Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya insists NFL Draft possibility is not a distraction

Brad Kaaya #15 of the Miami Hurricanes celebrates with fans after defeating the Pittsburgh Panthers 29-24 on November 27, 2015 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Brad Kaaya #15 of the Miami Hurricanes celebrates with fans after defeating the Pittsburgh Panthers 29-24 on November 27, 2015 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Brad Kaaya has plenty to be excited about.

The Hurricanes quarterback is tabbed as a potential top-five pick in some early 2017 NFL mock drafts. Kaaya, who will be a junior this fall and thus eligible to declare for the 2017 draft, is No. 2 overall in Todd McShay’s latest mock draft for ESPN. Continue reading “Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya insists NFL Draft possibility is not a distraction”

Miami Hurricanes: Coaching chronology from Schnellenberger to Richt

With the University of Miami’s official announcement of new head football coach Mark Richt on Friday, we thought it made sense to take a look back through the coaches who have gotten the Canes to this point.

(RELATED: Photo gallery from Richt’s introduction at the University of Miami)

We begin around 1980 with the following man as the Hurricanes were building toward national prominence.


HOWARD SCHNELLENBERGER

Howard Schnellenberger, coach of 1983 national champion, built the foundation for Miami success. (Herald file photo)
Howard Schnellenberger, coach of 1983 national champions, built the foundation for Miami’s later success. (Herald file photo)

The man who “built a fence around South Florida” to keep rival coaches from poaching talent from “the state of Miami” and made good on his promise to bring a national championship to the Magic City.

Howard Schnellenberger with injured star QB Jim Kelly. (Miami News photo by Bill Reinke)
Howard Schnellenberger with injured star QB Jim Kelly. (Miami News photo by Bill Reinke)

* Posted a 41-16 record at UM from 1979-83, culminating in his final season with an 11-1 record and victory over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl as Miami won its first national championship.

In a move he later admitted regretting, Schnellenberger left UM to become part-owner and general manager of a Miami-based team in the still-new USFL. The deal fell apart when the franchise wound up in Orlando instead of Miami.

* High point: Coining the phrase “state of Miami.”

* Low point: Leaving too soon.


JIMMY JOHNSON

University of Miami coach Jimmy Johnson is carried off the field by his players after the Hurricanes defeated Oklahoma 20-14 in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1988. (AP Photo/Raul Demolina)
University of Miami coach Jimmy Johnson is carried off the field by his players after the Hurricanes defeated Oklahoma 20-14 in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1988. (AP Photo/Raul Demolina)

* The Texas-born Johnson arrived from Oklahoma State with little name recognition but with a head of hair, a brashness and a football mind that would set the college football world ablaze. Under Johnson, UM became as well known for its blowout victories and string of All-America players as it did for on- and off-field controversy. It was “Miami Vice” in cleats.

University of Miami football coach Jimmy Johnson leaves the field with quarterback Vinny Testaverde after the Hurricanes defeated Notre Dame, 58-7 on Dec. 2, 1985, in Miami. (AP Photo/Ray Fairall)
University of Miami football coach Jimmy Johnson leaves the field with quarterback Vinny Testaverde after the Hurricanes defeated Notre Dame, 58-7 on Dec. 2, 1985, in Miami. (AP Photo/Ray Fairall)

* Posted a 52-9 record at UM from 1984-88, winning one national championship (1987) and finishing No. 2 in the polls twice (1986 and 1988). Johnson’s 1986 team was considered perhaps the most talented college football team ever (until the 2001 Hurricanes came along).

Johnson left Miami to join his former University of Arkansas teammate Jerry Jones in reviving the Dallas Cowboys. With Johnson as coach and Jones as owner, the Cowboys went from 1-15 to back-to-back Super Bowl champions in five years.

* High point at UM: Getting carried off the field after Miami beat Oklahoma to win the Orange Bowl and capture the national title.

* Low point at UM: In back-to-back games at the Orange Bowl in Johnson’s first season, UM blew a then-record 31-0 halftime lead and lost to Maryland (42-40) and lost to Boston College on the (in)famous “Hail Flutie!” play.


DENNIS ERICKSON

Miami football coach Dennis Erickson gets a victory ride at the end of the 1990 Sugar Bowl after Erickson's Hurricanes defeated Alabama 33-25 for the Sugar Bowl Championship. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Miami football coach Dennis Erickson gets a victory ride at the end of the 1990 Sugar Bowl after Erickson’s Hurricanes defeated Alabama 33-25 for the Sugar Bowl Championship. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

The answer to trivia questions (Which UM coach has won the most national championships and has the highest winning percentage?), Erickson is often treated like the forgotten Beatle of Hurricanes coaches.

