Report: Butch Davis is the front-runner for the FIU job

Butch Davis could be headed back to the Sunshine State. (US Presswire)

Many were surprised to learn that Florida International had fired Mario Cristobal on Wednesday due to the work that he did in helping to build the program, but it appears FIU might be ready to replace a hot coaching prospect with an established coach.

The Sun Sentinel is reporting that former Miami and North Carolina coach Butch Davis has emerged as the front-runner for the FIU job.

And it's an idea that makes sense considering the history between Davis and FIU athletic director Pete Garcia. The two worked together at Miami from 1995 through 2000, when Davis left the Hurricanes to become coach of the NFL's Cleveland Browns. Garcia eventually followed Davis to Cleveland, in 2003.

Of course, the last time that Davis was running a football program was at North Carolina. He didn't have the same kind of success there that he did Miami, going 28-23 in his four seasons (his official record at UNC is 12-23; the 16 wins that the Tar Heels earned in 2008-09 were vacated by the school).

Davis' four seasons at UNC were marred by NCAA problems. Davis was fired after the 2011 season thanks to a school and NCAA investigations that identified academic fraud and agent payouts inside the program.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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