playing it.

@Another panther

you are a wolf in sheep's clothing......IMPOSTER!!!

The Herald is also hoping MC leaves!

@ Roary:

We've only had one other coach!

Mario Cristobal lies to these young men. Brings them in to FIU and talk about loyalty, yet the first opportunity he get he will leave FIU!

Hahahaa! For all those who hated me, know that I have a better job now, than this stupid FIU blog! #Winning!

If the money is right......shhhhhhhhhhhhhh, loyalty all depends on those green faces. I am not worried about this. I think Pete Garcia has a coach in waiting, and that is his boy Butch Davis. Yeah, yeah, yeah...im crazy it will never happen, but there boys so you can never say never.

ACC is a big time confrence , big time $$$ but im sure he dont like that weather , I belive he would not hesitate if it was the U Head Coach position .

Agreed. He is waiting on the university of Miami HC job. But butch just might be an upgrade. Hmmm interesting times in Miami.

Jim Leavitt would be a good HC candidate.

So would manny Diaz and probably the guy to beat but I would love butch here.

stuff happens and we'll see.

I can’t blame Mario for not ignoring other opportunities. Loyalty is great but in the end, Mario is gonna do what he thinks is best for him and his family. South Florida is a very attractive place to coach with all the native talent . Look at what happened last year when we lost Geoff Collins to Mississippi State. We replaced him with another great DC in Tod Orlando and our defense did not suffer, but actually improved its performance from the previous year. I don’t want to just forget about Mario yet because I love the guy and he’s done a great job at FIU, but if he decides to leave us, Butch Davis would be a great replacement. He could definitely take FIU to the next level. I hope Mario does stay at FIU but if he does decide to leave, I’ll give him a big thank you, and wish him the best.

You people are all nuts. FIU should at least double Cristobal's salary ASAP, $10 more a student would do it.

This isn't close to a destination job, Jim Leavitt and Butch Davis aren't coming in to save the day. Randy Shannon wouldn't do this job at the current salary, Mario Cristobal apparently won't either.

If FIU is going to build a football program and eventually pay a coach enough to stay, they might as well start now with Cristobal. If you're making a million dollars a year it could make sense not to move from Miami to Pittsburgh for double the salary, especially when you consider the income tax.

But right now Cristobal would be doing his family a disservice if he didn't take every middling interview that was offered to him. His salary is way out of step with FIU's support and promotion of it's football team, with the new stadium, big advertising, etc.

Shoot. Buc is right. Even the math is about right.

I don't know whats going on with Buc lately, but his absolutely right. If you want to keep a good coach from leaving then you have to at least come close to what everyone else is offering. Can we compete with Pitt and the Big East teams, I think so.. If you get an Big 12, Big 10, ACC, etc team offering him a deal then we will be out of the picture quickly.. Its reality. I would not mind loosing MC to GT (for example) but PITT!! Are you crazy!


It would take a couple of years to come up with such a salary hike. I understand that it is a pie in the sky, but I would not bet against FIU getting Butch Davis at a discount. Butch Davis is looking for redemption, he got a raw deal in North Carolina. Butch made $25 million in the NFL with the Browns. If Butch Davis would go to FIU, and would bring in the recruits capable of next level. Butch and Pete Garcia where the ones responsible for all of those UM players that were 1st round pics. Butch Davis has to be one of the 10 greatest recruiters in history. Pete twisted Isiah to come down here for cheap, I think he could do the same with his boy Butch. A few years of Butch Davis recruiting class, and FIU would have enough interest and demand on their football program to build the second deck in the stadium, after that then I think FIU would be better suited to pay him big time money; and more importantly Butch would have some long awaited redemption. I love Cristobal, and what he has done here at FIU. I do not believe at all he is staying for that long, he is no way going to be FIU's Bobby Bowden. Cristobal needs to do what is best for him and his family, I think Pitt is going to be the first of many interviews he does this year. I trust in Pete Garcia, and am completely confident that he knows who to bring in here, if Cristobal decides to move on. Yes, Cristobal is a good coach, but does he deserve 1-2 mil a year??? If he would have gone undefeated the last two years then, yes...but c'mon. If your going to pay that type of money, then I prefer that money going to Butch Davis. Either way, Tuesday cannot come fast enough, we are proud of the FIU team and the advancement of the program. Thank you seniors for working hard, and having pride for FIU; you seniors were true leaders and will be missed. I wont be able to make the game, I have finished finals and will be going back to China tomorrow; but I will be watching the game on ESPN3.

If Mario wants his money I think y'all should give him his money.


I agree with Wang, if you’re going to pay that type of money you better be 100% it is to a coach that deserves it and has proven himself. We do not want to be like those morons on University of Coral Gables who over pay for a coach that has never won anything, plus give him an 5 year extension after a 6-6 season. Pathetic.

Sounds like Cristobal isn't Pitt's first choice - they've interviewed some coordinator since they talked to him, obviously he didn't blow them away.

Should be a wake up call that Cristobal can't keep coaching at FIU for a noncompetitive salary.

UM has had two bad coaches in a row, I thought FIU had one before Cristobal? Why does nobody around here appreciate how valuable a great coach is?

There's no such thing as an "inevitable rise", it just comes down to a coach and his players.

With a potential Conference USA spot up for grabs this is a horrible time for FIU to gamble on finding someone better than Cristobal who will coach for peanuts.

Get your petition on FIUers - Cristobal is way more important than getting invited to the Beef O' Brady Bowl, act accordingly.


Hey guys, this is Buc Pancy, I have been very depressed. This past week another two underclassman declared for the NFL. One I really dont care about because he rides the bench, he was a DE that was suspended this year, the other is Brandon Washington who was a stud. Anyways I am getting ready to see another 5-10 players transfer after the Xmas break and after the sanctions are anounced. It does not matter because or coach is named Golden shower, and he will take us back to winning again. Whatch out, the U is comming back. Anyways I spend my free time in this blog nitpicking at everything FIU does, at first I was happy that Cristobal was going to interview at Pitt, now I am also happy because he is not going. That means they dont like him bc FIU is horrible. I blame everything of FIU and how bad they area. I am just a big fat pancy. Anyways I am studip and like to pick my nose. By for now.

Hello FIU u fans! AG3 here again! Just wanted to stop by & tell u how much the Herald just loves FIU!!! We will def cover the BOB Bowl results in the paper, Not!! Hahaha! Still winning!!!

Let Cristobal go, he is mediocre at best.. we are 4th in the SunBelt with a senior QB and TY Hilton.

FIU can do better that MC, he will be fired from Pitt in a couple of years..

Actually I'm always happy to see players leave early to be drafted into the NFL - by the way, all four players are upperclassmen, besides Miller who redshirted and should have been a junior.

And I don't think I'm nitpicking, head coach is a pretty big deal and I think Cristobal's a good one.


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