Julio Frenk to be UM's next president -- and to inherit a football program in need of resurgence

   Incoming University of Miami President Julio Frenk grew up in Mexico playing soccer and basketball. American football became entrenched in his life when he studied for his doctorate at Michigan – another high-profile program in the world of collegiate football.

   Frenk, 61, assured the audience at his introductory news conference Monday that he “indeed,’’ is “fully aware of the great tradition in athletics and in particular football’’ at Miami, that he is “talking with the community to understand their expectations and dreams for that part of the university,’’ and that he sees “athletics as an integral part of a comprehensive education.’’

    Frenk told The Miami Herald after his address that he went to “many, many football games at Michigan. When I was a student I almost didn’t miss any. I’m looking forward to it here.’’

     With current Miami president Donna Shalala retiring her position June 1 to become president of the Clinton Foundation, her replacement was highly anticipated by UM football fans intent on the program returning to its glory days.

    Frenk, currently the dean of the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health and Mexico’s former Minister of Health, starts his job at UM on Sept. 1, but he met with head coaches for about 45 minutes Monday.

   “Very nice guy,’’ said UM baseball coach Jim Morris after the meeting. “He’s well rounded, he’s learning and I was told that he would be very positive toward athletics.’’

   UM athletic director Blake James called it “a great day’’ for Miami. Football coach Al Golden, under considerable pressure to win in 2015 after a 6-7 season and 11 losses in his last 19 games, said in a prepared statement that it was “a tremendous day’’ and that he expected Frenk to take the school “to even great heights.’’

   Before Frenk met with the coaches, basketball coach Jim Larranaga praised the hire.

   “He’s got an incredible background academically and in public health,’’ Larranaga said. “As a coach you hope that your administration is going to be very, very supportive of athletics, and from what I understand, he is.’’

   When asked if the direction of the sports program was an important component in the hiring of a new president, Richard Fain, the Royal Caribbean Cruises CEO who headed the presidential search committee, said, “Of course.’’

   “At the U,’’ Fain told The Herald, you can’t not have that be an important dialogue about the future of the university.’’

   Stuart Miller, CEO of the Lennar Corporation and chair of the UM Board of Trustees, said sports was “absolutely one of the priorities’’ in the search. “It’s part of our brand. It’s part of what defines the university across the country.

   “The fact that we’ve brought on a president that has such an open mind, a mind of inclusiveness, and recognizes all parts of the university gives me a great deal of confidence.’’

   Shalala brought UM through a long NCAA investigation and has taken much criticism for the school’s decline in football. She said she believes “UM fans should be excited’’ by Frenk’s hire.

   “First of all,’’ she said, “we have a great group of coaches for our athletics program, we’ve got stability and we’ve got big financial investments in the program.

   “I just think the best is yet to come.’’

  ******************************************************************

   I talked to 104.3 FM The Ticket executive producer and on-air personality Brian London, and he said during today's "The Eric and Leroy Show,'' he "received dozens of texts regarding the hire.

   "The majority of texts from sports fans were positive,'' London said. "The majority of people we heard from were encouraged by Frenk's educational background and the benefit of expanding the school with research, and in fundraising as well. There were only a small minority of nasty texts. But some fans were concerned about Dr. Frenk's lack of experience wtih American football.''

*****************************************************************************

 MIAMI HERALD QUESTION TO FRENK:  

Throughout this long process, how much have you acquainted yourself with Miami athletics, and in particular the football program, and what do you foresee your role being with football and athletics at Miami?

FRENK: "Indeed, I am fully aware of the great tradition in athletics and in particular in football here. Again, this will be a central part of my immersion process understanding the culture, understanding what was the process through which the University of Miami, including its athletic program has come to where it is now, and I’m talking with the community to understand their expectations and their dreams for that part of the university. I will say that I see athletics as an integral part of a comprehensive education. To me it is … a part of the educational experience of our students and I value that part of the educational experience of a comprehensive education. 

"But I look forward to understanding better and talking with many of the key players in more than one sense of the word player, and I will be meeting with the coaches later today in this visit and this will be a central part of that process of immersion and my process of learning more about the cultural, the history, the traditions and the expectations and dreams of this university."

 MIAMI HERALD: What sport, if any, do you enjoy most as a fan and perhaps, participant, or have you ever played any sports?

 “As anyone who looks at me can surmise immediately, I’m not the most athletic person. However I did play basketball when I was a younger person and I played soccer football. I was a goalkeeper. That served me greatly in the later stages of my political career, trying to keep goals away from my net.

