Charlie Strong fourth key assistant out at Miami as Mario Cristobal retools staff in Year 2

Miami defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Charlie Strong will not return to the Hurricanes for the 2023 season. confirmed by ESPN. Strong, 62, joined the Canes last offseason when coach Mario Cristobal was hired to replace Manny Diaz, but this week Strong was out of the program’s D.C. recital when Cristobal instead hired Lance Guidry as defensive coordinator.

“Trainer [Mario] Cristobal and the program decided to go in a different direction. It’s time for me to go in the other direction,” Strong told ESPN.

Strong became the fourth assistant to leave Miami after a disappointing 5-7 (3-5 ACC) record in 2022. Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele left to take on the same role in Alabama, offensive coordinator Josh Gattis was fired, and quarterbacks coach Frank Ponce left to become offensive coordinator in Appalachian State. Some feel that Ponce would not have been hired anyway.

Strong’s single year in Coral Gables, Florida left a lot to be desired. The Reeds ranked ninth in the ACC in total defense (375.2 yards per game), 13th in defensive yards per game (5.92), and 10th in defensive scoring (26.8 yards per game). game). They were the second worst third down defense in the conference, giving up first downs at 42% of their opponents’ chances.

Strong was 74–53 as a coach at the FBS level during stints in Florida (2004 interim), Louisville (2010–13), Texas (2014–16), and South Florida (2017–19). ). In 2020 he was a defensive analyst at Alabama and in 2021 he was an assistant head coach and linebacker coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars under Urban Meyer.

Miami hired Guidry from Tulane to replace Steel on Tuesday. Guidry did not work long at the Green Wave. He moved to Tulane after coordinating Marshall’s defense last season. The Thunder Herd defense led the Sun Belt in defensive yards per game (4.56) and defensive scoring (16 points per game).

Such significant turnover is not typical for a freshman coach of a Miami-caliber program. Last season was the second under .500 for the Reeds since 2014, when Al Golden stumbled to finish 6-7. This put him right in the hot seat and he was subsequently fired after a 4-3 start to the 2015 season. This made it clear that sub-.500 seasons were not acceptable in Miami.

The divorce between Strong and Miami is also interesting, given the success of the program in finding new employees. The Reeds were ranked seventh on 247Sports’ team rankings in part because Cristobal — himself a strong recruiter — brought Strong on board to step up that effort. This clearly happened, so Strong’s departure from the staff should be seen as a step back given how successful the duo was in Cristobal’s first full recruiting cycle.


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