Miami eyeing Oregon HC Mario Cristobal to replace Manny Diaz?

Top officials at the University of Miami are said to be split on whether they should bring back Manny Diaz next season, but there appears to be at least one head coach that they would prefer to have over their current one.

Miami is expected to make a run at Oregon coach Mario Cristobal, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Some close to Cristobal believe he would consider the Miami job, while others feel he is content in Eugene.

That meshes with what a source told John Canzano of The Oregonian, which is that Miami is “going after Mario.” The Hurricanes are reportedly planning to reach out to Cristobal after Oregon faces Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday night. For what it’s worth, Canzano doubts Cristobal would want to leave the Ducks and abandon what he has built over the past four seasons.

The connections, of course, run deep. Cristobal is a Miami native and was a four-year letterman for the Hurricanes during his playing career. He played on two of Miami’s national title teams in 1989 and in 1991 and also began his coaching career with the Canes in 1998 as a graduate assistant followed by stints as the tight ends coach and then the offensive line coach for the Hurricanes.

Cristobal flew back to Miami following Oregon’s win over Oregon State last week to visit with his mother, who is ill.

While Oregon’s program is in better shape that Miami’s, the intrigue would be obvious for Cristobal. Hurricanes fans are desperate for their team to be relevant again, and it would be an incredible story if Cristobal could put them back on the map.

Some Miami boosters reportedly want to keep Diaz, but they could probably be swayed if Cristobal had interest. The Hurricanes could also target an even bigger name.

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