 “I enjoy football very much, having started at the University of Michigan. I was there five years because I did a Ph.D. so I got moved closer and closer to the 50-yard line… I understand the position of president comes with already a very good position on the field and I look forward [to it]. It is a game I enjoy very much, and again, it’s part of my respect to the university and my conviction that this is a key part of a comprehensive education that I look very much forward to that part of my new job starting on Sept. 1."

  What are your thoughts on the new hire? My first impression is positive. I think he'll be very good for UM in general. As for the athletic program, the jury is obviously still out.

 SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

    

November 27, 2013

Coach Al Golden speaks on ACC Teleconference about weather & other topics heading into Pittsburgh

Coach AL Golden spoke on the ACC Teleconference this morning, and the first question involved the pre-winter blast of extremely cold weather forecast for Pittsburgh. It's snowing there today, I'm told, and it will be clear for the game with temperatures that start at about 31 and head into the high teens at night. The sun will set early into the game, and any wind converging with the three rivers toward the open end of the stadium will undoubtedly make it brutally cold conditions for both teams, but especially daunting, obviouslly, for the Hurricanes.

Here's Golden's transcription:


COACH GOLDEN: We're in the middle of
our preparation, getting ready to go to Pittsburgh,
first time seeing them as a coastal opponent.
Great challenge for us, great opportunity.
With that I'll open it up to any questions
that you have.

Q. Obviously major weather issues on
the East Coast today. I know it's 48 hours
before you play. I know the Miami Dolphins
were famous for not performing well in cold
weather. Have you seen your team in adverse
weather conditions before? Probably going to
be cold Friday. Is that a concern going up
there in these conditions?


COACH GOLDEN: I think more than a
concern, I think it's a challenge. It's a challenge to
the way we want to operate. It's a challenge to our

mindset. I don't think there's any question. It's a
challenge to everything that we want to be as a
football program.
We want to be a team that's
process-oriented. We want to be a team that
focuses on two-acres and a ball and blocks out
everything externally. In this case the weather is
one of those external challenges.
It's going to be a great challenge to our
team's mindset, mentality and their commitment to
each other for four hours on Friday.

Q. I know the passing game is very
important to you guys. If it's tough conditions
like that, how big an adjustment do you have to
make offensively to perform?


COACH GOLDEN: Well, again, I think we
all know it's going to be tough conditions. It's going
to be tough conditions for both sides. We just
cannot allow any excuses to come into the game.
We got to make sure we're throwing the
ball well. We got to make sure we're catching the
ball well. We have to protect the ball when we're
running it.
I don't think there's any question that we
cannot allow an excuse mentality to creep in here
because at the end of the day it's going to come
down to protecting the ball well and finding a
running game against obviously the great Pitt
defensive front and connecting on the passes that
you throw. We can't have a lot of incomplete balls
because it's cold, windy, whatever the case may
be.

We know there's going to be elements that
are going to be a challenge on Friday. We have to
accept the challenge and execute regardless.

Q. You started out 7-0, ranked 7.
Things haven't gone well since then. Has it
been a product of better competition or things
you're not doing now that you were doing
earlier?


COACH GOLDEN: Again, it's always a
function of us. Some of the things perhaps we
were doing better earlier in the year, like taking the
ball away, playing better red zone defense.
Certainly we did that better against Virginia this
past week. Hopefully we'll be able to continue to
do those things.
It can't be about the opponent ever. It's
got to be about the things that we're doing and
what we're not doing. We haven't converted as 
well as we needed to on offense or third down.
That's really hurt our time of possession and left
our defense out there.
All three units are responsible. We have to
continue to play better. Hopefully we'll play better
than we played last week, as well.

Q. Last week there was talk about
Dorsett possibly playing. Are you still holding
out hope he'll be able to play Friday?


COACH GOLDEN: I still am holding out
hope. Can I say right now definitively? I can't. I
wish I could. He'll be practicing today. I think the
biggest thing is that he feels comfortable and
confident. If we see that today, we'll move forward.
Ultimately it will be the young man's decision
because medically he's cleared.

Q. Their guy Aaron Donald is one of
the best. Can you talk about the problem he
presents.


COACH GOLDEN: Again, when you see
players like this, you admire them. Obviously you
have to deal with them on game day, which you
have to find ways to do that.
You just admire players like this because
he's just not a talented kid, he's a skilled kid. He's
a young man that knows how to play double-teams
really well and he plays with a motor, of course.
They move him around to get him in the right
position to rush the passer. He's got excellent
pass-rush skills, as well.
Again, I think this young man has really
worked hard at his craft. I think that's the thing I
admire about him. He's taken his talent and
cultivated it into skill. The result is a heck of a
football player, one that's going to be a great
challenge for our offensive line.

