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JD PicKell: How Mario Cristobal has reset the culture within Miami's football program

Steve Samra07/10/22
Article written by:On3 imageSteve Samra

SamraSource

On3 image
Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal (Photo by Neil Gershman)

Mario Cristobal is coming back to the University of Miami with immense hype behind his return.

The Hurricanes will be expecting a return to the forefront of the college football world under the former Oregon leader, and JD PicKell of On3 Sports believes Miami is finally on the right track under Cristobal.

“The Miami Hurricanes have had a lot going on in South Beach. It has been anything but quiet down in Coral Gables, and there’s a lot of things to unpack with Miami,” started PicKell. “It looks like they’re going to be in a lot of ways, a very different looking program from a culture standpoint going into 2022. The biggest sentiment to me, when I take a look at this program and put our fingers down to the wrist and take a pulse, this Miami program — this fanbase especially — is just taking a really, really big exhale, because they got their guy in-house. They have their university now committing to the football program.

“Previously under Manny Diaz, they kind of found ways to get it done towards the end of last year, but to have the university go on offense, and go get a guy in one of their own in Mario Cristobal. A guy who understands not just Miami, but understands ‘The U’ — the fanbase now feels like, ‘Okay, now we’re actually taking some steps forward.’ Before it felt like one step forward, two steps back. Okay, we got out quarterback — now he’s hurt. Okay, we have some direction on offense — now we don’t have anywhere that we’re going. Defense looks good — defense doesn’t look good. Now, it finally feels like steps are being taken forward. Not just in the short term, but in the long term. They feel like they’re actually building for something in the future.”

The future is bright — but so is the present for Miami. Mario Cristobal is doing big things already, and if he can keep his upward trajectory moving forward, the Hurricanes are in tremendous hands.

Mario Cristobal on personal feelings for Miami: ‘I live this’

Mario Cristobal is back where he truly belongs at the University of Miami.

The former Oregon Ducks leader left Eugene for the Hurricanes in one of the biggest moves of the offseason, and there’s been no doubt he made the right decision ever since. If you couldn’t tell through his actions thus far, check out Cristobal voicing some strong words regarding his feelings for the program.

“You can’t describe it,” started Cristobal. “The moments don’t hit you. .. it’s exactly what we felt Miami should be doing, and progressing at a certain rate to get to where we want to go. I don’t know if that makes sense, but I guess — come on man, we all know what Miami is. Let’s not kid ourselves. We just have to get back to work to get to where we want to get to, and people realize that. There’s no fluff. We’re not head-faking anybody. We’re putting the truth on the table. We’ve hired. What the investment is in the university. The work our players are doing right now. Those are the steps, right? Some of them are painful, you can’t skip them. I get it. I’m good with it. I’m good with it. But that’s why I’m here.

“You know I live this. You know I live for the University of Miami. Luckily, I’m surrounded by a lot of people that feel the same way. Having the legends back and all these guys, we had a good meeting upstairs about some upcoming meetings that we’re going to have as well to make sure that we just bring this in tight. It means a lot, it means the world to all of us.”

It’s been a tough road for the Hurricanes over the last decade or so, but Mario Cristobal is ready to return Miami to the pedestal they once owned.