Al Golden talks Mario Cristobal
Posted by: Josh Kendall on January 11, 2013
Al Golden was happy to add Mario Cristobal to his staff Thursday. He was shocked Cristobal was available, though.
"My first thought was, 'How did you get let go?' Any coach is a quarterback away or a string of injuries away from having that type of year," Golden said Friday morning on the Joe Rose Show 560-AM in Miami. "I don't want to get my personal feelings tied in here, but I thought he deserved to have a chance to continue."
Cristobal was dismissed by Florida International after the regular season. Golden called Cristobal the next morning.
"And he picked up at 9 o'clock in the morning," Golden said. "I was sitting outside a high school in New Jersey. I couldn't believe it that he picked up. That was the first call. To be honest with you, we are kind of kindred spirits. We both took over programs that were absolutely abysmal so we had a mutual respect from the outside."
Golden interviewed other coaches for the opening on his staff but came back to Cristobal, who he named tight ends / associate head coach.
"Mario is somebody I can count on to help me with the ancillary, head coaching things and seeing the big picture a little bit better," Golden said. "Clearly his expertise as a tight end coach and o-line coach and has cultivated talent and recruited in this area. It was just too good a package for us to pass up here at Miami."
Golden also touched on the slow pace of the NCAA's investigation into the school, which he said has hampered recruiting.
"This has been recruiting probation. This has been P.R. probation," he said. "I think we have done this absolutely the best that you can operate and in terms of our cooperation.
But we're ready to move on, there is no question about it. We have great kids on this team. We are doing things the right way."
Josh Kendall is a staff writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered the SEC for more than 15 years for papers such as the Athens Banner-Herald, Macon Telegraph, and The State. He’s the father of two boys who he’s hoping don’t inherit his wide receiver frame and offensive guard feet. Follow @EyeOnCoaches on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org