More Coaching Changes Coming To The Sun Belt

December 6, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football, Sun Belt Conference 

More coaching changes are coming in the Sun Belt.

It began with Arkansas State’s Gus Malzahn accepting the head coaching position with Auburn University. Now Florida International has dismissed Mario Cristobal after a 3-9 season.

Last season Cristobal’s name came up for several opening around the country but he stayed with FIU. His first three seasons with the Golden Panthers were tough but he showed improvement. In 2007 his team went 1-11, then in 2008 they improved to 5-7, in 2009 they slipped back to 3-9. But in 2010 they went 7-6 with a win in the Little Caeser’s Bowl. Then in 2011 they started off strong but finished with an 8-5 record and a loss in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl.

His overall record at FIU was 27-47 (20-26 SBC, 1-1 Bowls). This season they had wins over Akron, South Alabama and Florida Atlantic.

FIU’s Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment Pete Garcia announced Cristobal’s dismissal with the following press release. “Today we informed Coach (Mario) Cristobal that a change was being made in the direction of our football program. I want to thank Coach for all that he has done to develop the football program over the past six seasons. We will now turn our attention to attract the very best candidate to fill the position of head coach. We will begin a national search immediately.”

There are reports swirling that Western Kentucky’s head coach Willie Taggart may accept the position at the University of South Florida that became vacant when the University fired head coach Skip Holtz earlier this week.

The leading name for the FIU position is former UNC head coach Butch Davis. Other possible names are FSU OC James Coley, Miami DC Mark D’Onofrio, Texas DC Manny Diaz, Navy OC Ivin Jasper, Lousiana Tech OC Tony Franklin and Jacksonville Jaguars assistant offensive line coach Ron Prince.

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