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Canes, Coker win... but now what?

They did it. They won. Now what?

Ncf_a_coker_195That's a question Hurricanes fans may not have to wait long to have answered. Coach Larry Coker's future at the University of Miami could be decided and announced as early as 11 a.m. today when the media are scheduled to congregate in the Edgerrin James Room on campus for the usual postgame talk with coach. Thursday night, Coker said he expected to return (SEE THE VIDEO) and planned to go to work Sunday  when the recruiting season officially begins. But that all will likely change today as most members of the media figure the Hurricanes 6-6 season won't be enough to save Coker's job.

Canesport.com editor Gary Ferman reported early Friday morning, sources close to the situation had told him Coker will be fired this morning. According to Ferman's story, "University President Donna Shalala reportedly wanted to try to avoid dismissing Coker. But the steady decline of the program over the past three seasons combined with a restless fan base has left Shalala with no choice but to make that difficult decision to let Coker go."

Ncf_u_dee_195We tried in the closing moments Thursday night to find athletic director Paul Dee for some insight. He was nowhere to be found on the field, where he usually stands and watches the final moments of every game. We all kind of got the sense Dee was avoiding us. Sure enough, when I saw him hanging out in the coaches lockerroom after the game, the only question I was able to sneak in before the door was closed in my face by a security guard was "Are you going to make a comment tonight?" To which Dee replied simply, "No." Same for the other members of the media. He didn't look happy, kind of like somebody who had to break bad news.

In search of further insight, I asked several players on the team if they thought Coker was still going to be their coach if they get to a bowl game -- likely either in Boise or San Francisco. The overwhelming response was basically "We think so." Anthony Wollschlager admitted while some players are privately worried Coker will be gone, he said Coker didn't say anything to make them believe Thursday's 17-14 win over Boston College would be his last game at UM.

Cristobal_1 Assuming Coker is fired this afternoon, speculation is Randy Shannon will likely assume the head coaching duties for the bowl game. My hunch is Shannon will not be the first choice for the job and will likely end up being the No. 2 or No. 3 choice if others like Greg Schiano pass it up. Either way, the next few hours figure to be real interesting. I'd be surprised if a decision is not made quickly because it appears the hiring process will take a long time. In the meantime, I think Mario Cristobal would be the likely choice to stick around and help with recruiting until a coach is finally hired. Thus, probably meaning he'd be retained in some form.

OK, enough about Coker and the coaches.

There are likely three players who could leave the team early and enter the NFL Draft -- tight end Greg Olsen, defensive end Calais Campbell and Jon Beason. Campbell reiterated he plans to come back and be the leader of this team next year despite what has to be the best season of any player on the team. Beason and Olsen are a little more questionable. Beason flat out said if Randy Shannon is gone he will test the NFL waters. If it's good enough, he's gone. Olsen was a little less clear. I think he too feels a coaching change could spring him to leave.

To see what both of them had to say as well as several other players, please follow the links to our videos and audio.

OK, so here's what I want to know from you. Did this victory Thursday night do enough for you to make you feel Coker should be given another shot? Also, what bowl game would you like to see Miami play in? And finally, has Kirby Freeman done enough in three games to beat out Kyle Wright to begin next season as the starting quarterback?

Chew on that and fire back.

Comments

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They threw the ball down the field! I can't believe it, they threw the ball down the freakin' field setting up 2 TD's! I just don't know what to say. Good night all!

It wouldn't bother me if Olsen bolted for the NFL. I don't think he progressed much this season, but it's clear he's got loads of talent. We desperately need Beason and Campbell to come back. Beason is the leader of the D and Campbell is unblockable at times.

I like how ESPN trotted out Flutie in anticipation of throwing more dirt on the Canes. Just beautiful how Flutie got to witness BC's 15th straight loss to UM. Screw Flutie and screw ESPN!

After the never-ending crapstorm the Canes endured all season, they really deserved this. This one's definitely for Bryan Pata. He gave the defense something extra tonight. A very moving scene at the end of the game.

The defense certainly shined tonight. When Kirby got to call his own plays, the offense shined.

Reviewing the past season, the QB or coach may not be the problem...NOT catching the football definitely has been a problem. The best QB in the world cannot make a team win if his receivers cannot make the catches.

When the U was great, we had playmakers...Shockey, Andre Johnson, Willis McGahee, Frank Gore, Sean Taylor, and countless others. We had some good players this year, but not any real playmakers...which is what every great team needs.

The Miami defense of old would force turnovers, strip the ball, intercept; special teams would make plays.

To blame a lackluster season solely on the coach and the QB is not reasonable.

However, the playcalling is too predictable...when grandma can predict the plays, it's time for a change.

Nice to win the last game, but this does not change anything.

1. Coker, despite being a nice and decent man, must be let go asap. The longer this lingers, the worse for recruiting.

2. Dee should be let go as well and hire Barry Alvarez as the AD.

3. We a young energetic, no-nonsense coach to change the culture around this team. He, along with the AD, also need to bring some excitement and fund-raising ability (our facilities are a disgrace and it does affect recruiting).