Q. Tell me about your guys. Make a
case for a couple of your guys.


COACH GOLDEN: Again, you always
hear about who you leave out. I think I'm on
record as saying that [Brandon] Linder is playing at a really,
really high level right now. I'll leave it at that. The
rest of it, you guys have to sort it out and evaluate
it. I'm record on that one, so I stand behind that
one. I think Brandon Linder is playing an elite level
of football right now at offensive line.

Q. I know you play Friday, your fate in
the Coastal Division will be up in the air. If you
win the game, you still have a chance. I guess
you become a UNC and Virginia fan on Saturday. 

COACH GOLDEN: Again, we're just trying
to prepare and execute today and get better
tomorrow, obviously play well against Pitt. The
rest of it will take care of itself, will sort itself out.
It's really important for us to play well this
week and try to get win number nine, then we'll
move forward as a program. If we have the good
fortune on Saturday, we'll go forward from there.
For us to speculate on any of that is just
premature. It's really about playing better this
week than we did last week and getting ready for a
Pitt team on the road.

Q. If Duke wins, that game is at noon,
are you worried your kids might drop off a little
bit, put their heads down a little bit because
they can't win the coastal?


COACH GOLDEN: Duke's game is
Saturday.

Q. I apologize.


COACH GOLDEN: We'll be there Friday,
too. You're good. I thought I was going to play a doubleheader (laughter). 

Everybody have a great Thanksgiving.

 

November 12, 2012

Depth Chart just released for last home game, vs. USF. Deon Bush (injured) not on it; Eddie Johnson (lack of football discipline) not on it.

Good morning.

The Hurricanes just released their newest depth chart for the USF game at 3 p.m. Saturday at Sun Life Stadium -- the final home game of the season, which will honor the seniors.

It's too bad some of the underclassmen haven't been disciplined enough, or done the right things, to help make it a more pleasant experience for the few seniors.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Eddie Johnson's status "is yet to be determined,'' UM coach Al Golden said Sunday evening. Eddie Johnson, a former starter and second-leading tackler on defense, wasn't allowed to make the trip because of something football-related, the coach said. Whether they say the word "suspended'' or not, if you did something wrong and you aren't allowed to travel and you're one of the most productive players on defense, you're suspended.

Starting safety Deon Bush, a freshman with stingers that usually affect the neck/shoulder area, is not on the depth chart and "doubtful'' for USF, according to Golden, who said that nonetheless he was still "hopeful'' that Deon could return. Kacy Rodgers and A.J. Highsmith are listed as the starting safeties.

Denzel Perryman is expected to practice at some point this week.

The new depth chart has sophomore Thurston Armbrister as a starting outside linebacker, Jimmy Gaines in the middle and Gionni Paul OR Denzel on the outside.

Davon Johnson now joins Phillip Dorsett and Allen Hurns as a starting receiver, with walk-on redshirt freshman Garrett Kidd as Johnson's backup.

And Curtis Porter, who made his first start of the season at Virginia, is now a first-team defensive tackle, along with Olsen Pierre.

DEPTH CHART, COURTESTY of UM

 OFFENSE
WR 1 Allen Hurns 6-3 192 Jr.
  86 Herb Waters
6-2 185 Fr.
LT 79 Malcolm Bunche
6-7 325 RSo.
  64 Hunter Wells
6-4 300 RFr.
LG
70 Jon Feliciano
6-5 314 RSo.

68 Jeremy Lewis
6-4 316 RSr.
C
62 Shane McDermott
6-4 295 RSo.

75 Jared Wheeler
6-5 314 RJr.
RG
65 Brandon Linder
6-6 308 Jr.
  63 Danny Isidora 6-4 320 Fr.
RT 77 Seantrel Henderson
6-8 340 Jr.
  74 Ereck Flowers 6-6 314 Fr.
TE 46 Clive Walford
6-4 250 RSo.
  82 Asante Cleveland 6-5 263 Jr.
  49 Dyron Dye   6-5 255 RJr.
FB 33 Maurice Hagens
5-11 240 Jr.
  43 Sean Harvey 6-4 262 RSo.
QB 17 Stephen Morris
6-2 214 Jr.
  11 Ryan Williams
6-5 221 RSo.
RB 5 Mike James
5-11 220 Sr.
  8 Duke Johnson 5-9 188 Fr.
WR 4 Phillip Dorsett
5-10
185
So.

