Could you imagine? This would be the greatest thing ever.
Rex Ryan and the University of Miami turnover chain feels like a perfect marriage, and some former Hurricanes players think so too.
According to the Miami Herald, a number of ex-Miami players are pushing behind the scenes for the former Jets and Bills coach to replace Mark Richt, who abruptly retired Sunday. Ryan is believed to have interest if he is contacted, the report said.
Ryan, who is now an NFL analyst for ESPN, last coached in 2016, going 7-8 with the Bills before being fired. His overall record in the NFL – including playoffs – is 65-68, and Ryan took the Jets to consecutive AFC championship games in 2009 and 2010.
He coached several former Miami players, including Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, during his time in the NFL. His last coach job was as the defensive coordinator at Kanas State for a month in 1999. Fellow ex-Jets coach Herman Edwards went to the college ranks to lead Arizona State to a 7-6 record this season.
Richt, 58, said he was not forced out, and that the decision to retire was his.
“My love for The U is simply great,” Richt said in a statement. “My true desire is for our football program to return to greatness, and while terribly difficult, I feel that stepping down is in the best interests of the program.”
Richt said he informed Miami athletic director Blake James of his decision a few hours before the school sent out a statement announcing the move. The Hurricanes scheduled a news conference for later Sunday to discuss the situation and where the program will go from here.
James told the AP that he was stunned when he got the news Sunday morning.
“I wanted Mark to be our coach,” James said. “Last night, I thought he was our coach.”
Miami struggled to a 7-6 record this season, falling to Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl on Thursday night.
The Hurricanes have lost nine of their last 16 games going back to a 10-0 start last season, were horrendous on offense at times in 2018 — totaling just 100 passing yards in their last two games — and saw several recruits who were committed decide to either sign elsewhere or re-open their college decisions.
Richt was 26-13 at Miami, and 171-64 in 18 seasons between Georgia and the Hurricanes. — with AP