Blog Entry

Report: FIU working on extension for Cristobal

Posted on: December 21, 2011 11:13 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2011 11:13 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Wednesday night it was reported that Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst had become the frontrunner to land the Pitt job. News that was somewhat surprising because FIU's Mario Cristobal had been rumored to be the lead candidate for the position. Well, we may now know why Cristobal's name suddenly dropped from the discussion.

According to the Miami Herald, FIU has been working to sign Cristobal to an extension. In fact, the paper calls them "aggressive negotiations." While I try to get the image of members of FIU's athletic department literally punching Cristobal in the face with contract offers, it should be pointed out that Cristobal did just get an extension from the school earlier this year.

That extension lasts through 2016.

While there's no word on how long this latest extension will be, it's pretty clear that Cristobal is a coach FIU values and really wants to keep around for as long as possible. And it's hard to blame them for it.

The program has only been around for a decade, and its rise under Cristobal has been remarkable. The Panthers won the Sun Belt Conference last season and finished the year with a win over Toledo in the Little Caesar's Bowl. While 2011 wasn't as successful, the Panthers still did reach a bowl game for the second consecutive season, losing to Marshall in the Beef O'Brady Bowl on Tuesday night.

Combine all that with 19 of 22 starters returning in 2012, and it's easy to see why FIU wants Cristobal around.

Since: Oct 26, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 10:41 pm

Report: FIU working on extension for Cristobal

Things happen for a reason.Mario choked the other night for some reason.He looked like e Deer in Headlights the entire game.He'd better off staying in Sunny Fla.Where the great players are.His time will come again.He is just not ready for PRIME TIME,YET.

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2011 7:14 pm

Report: FIU working on extension for Cristobal

Being a ex Pitt fan... why coach here with them heading from a power conference like the Big East(ya looked bad on paper, but could have been on the rise if Pitt/Syr/WV didnt bolt) to the crappy ACC ... ACC = Pitt wont amount to much in anything anymore....

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2011 3:30 pm

Report: FIU working on extension for Cristobal

Yeah, I'm sure Pitt made their decision based on one game, jackass. Truth is Mario didn't or doesn't need Pitt. He'll be just fine at FIU and if he decides to move on he'll have better opportunities than Pitt.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2011 11:37 am

Report: FIU working on extension for Cristobal

This is a wise decision by Mario and FIU. Cristobal doesn't need to be anywhere near Steve Pederson, who (along with Gene Smith) is the worst athletics director at the Division 1 level. After running Nebraska football into the ground with his disastrous decision to fire Frank Solich and hire Bill Callahan, this guy has accomplished similar results by firing Wannstedt and following that move with two horrible head coaching hires over the past 12 months.

Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: December 22, 2011 11:27 am

Report: FIU working on extension for Cristobal

Congratulations to Mr. Cristobal for getting additional security for him and his family without needing to move away from FIU. Although talented, I would have to agree that moving to Pitt would not have been a good move for the University or for the career advancement of Mr. Cristobal. Coach would have gone to Pitt and been successful, but he wouldn't have been able to take Pitt to the next level. You can only get to the next level when all personnel in the sports administration program are strong. The weakest link in the Pitt Sports Administration is their AD, Steve Pederson. The problem is, he knows it and his paranoia controls, which is not a recipe for success.

That said, it has been reported that several influential boosters put a block on the Pederson hire of Cristobal due to fears of another one and done coach or at a minimum a two and done coach in Mr. Cristobal. Pederson did not have his hand on the pulse to understand that Pitt doesn't need a one year wonder! They need someone that brings stability and that is Mr. Chryst. Thank goodness, Pitt has some influencial boosters that understand business. When you need stability, you don't go with a hot shot that has a dream job or two in Florida waiting for him in a year or two. You go with someone who commits to 4-5 years and wants to stay, which is what the Pitt Brass (not Pederson) did.

Of note, Pederson did not hire Jamie Dixon.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 9:46 am

Great news for FIU and Cristobal

I live by "the Trop," and went to the Beef O'Brady Bowl as a neutral observer.  I was very impressed with FIU and their fanbase.  Their fans are very passionate about their program.  Most of all, Cristobal kept FIU in the game until the last couple of minutes, even though Marshall had superior athletes on both sides of the ball.  

His team played with passion and his players were usually in the right place at the right time.  I remember wishing the harsh reality of college football being a business didn't have to take a coach away from a team like that.  Thankfully, now, it won't.  Cristobal belongs at FIU, and it is great to see that he is staying there.  He has no guarantee of success if he moves somewhere else, and he is doing a very good job where he is at.
Congrats to both FIU and Cristobal. 

Since: Sep 6, 2008
Posted on: December 22, 2011 9:34 am

Report: FIU working on extension for Cristobal

Don't get too confident, Pitt, Stevie Pede has a history of ruining football programs by making bad fires and worse hires...  You won't be any good until he's gone...   

Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 9:00 am

Report: FIU working on extension for Cristobal

As much as I enjoy watching Pitt make the wrong decisions, this move was correct.  Pitt needs a coach who has worked and been successful against BCS level competition and that is not Cristobal.  He will get his opportunity but Pitt has made 2 bad decisions recently and can't afford a third, even going to the ACC they'll need to improve. 

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: December 22, 2011 8:58 am

Report: FIU working on extension for Cristobal

I am so glad tha this didn't work out with Cristobal.  He is obviously a good coach, and somene that probably would have done well in Pittsburgh.  However, one good year and he would have been back in Florida as soon as another job opened up.  Dare I say it, Peterson did good.  Yuck.

Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: December 22, 2011 7:59 am

Report: FIU working on extension for Cristobal

After a decade of Walt Harris and (let me steal your phrase here ) Uber-Conservative Dave Wanstedt, you're absolutely right. As a fan I want nothing to do with that. Todd Graham and "high octane" offense was a breath of fresh air, note it was only a breath, not a recusitation like the PITT faithful had hoped. And to the guy's credit, even though he was a media hound and everything was about him and not the program, it probably would have worked had Sunseri knew how to throw a ball and not look so scared in the pocket. I still believe to this day that PITT had the best team in the Big East, they were just missing that one play-maker. Just so happened that the play-maker we needed played the most important spot on the team. And anybody who watched any Panthers games this season KNOWS that Sunseri WAS NOT that guy.

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