83 Kendal Thompkins 
5-10 182 RSr.
WR 24 Davon Johnson 6-0
188 Sr.
  87 Garrett Kidd
6-2 186 RFr.

 

  

 DEFENSE
DE
71 Anthony Chickillo
6-4 262 So.
  92 Jalen Grimble 
6-2 295 So.
  99 Jelani Hamilton 6-5 271 Fr.
DT 96 Curtis Porter
6-1 305 RJr.
  72
Earl Moore 6-1 300 Fr.
  66 Dequan Ivery
6-1 303 Fr.
DT 91 Olsen Pierre
6-4 300 So.
  93 Luther Robinson
6-3 288 RJr.
DE
51 Shayon Green
6-3 260 RJr.

17 Tyriq McCord  
6-3 236 Fr.
  90 Ricardo Williams 6-5 240 RFr.
OLB
34 Thurston Armbrister 6-3 222 So.

59 Jimmy Gaines 6-3 230 Jr.
MLB
59 Jimmy Gaines
6-3 230 Jr.
  56 Raphael Kirby
6-0 218 Fr.
OLB 36
Gionni Paul -OR- 6-1 230 So.
  52 Denzel Perryman 6-0 229 So.
  31 Tyrone Cornileus
6-2
210 So.
CB 37 Ladarius Gunter
6-2 198 So.
  3 Tracy Howard
5-11 185 Fr.
  20 Thomas Finnie
5-10
183 So.
S 22 Kacy Rodgers II 6-2 210 Jr.
  29
Rayshawn Jenkins 6-1 203 Fr.
S 30
AJ Highsmith
6-0 202 RJr.
  7 Vaughn Telemaque  6-2 204 RSr.
CB 21 Brandon McGee
6-0 194 Sr.
  39 Antonio Crawford
5-11
188 Fr.


 SPECIALISTS
P
13 Dalton Botts
6-3 205 Sr.
  40 Jake Wieclaw
6-2 193 RSr.
FG 40 Jake Wieclaw
6-2 193 RSr.
  18 Matt Goudis 6-0 170 RFr.
KO 40 Jake Wieclaw
6-2 193 RSr.
  18 Matt Goudis
6-0 170 RFr.
H 13 Dalton Botts
6-3 205 Sr.
 
11 Ryan Williams
6-5 221 RSo.
LS
61 Paul Kelly 6-1 262 RSr.
  59 Jimmy Gaines 6-3 230 Jr.
SS
61 Paul Kelly
6-1 262 RSr.

65 Brandon Linder 6-6 308 Jr.
PR
4 Phillip Dorsett 5-10 185 So.
  8 Duke Johnson 5-9 192 Fr.
KR 4 Phillip Dorsett
5-10 185 So.
  8 Duke Johnson
5-9 188 Fr.


SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

August 11, 2011

QBs still neck and neck. Who do you think should be named starter? Also: Howard Schnellenberger to make announcement at 4 p.m.

So, as of Thursday, we still don't have a clear picture -- or even fuzzy one -- of who the starting quarterback will be for the Hurricanes.

I asked Coach Al Golden, "Are you hoping to wait until after the second scrimmage to decide the starter at quarterback?"

Golden: "Sure. Yeah. Again, we’ve had five practices now and you look at the stats, you look at the completion percentages, you look at the touchdowns, you look at all that and it’s like a dead heat right now. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be resolved before that time."

Is that good?

Golden: "Yeah, it’s good. If they’re going to keep competing that’s great. I think that’s awesome. Neither one is backing down and the team is rallying around both of them. So all those things are important right now.''

Since we don't see the qbs competing against each other in practice I'm not sure how good it really is. Are they both doing great? Are they both so-so? Or not-so-great?

 So if you were the coach, and the two were truly in a dead heat after the second scrimmage (Aug. 22), would you

1. Wait to make your decision and announcement until closer to the Sept. 5 opener?

2. Make your decision and stick to it.

And if you had to make the decision right now, knowing both are in a "dead heat,'' who would you pick and why? Jacory Harris or Stephen Morris.

I have my thoughts but am a bit hesitant to throw it out there (I am not a columnist, though the lines sure are blurred these days with this new media stuff).

What do you guys think?

ALSO:

> Blake Ayles is injured and sat out again Thursday. For the record, Coach Golden said the reason he came out of practice earlier this week was not heat-related.

"Blake is dealing with a little injury right now,'' Golden said. "Hopefully it will be day to day with him. But he’s good on his assignments. Obviously at his age, from a technical standpoint, he’s solid so he’ll get back soon."

> Former defensive lineman Dyron Dye has been moved to tight end.

In closing, FAU has called a press conference for 4 p.m. Word is that Howard Schnellenberger will announce he is retiring after this season. I have a soft spot for Howard. How can you not? The man brought UM its first national title. I know he bolted, but what a great figure and representative for UM. Let's face it, he might be the FAU coach, but he'll always be a Hurricane.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN