Opinion

Give Coker another chance

Like it or not, Larry Coker is here to stay. For now.

As is typical for UM fans, the “What have you done for us lately?” attitude has left this statistic indelible in our minds: 40-3, as in our recent humiliating loss to LSU.

It was a game in which everything that could did go wrong, on offense and defense, in the air and on the ground. But the blame, which should have been spread evenly among the entire team and coaching staff, instead was placed squarely (and awkwardly) on the shoulders of two of this school’s greatest coaches, Don Soldinger and Art Kehoe.

Now, it is understandable for fans to be shocked, disappointed, and even downright angry to see two men who bleed orange and green be scapegoats following the Peach Bowl. Soldinger’s track record of grooming NFL-caliber running backs will be sorely missed, especially to the talented backs on our roster that have yet to turn a corner. Kehoe was instrumental in every single one of UM’s national championship runs. To say their firings were unnecessary is to speak for every true Hurricanes’ fan out there. But calling for Coker’s head is a wholly separate issue.

Because, as alarming as that 40-3 statistic is, here is one even more lopsided: 53-9.

No, that’s not a game we lost under Coker, but it’s not one we won, either. That’s Coker’s record (an impressive .855 winning percentage) since stepping in at the helm of a program resurrected by Butch Davis, a record that includes two trips to the national championship. One of those trips ended with one of the more dominant performances in college football history (the 2001 ‘Canes were recently voted by ESPN.com as the greatest college football team-better than USC’s recent juggernaut), while the other ended in.you know what? Let’s not bring up that Fiesta Bowl.

And while several UM fans are quick to point out that much of Coker’s initial success came as a result of the previous regime’s recruiting abilities, they are also quick to forget that Coker was the offensive coordinator during that time, and a pretty good one at that. Ask Ken Dorsey. Or Clinton Portis. Or Jeremy Shockey. They’re the ones with the big rings.

Maybe Coker isn’t the coach everyone thought he would be. Maybe he wasn’t able to coach the way he wanted to with the staff he had (he recently hired Todd Berry, a quarterback under Coker at Tulsa, to be our QB coach). Maybe he will never lead UM to The Promised Land again.

But at 53-9, doesn’t he deserve a chance?

January 20, 2006

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Miami baseball coach Gino DiMare didn’t want his Hurricanes this past Sunday looking ahead to the we ...

When UM spring practice begins in a month, here’s one of many things the coaches need to determine: ...

Jaiden Francois already had a reputation as one of South Florida’s top defensive backs for the Class ...

It could be a fruitful year for the Miami Hurricanes in the 2019 NFL Draft. NFL Draft analyst Mel Ki ...

A quick six-pack off UM coach Manny Diaz’s conversation with Joe Zagacki and Don Bailey Jr. on WQAM’ ...

Prominent music scholar Kyra Gaunt will deliver a talk Friday about her research into the racial opp ...

Students are invited to participate in the second annual Students of Color Symposium this weekend, f ...

At an annual luncheon, University of Miami scholarship recipients connect with the donors who help m ...

From eliminating waste to reusable containers, there are simple steps you can take to make UM more s ...

UM public health experts try to help tackle Venezuela’s ongoing health care crisis. ...

The University of Miami got off to a dream start at the ACC Swimming & Diving Championships Wedn ...

The sophomore first baseman smashed two homers to help power Canes to 4-0 start. ...

The No. 14 Miami women's basketball team is set to cap its longest road stretch of the season T ...

The University of Miami track and field team is set to compete at the 2019 ACC Indoor Track and Fiel ...

As has been the case all season, the Miami women's tennis team is top-20 in the Oracle/ITA nati ...

TMH Twitter
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 in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.