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Cristobal signs another extension; men's soccer schedule out

I'll have more details this evening -- I'm officially on vacation and planning to observe working silence for a few hours this afternoon -- but FIU has added a year to football coach Mario Cristobal's contract to 2017 and given him another raise a year after bumping him up to over $453,000 on base salary.

Realistic about FIU's limits, I don't think Cristobal was looking for the big payday for himself, but did want the football equivalent of occasionally sending flowers and candy when it's not a birthday, anniversary or Valentine's Day -- more money for assistants, some upgrades on facilities befitting a program trying to work its way up.

I'll break this down when I get a peek at the contract or at least the highlights, hopefully later today.

FUTBOL

The men's soccer schedule came out Wednesday.

Kenny Arena's first season as FIU men's soccer coach opens with a for-fun exhibition at Barry Aug. 16, then a home game that counts against Bryant University (is the prime major there building and servicing air conditioners and heaters?) on Aug. 24. They have one home game in September, Sept. 16 against Missouri-Kansas City. Their next three home games are Oct. 6 against Alabama-Birmingham, Howard and defending Conference USA champion SMU.

Memphis comes in on Oct. 27 and a home game against Tulsa ends the regular season on Nov. 3. Between those games is a short ride up to FAU Oct. 30.

Early in the season, the Panthers play five consecutive road games: Aug. 31 at North Florida, Sept. 2 at Jacksonville, Sept. 7 at Wisconsin, Sept. 9 against Illinois-Chicago and Sept. 14 against Furman. Their first Conference USA match of the season will be at South Carolina Sept. 29.

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Good for him, he's earned it.

Yep.

And he'll get another raise next year to keep him in the middle to upper C-USA coaches salary range.

Go Panthers!

FIU's athletics admin should pursue local businesses with ties to FIU, e.g., banks, car dealerships, or sporting good stores, etc., and help broker advertisement / endorsement deals for Cristobal. These side gigs should be contingent on, even if unofficially only, that he is and remains FIU's head football coach.

If that can be accomplished, it could be of mutual benefit to Cristobal and FIU: (1) supplement Cristobal's earnings; increase his notoriety in the community - maybe this could indirectly or eventually help with football recruitment; and (3) simply draw more attention to FIU's developing football program.

Cristobal seems to hold his own pretty well during interviews (not so much with Spanish media - he needs to practice his Spanish more), so one should think that his tough-but-likable young football coach image could be slowly shaped into something with corporate appeal.

Before people go nuts, I am not saying that his face should be splashed on every billboard in South Florida. Clearly not. It'll require more accomplishments in the Sun Belt or Conference USA to get to that point, but I'm merely suggesting that this is a process that should have started, if it has not already.

We cannot expect Cristobal to compromise the financial realities of his family forever, so FIU would be wise to improve Cristobal's big picture - AT FIU - by any means possible.

Skipped the 2nd opinion....

(1) supplement Cristobal's earnings; (2) increase his notoriety in the community - maybe this could indirectly or eventually help with football recruitment; and (3) simply draw more attention to FIU's developing football program.

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/fiusports/2012/07/cristobal-signs-another-extension.html#storylink=cpy

Rooting4FIU, I like your idea, it makes a lot of sense, I hope someone is taking note at FIU.

Great points Rooting. Mario has tons of charisma

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