Head coach Dennis Erickson of the University of Miami Hurricanes instructs from the sidelines during a game against Wisconsin on September 9, 1989. Miami won 51-3. (Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Head coach Dennis Erickson of the University of Miami Hurricanes instructs from the sidelines during a game against Wisconsin on September 9, 1989. Miami won 51-3. (Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Part of it is that he came after the highly successful and colorful Schnellenberger and Johnson (who is given credit for leaving a cupboard full of talent behind for Erickson to win his two national titles), and part of it is because it was on his watch that the Pell Grant scandal — that eventually landed the program on probation — came to light. The rampant rules violations actually dated back to 1985, and Erickson was never accused of any wrongdoing.

* He posted a 63-9 record from 1989 to 1994, winning the 1989 and 1991 national championships. His undefeated 1992 team lost in the Sugar Bowl, missing a chance for a repeat title, and his 1994 team lost in the Orange Bowl with another national title on the line.

Erickson left Miami after the 1994 season to become the coach of the Seattle Seahawks.

* High point at UM: The Hurricanes won 29 straight games over the course of the 1990-92 seasons.

* Low point at UM: The 1991 Cotton Bowl saw Miami set a then-school record for penalties (15) and penalty yards (202) in an egregious display of unsportsmanlike behavior. Miami still beat Texas 46-3, but to the rest of the college football world, Erickson looked like a man who had lost control of his program.


BUTCH DAVIS

Butch Davis of the Miami Hurricanes gives instructions from the sidelines during a game against UCLA on Sep. 2, 1995. The Bruins defeated the Hurricanes 31-8. (Photo: Stephen Dunn/Allsport)
Butch Davis of the Miami Hurricanes gives instructions from the sidelines during a game against UCLA on Sep. 2, 1995. The Bruins defeated the Hurricanes 31-8. (Photo: Stephen Dunn/Allsport)

* To Hurricanes fans, he will always be beloved as the man who put the swag back in The U. He did not win a national championship as coach, but he took over a program that was rocked in 1995 by NCAA sanctions stemming from the Pell Grant scandal and by the end of the decade had recruited so many future NFL superstars that some people believe the Miami teams of 2000-02 were the most talented in college football history.

Coach Butch Davis of the Miami Hurricanes talks with the official during a game against Baylor. (Photo: Stephen Dunn/Allsport)
Miami coach Butch Davis talks with the official during a game against Baylor. (Photo: Stephen Dunn/Allsport)

During the latest UM coaching search, he was the runaway popular pick by Hurricanes fans until Mark Richt became available, and he campaigned hard for the job.

* Davis, who served as an assistant under Jimmy Johnson at Miami and the Dallas Cowboys, posted a 51-20 record at UM from 1995 to 2000. Miami was on probation for his first season and suffered scholarship reductions spread over several seasons.

He left Miami in 2001 to take the head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns.

* High point at UM: Miami snapped a five-game losing streak to Florida State with a 27-24 victory on Oct. 7, 2000 at the Orange Bowl in the “Wide Right III” game.

* Low point at UM: Despite beating FSU and both teams having one loss in 2000, Miami was passed over in favor of the Seminoles for a spot in the BCS championship game. FSU would lose to Oklahoma 13-2 in the Orange Bowl, and after that game FSU offensive coordinator Mark Richt took the head coaching job at Georgia.


LARRY COKER

Miami coach Larry Coker gets water dumped on him by his team at end of game on Jan. 3, 2002. (Photo by Joe Rimkus Jr./Miami Herald Staff)
Miami coach Larry Coker gets water dumped on him by his team at the end of their win in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 3, 2002. (Photo by Joe Rimkus Jr./Miami Herald Staff)

* Regarded as one of the nicest guys in coaching, Coker was promoted from offensive coordinator to replace Butch Davis and enjoyed one of the longest honeymoon periods in coaching history. Coker, whose players had lobbied hard for him to get the job, won his first 24 games as Hurricanes coach, including the 2001 national championship, and tied Walter Camp for the best record by a coach in his first 32 games (31-1). However, as more of the players recruited under Butch Davis departed, Coker’s records grew worse. His last three seasons were UM’s first three in the ACC and started a streak that continues to this day of the Hurricanes having never won an ACC championship.

UM's coach Larry Coker holds up the national championship trophy after the Rose Bowl win on Jan. 3, 2002. (Scott Wiseman/The Palm Beach Post)
UM’s coach Larry Coker holds up the national championship trophy after the Rose Bowl win on Jan. 3, 2002. (Scott Wiseman/The Palm Beach Post)

* Coker posted a 60-15 record at Miami from 2001-2006. He is the last college football coach to win a national title in his first season as a head coach.

Coker was fired in November of 2006, one day after telling reporters he expected to be back the next season. Miami beat Nevada in its bowl game to salvage a winning season (7-6) and send Coker out victoriously.