4. Who cares which bowl game we go to. The only positive is more experience for the younger players.

5. Neither Kyle Wright or Kirby Freeman have shown they deserve to be the starting quarterback. Maybe a new coaching staff will change that, or bring in somebody new (JUCO transfer or mature Prep quarterback, alla Ken Dorsey)

Happy Thanksgiving

Good win Canes. However, once again the defense had to carry the offense. Freeman showed some good things (2 deep balls, great scrambling) and some not-so-good things (3 INTS??!!). As usual the play calling was bland and predictable. Note to Rich Olsen, when you line up in 5 receiver sets, how about you ACTUALLY THROW TO A RECEIVER ONCE OR TWICE??

Can't wait until 2007!

good game..still coaching problem we've drop to many punts, if freeman had more experince he wouldnt have threw at least one interciption..you have to love this defense they keep us in the game and that was without kenny(he's a future superstar)but if miami doesnt fire coker today he'll be back!!!!

Has anyone considered hiring Norm Chow, the offensive coordinator, for the head coaching position. Look at his track record with offenses and QBs.....Steve Young (BYU), Phillip Rivers (NC State), USC (need we say more).

He can keep the defense healthy if the offense is always pounding it down someone's throat.

And since the other great offensive guru isn't going to leave South Carolina, might as well get the best out there by far.

1) Dee and Coker will be fired at 11am today, and Shalalala should resign in discrace.
2) San Francisco bowl would be nice, but the Boise bowl would be okay (just play the young players to get experience!)
3) Kirby will be fine with more experience, as he was really only playing in his third game. It was a travesty that he didn't get more playing time the past two years, especially while Kyle continued to falter. Better offensive line and more imaginative/less predictable play-calling will help immensely. At least Kirby has shown he can hit the long pass and scramble at times. He needs to be more patient with receivers getting open before he just puts his head down and runs though.
The defense played great yesterday. Kudos to them for the exceptional effort (for Pata?).

he's gone ..best news of the year..larry out at the U

Larry is a class act and tried his best, but thanksgiving is over and lets get out there recruiting and lets get the best coach possible

Whats up with Herbstriet last night hammering the program and the facitilies?
Thats funny Reed, Lewis, James etc... come back every summer and workout there?

I have not been a great believer in Larry Coker remaining as head coach of the U. It just wasn't a good mix, pure and simple. That being said, he deserves thanks for doing the best he could. You have to wish he and his wife all the best. He'll walk out with a darn good severence pay. He is basically a teacher so don't be surpirsed to see him somewhere else as a motivational speaker or working with young people.

Moving forward, with this aweful season about to come to an end, it really is hard to accept how bad the offense has become. No originality, no confidence, and too many mistakes. We clearly need a big name coach who has the experience on this end of the game. Players also need to know what is expected from them. Rushing to catch a punt only to fumble at a critical point in a game is just unacceptable. Its the mental mistakes that no fan of the U can tolerate. We lost at least three of our final games that a few years ago never would have happened. Gino Torretta said it correctly last night on ESPN when he indicated that we shuld be able to turn things around quickly. MY advise to President Shalala and company is to think hard, take a step back, then move forward to reflect on where we are and where the program needs to go. Lets hope their decision is a good one. Much is at stake for the entire UM athletic program.

Most of the problems lay with coaching:

1) Although Kyle Wright has started 21 games, he still makes the same mistakes - holding the ball too long, overthrowing and throwing into heavy coverage.

2) Dumb penalties. The first play of last night's game got a false start. Then you have personal fouls, blocks in the backs and other penalties that kill drives or give the opponent good field position.

3) Lack of discipline. Again, penalties at the wrong time, the brawl vs. FIU, shootings, etc...

Coker might be a nice guy but his ship has run aground and he's the captain.

Coker should take this guy Kyle with him, since that idiot qb is main reason why he got fired yesterday.Coker keep playing this bum every week instead of giving the other guy a chance.I hope he learn not to stick with loosers.If this idiot Kyle start next season I'll burn my Cane Jersey.

I just heard that the Stoops brothers are leaving Arizona for the U.

We now have to move forward. The CANES will be back. As an Alumni, I am tired of reading comments from bandwagon CANE fans who suddenly want to jump ship. Once a CANE always a CANE no matter what! On another note, I have not heard any mention of Coach Fisher of the Tennessee Titans as being a possible option for the Miami head coach job. I believe he will be without a job by the end of the season. He would be an excellent choice for head Coach. Hopefully, Miami will do the best they can to keep Randy as our defensive coordinator.

Did the win save Coker's job?

No.

In what bowl would I like to see the 'Canes play?

The national championship. Otherwise, whatever . . ..

Should Freeman replace Wright?

There's no answer to that question. Freeman and Wright, like Berlin before them, are top-rated quarterbacks and should be competing for the Heisman. At any other school, all three could look forward to being superstars, Heisman candidates and lucrative pro contracts. But at the U--and I can't believe I'm saying this about quaterback U--they're washing out. Obviously, their talents have been neither tapped nor utilized at Miami, and I'm sure both have thought of going someplace--anyplace--else. I know I would. Either quarterback is better than good enough to handle the job, with the right coaching. Both are very talented. Both have been shortchanged at Miami. Both deserve better coaching and support from their teammates.

I hope Shalala's smart enough to pick a strong-willed man with some ego and a chip on his shoulder. That's a head football coach. My opinion is that the U does not need any more "really nice guys".

Steve Spurrier, are we forgetting UM use to beat his gators all the time... He cried and whined and changed conference so he would not have to play UM. He admitted then he would never stand a chance of national championship if he had to play UM every year. How could we lower our standards and hire the defeatist.... He is scared of playing UM..Tyrone Willingham please Save us

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