Sports

FEATURE COMMENTARY: No storybook ending for Larry Coker

This is part of a special feature, “Coker, Coaches, Quarterbacks: Commentary on the future of the hurricanes,” appearing in the current issue of The Hurricane. To read the remaining 2 parts, visit the Sports section of the site.

Larry Coker ended his six year career at Miami with a 17-14 win over No. 18 Boston College on Thanksgiving night. He wasn’t carried off the field like the Gators did for lame duck Ron Zook in his final game.

Why? Because few expected Coker to be fired within 12 hours of the win.

Sure, we all knew it was coming. We knew that after a 6-6 season there was no other choice other than to go looking for that next national championship leader. But did he have to be fired right after a win? Right after a win that made Miami bowl eligible?

Coker, along with Miami fans, has had nothing less than a turbulent season. It began with a horrible loss to rival Florida State at home, continued with a brawl against Florida International University that once again put UM in the harsh spotlight and culminated with the tragic loss of a teammate, Bryan Pata.

Through it all, Coker held his head up and pressed on, focusing on the season rather than looking for a new job. In fact, even after being fired, Coker said he will stay to coach the team in the MPC Computers Bowl game on New Year’s Eve. A lesser man would’ve taken his $2.5 million buyout and saluted goodbye.

It makes me wonder though that if he hadn’t had to deal with all of the gossip and speculation about losing his job, would Miami have had a better season? Would Coker have been willing to take more chances and coach the way Miami fans expect if the thought of losing his job hadn’t been in the back of his mind? Would he have still played it safe on so many calls?

Coker was a good coach. His track record, which includes one BSC title and a near second, is by far not a means for dismissal. He didn’t deserve to be sucker punched after a win. Let him enjoy the win and the Holiday weekend and fire him on Monday.

Let’s face it, at Miami, losing is not in our vocabulary. So, it was time for Coker to move on and move on he will. He’ll be able to find another job without a problem-maybe even back with Butch Davis in North Carolina as offensive coordinator. Whatever he does, he’ll do it with class and dignity despite having a leftover pumpkin pie thrown in his face Friday morning.

Whoever takes this job will have to be ready for the psychological battering from the Miami community and realize it’s all just part of the “U”.

They’ll have to be able to recruit big playmakers and a tougher offensive line or they’ll fall to the same fate as Coker.

Stacey Arnold may be contacted at s.arnold@umiami.edu.

December 1, 2006

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.