Mario Cristobal made the surprise decision to leave his post as Oregon head coach for the same position in his hometown of Miami. After playing for the Hurricanes from 1989-92, he returned as an assistant coach on two occasions before taking the lead role this week.
With so many paths crossed, the connection Mario Cristobal and his family have with the University of Miami eclipses football. He described the impact and emotion the announcement had on those closest to him during his introductory press conference.
“Like national signing day a little bit,” Cristobal explained. “An explosion. My family is here, my brother, his wife, nephews, my goddaughter. Everybody is here.”
He continued: “It’s – you couldn’t imagine man – it’s difficult for me to say I’m 51, I’m 51-years old and yet as I walk here… the things that come back to mind as if it was just yesterday. It’s incredible. And it resonates, it’s that strong of an impression that it just never leaves you. So when that opportunity came up and it was gonna really happen, it was everything – tears, joy – just absolutely awesome.”
While talking about his family’s reaction, Marion Cristobal also revealed that one member still does not know. The touching information he shared makes for a great story on its own.
“My mom is close by at the hospital, she’s fighting,” Cristobal said. “So she’ll get the news when she’s ready for it. I don’t want her to cause more issues and have to have more care at the hospital when she knows.”
While he did not reveal specifics on his mom’s current condition or a timeline for when he plans to inform her of the move, it shows further how much Mario Cristobal’s presence in Miami means to his family and himself.
Mario Cristobal on Miami move
Miami introduced Mario Cristobal in an introductory press conference on Tuesday, where he went in depth on his decision to leave Oregon to take the Miami job.
“Well, I mean to tell you the truth, when I work I work,” Cristobal said of his decision to leave Oregon for Miami. “When I was at Oregon, I did not see myself ever leaving because of how much I loved the place and loved the people. I think when you do it right, if this is truly a vocation, when you’re at a place you’re fully in. And I was given that opportunity and we loved absolutely everything.
“So I guess the best way to say it is, when you have the opportunity to play at a place and then come back and coach there with the experiences that you have had, surrounded by the people and the family that your fondest memories are of, what’s more powerful than that in this coaching profession? It doesn’t make it easy. I’m being honest, it’s difficult because of the time invested. I believe in people and I believe in pouring every ounce into people when you have the chance to make a difference in their life.”