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Miami's Coker feeling heat, but AD staying patient

ESPN.com news services

<DIV class=text11 style="BACKGROUND: #fff">The Fire Coker movement has never been stronger in South Florida, yet the man at the storm's epicenter insists he's not bothered. Miami's athletic director isn't ready to make a move yet, either.

A look at Miami's run of 107 consecutive weeks in the AP Top 25 football poll, which ended Sunday: THE BEGINNING: Miami dropped out of the poll Nov. 14, 1999, one day after a 43-10 loss at Virginia Tech. The Hurricanes returned two weeks later at No. 23 after beating Rutgers 55-0 and Syracuse 45-13.

THE NUMBERS: Miami spent 88 of those 107 weeks ranked among the nation's top 10, including 34 weeks as the nation's No. 1 team. The Hurricanes' average ranking during the streak is No. 5.

THE RECORD: Miami faced other ranked teams 32 times during its streak, going 23-9. Overall, since returning to the poll, the Hurricanes were 68-12.

THE STREAK: Texas now has the longest current consecutive streak of poll appearances; the defending national champions have been ranked for 96 straight weeks, starting Oct. 15, 2000. Georgia is second with 82 straight weeks, followed by Florida State (74) and USC (71).

THE END: The Hurricanes fell from the rankings after losing Saturday in Louisville, 31-7. -- The Associated Press

''Larry Coker is the head coach of the team, and we're looking forward to the rest of the season,'' Miami AD Paul Dee told The Miami Herald by phone Sunday night. "It's our hope we can rise to a great level of success this year with an opportunity go win our ACC Coastal Division and perhaps play in the league championship game."

Coker certainly understands a 1-2 record is unacceptable at Miami -- and Sunday, he said it causes him more anguish than any sports-radio caller or Web-site poster could possibly understand.

"I've been in high-profile programs before at Oklahoma and Ohio State, so I understand it," Coker said. "And I understand the frustration of our fans. We have great fans, this is a great program and they expect greatness out of the program. Believe me, nobody wants to win more than I do."

The problem is, wanting to win clearly isn't enough for the Hurricanes anymore.

Now unranked for the first time in nearly seven years, and out of the national championship picture before fall even begins, Miami is looking like a program in serious trouble.

"I really think and know that a lot of people, the fan base and everywhere else, are probably ready to give up on this team," Coker said. "We're not ready to do that here in our inner circle. Obviously, we've got work to do, but certainly, this season is not over. We've got a lot of season left. We've got a lot to play for."

The Hurricanes were soundly beaten in Louisville on Saturday, a 31-7 defeat that knocked Miami out of the AP Top 25 for the first time since Nov. 28, 1999 -- a span of 107 weeks.

That, though, is the least of Coker's issues these days.


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I can't stand miami but I actually like coker

Actually, that makes complete sense to me.

Those who want to see Miami lose, want him to be the HC.

Those who root for the Canes want him gone last year.

He is killing the program, and is clearly the last guy in the world who can turn it around.

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He won't get fired until after the season. His entire coaching staff was fired in the off season. I don't understand under those circumstances why he wasn't also fired.

Reports indicated the Canes were 23 in the country in recruiting this past season. In NCAA recruiting is everything. The rich get richer.

If the Canes are to continue their tradition they need to get a well known name in there in the off season.

Have to get the recruiting class back in the top 5.

Problem is most of those guys are under contract.

Since when do minor details like contracts matter.

The Canes will need three years including this one to compete for real.

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Some good points flgreen.

The assts contracts are not guaranteed- only coker has a buyout clause.

I suspect that the BOT (trustees) decided to be penny wise and dollar foolish by keeping him until the end of the season so the buyout will be less money.

One of the reasons recruiting is down is that the President of the school decided to raise academic standards higher than the NCAA minmum. A lot of guys are going elsewhere where the requirements are lower.

This also results in losing guys from the SoFla backyard, who used to stay in Miami. Ali Highsmith is a perfect example.

The one guy I think would be able to restock the shelves fastest is Butch Davis, who put together the 2001 team that won the NC in spite of Selmer*.

*Selmer is the only coach to be fired as HC of Miami. He will not be the only one for long. Coker's nickname has gone from Scapecoker (this answers the question as to why the assts were fired but not him) to Selmer.


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What about bringing Butch Davis back?? He might not be the best game day caoch but is one heck of a recruiter..When he was there we had like 5-6 1st round picks every year..

Thing is Miami is very cheap..They dont like to pay alot of money for coaches...I doubt they would buy out coc*face and then spend big money on a name guy..Thats not there style..Not sure if i would like it but if coc*face is shown the door look for the D coordinator, Randy Shannon to take over..JMO

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Fire Selmer, yes.

This downward swing is not Wright's fault.

Wright has been handicapped by a poor OL (sound familiar?), inept OCs, and this year, a sluggish running game (also sounds familiar to Jets fans?).

Kirby Freeman is a QB in the Bollinger mode- one second in the pocket and then its schoolyard scramble ball.

Wright has some really good physical tools, but hasnt been coached up.

Man, what a guy like Norm Chow could have done with Wright.


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I've never been fond of the UM administration, even when I was a student there. There is a lot of closed door politics, and backroom B.S. One of the biggest reasons why the program is where it is now is that the A.D., Paul Dee (the Manadee) has made some effed up decisions, starting with giving clueless coker another contract extension last year. He is also the idiot who gave hoops coach Perry (the Pumpkin) Clark a long term contract, which they are still paying off after firing his ass.

They are a small school, but they are always crying poverty. You prolly didnt know this, but last year the school received $100 Million donation from some dude's will. They actually renamed the medical school after him (Miller, I think) since the money was earmarked for the med school.

But here's a couple of other things I know they are thinking about:

-they dont want to pay coker's buyout until Clark's buyout is paid off (this is the final year of that)

-if the AD resigns and retires (he's 70) there is a good chance that Pete Garcia will take over as AD. Garcia is Butch's boy, so if he gets to make the decision on the next coach, it could be Davis.

-Shalala, the president, has a history with Alvarez from both of them being at Wisconsin, so that is why he is in the mix.

-Sciano is in the mix only if they decide to stay within the UM family. Current DC Randy Shannon and GS can not coexist, so if one of them is there, the other wont be.

I'm all for firing Selmer today, and letting Shannon be the interim HC until the end of the season. I love Norm Chow making unhappy noises at Tenn., and would be ecstatic if they hired him as the next HC.

Two things about Butch davis, though: a lot of people (including some bigtime donors) havent forgotten how he jilted the U after lying to them that he was going to stay. Also, he is not a good gameday coach, although he was a terrific recruiter.

There are still rumors of an impending firing, and i am following it...


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