Bovada lists him as the favorite.
Former players have said they would love to have him be the Miami Hurricanes head coach again.
But is Butch Davis, 63, really in the running to be UM's next head coach?
Depends on who you ask.
“Obviously, I’d love to be considered for that opportunity,” Davis said on 790 The Ticket Monday morning. “Time will tell whether that’s the direction the school wants to go.
“I’ve told people many, many times: everything I ever accomplished as a coach has its roots in Miami. When you spend 11 years there, you’ve got an awful lot invested in the community. Hopefully my name will be one that will have an opportunity to be considered.”
Internally we've heard over the years how UM trustees and others with power have rolled their eyes when Davis' name has been tossed around because of how his tenure at North Carolina ended among an NCAA investigation and academic scandal. Davis, who cleaned up Miami and its image in the six years he was in charge, has maintained throughout that he was was never implicated by the NCAA for what happened at UNC and has the letter to prove so. He reiterated that on the radio Monday.
A donor I spoke with after Al Golden was fired Sunday told me trustees have urged athletic director Blake James to seek proof from the NCAA itself that Davis was not implicated if James intended to consider Davis to be UM's next coach.
"Up until this year Butch was always met with 'Yeah, he's not going to come back,'" the donor said. "But now Butch is the only person whose name I've heard in hypotheticals. Last year it was [Mario] Cristobal. I don't know if it's the new president, but I think they're willing to consider Butch now."
The donor said UM ended up eating $7 million by firing Golden on Sunday and not waiting until the end of the season. The buyout, the donor said, would have been about $4 million less had UM waited until after the season. But trustees, not James, the donor said, pushed the issue of firing Golden during Saturday's 58-0 loss to Clemson, the most lopsided in school history.
That said, UM apparently had the money to do it and will have the money to offer its next coach upwards of $4 million a season, the donor said. Golden, who was extended through 2019 after his first season on the job, was making $2.5 million, the 42nd highest annual salary for a head coach in college football according to USA Today.
Only 16 coaches in college football are making $4 million or more a season and only one is in the ACC, Florida State's Jimbo Fisher.
"They know that they have to pay to get a big-time coach," the donor said. "Personally, I don't think they're going to settle for an assistant coach or a MAC project. I think it's going to be Butch, [Greg] Schiano or [Rob] Chudzinski. If they're prepared to spend that much whose to say Cristobal doesn't come back as an assistant or a coach in waiting. It's not going to cost a lot to hire Butch."
James set a precedent last year by doing that for baseball when he named longtime assistant Gino DiMare the coach in waiting once Jim Morris retires after the 2018 season. So, that might not be a stretch.
"I've heard Butch would come back at a significant discount," the donor said. "He made North Carolina relevant instantly. He put kids in the draft. Fans can never say he didn't give them what they wanted. The only downside is his age. But you can address that with Mario."
Now, time will only tell if UM's athletic director is thinking the same way.
"The most important thing is to rally the family," Davis told 790 The Ticket. "We all played for Miami — it doesn’t matter who the head coach was.’ You have to rally the fan base, you have to rally the alums, rally the former players. … There is no school in America, and I don’t care who it is, that has that tight bond. If you were part of that program, you’re a Cane for life."
> Former Hurricanes safety Ed Reed told Rich Eisen on his daily podcast Monday he would "entertain" a phone call from UM about the vacant coaching job if called. Reed has no coaching experience.
"The NBA did it with Jason Kidd and now I even thought about it," Reed said. "I was like 'I'll even put my name in for a coaching job because it seems like the head coach job is just to manage everybody, manage the game and try to help the offensive coordinators and defensive coordinators make the best decisions. I haven't received a call from a 305 number, just so you know."