* High point at UM: In the Hurricanes one and only appearance in the Rose Bowl, the 2001 Miami squad cruised past Nebraska to win its fifth – and so far last – national championship.

* Low point at UM: The Hurricanes seemingly had defeated Ohio State in overtime to win the Fiesta Bowl and the 2002 national championship – Coker was halfway across the field to shake the hand of Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel as confetti fell from the sky – when everyone realized that a late pass-interference penalty had been called. The game continued, Ohio State eventually won in two overtimes (stopping Miami on four plays after a 1st-and-goal from the 2) and the Hurricanes’ program has been in a fog ever since.


RANDY SHANNON

Univerity of Miami vs Florida A&M at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, September 2nd, 2010. UM's coach Randy Shannon runs onto to the field with his team. (Miami Herald staff photo)
Univerity of Miami vs Florida A&M at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sept. 2, 2010. UM’s coach Randy Shannon runs onto to the field with his team. (Miami Herald staff photo)

* A former standout linebacker at Miami, Shannon was brought in to replace Larry Coker after the 2006 season and was tasked with bringing discipline back to a program still reeling from a wild bench-clearing brawl with Florida International the season before.

Hurricanes football coach Randy Shannon, photographed on Aug. 17, 2010. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)
Hurricanes football coach Randy Shannon, photographed on Aug. 17, 2010. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

Shannon grew up in Liberty City, and his hiring was a huge source of pride for the community. Miami football players had one of the best academic performance rates in the country under Shannon, and only one player was arrested during his four seasons. Also, he was not linked to the scandal surrounding booster Nevin Shapiro that would eventually lead to NCAA sanctions. However, on the field, Shannon could not achieve the success fans wanted.

Shannon compiled a 28-22 record at UM from 2007 to 2010. Miami never lost fewer than four games in a season — and never won more than nine — and lost both bowl games it appeared in under Shannon. Miami finished out of the national rankings three times under Shannon.

After a 6-3 home loss to South Florida on Nov. 27, 2010 dropped UM’s record to 7-5, Shannon was fired.

* High point at UM: Shannon recruited eight players from Miami-Northwestern High’s national-championship team following the 2007 season. The group of players, led by quarterback Jacory Harris, was believed to be the one that would lead UM back to prominence.

* Low point at UM: After being fired, Shannon had to watch from afar as his team was dismantled by Notre Dame in the Sun Bowl and had to hear his successor, Al Golden – who was interviewed during the game – talk about how poor and uninspired his team looked.


AL GOLDEN

Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on October 11, 2014. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on October 11, 2014. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

* The New Jersey native and short-term NFL tight end came to Coral Gables with loads of promise, having led former FBS cellar-dweller Temple to a combined record of 17-8 in 2009-10. But the nattily clad Golden — who wore a dress shirt, slacks and a tie on the sidelines during games — proved to be only slightly above average, thanks in no small part to the self-imposed sanctions hanging over the program’s head from the Nevin Shapiro scandal.

Miami head coach Al Golden on the sidelines in the second quater during the University of Miami vs the University of South Florida football game at Raymond James Stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, November 19, 2011. (Miami Herald Staff)
Miami head coach Al Golden on the sidelines during the Miami-South Florida game at Raymond James Stadium in St. Petersburg on Nov. 19, 2011. (Miami Herald Staff)

* Went 32-25 overall in his four and a half seasons at the helm (2011-15), but the team only went to two bowl games during that stretch due to the NCAA penalties. His best season saw the Canes go 9-3 in the 2013 regular season before getting spanked by Louisville 36-9 in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

* Golden was canned following Miami’s 58-0 shellacking at the hands of No. 1 Clemson on Oct. 25, 2015, the worst loss in the 90-year history of the program.

* High point at UM: Golden and the Canes got off to a 7-0 start in 2013 that included a 21-16 win over Florida and saw them rise as high as No. 7 in the country.

* Low point at UM: Clemson. 58-0. Enough said.


MARK RICHT

Mark Richt gestures after being introduced as the new University of Miami NCAA college football head coach, Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Mark Richt puts up “The U” after being introduced as the new University of Miami NCAA college football head coach, Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

* Yes, Richt is best known as the coach who led the Georgia Bulldogs to a 145–51 record over the past 15 seasons — winning two SEC championships — but he has plenty of ties to south Florida. The 55-year-old not only played quarterback at The U — largely as a backup to Jim Kelly — from 1979-82 under Schnellenberger, but he grew up in Boca Raton and graduated from Boca High in 1978.

“I don’t want to make any promises,” Richt said during his introductory news conference Friday. “I want to promise we’re going to get to work and earn a right to victory.

“My goal is to finish my coaching career at ‘The U.’ “