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Details of Mario Cristobal's new contract, AD praises Cristobal

Mario Cristobal is set to enter his fifth year as the head coach at FIU and he’ll do so with a new contract.

FIU rewarded Cristobal with a 5-year contact on Tuesday.

Athletic director Pete Garcia explained the Miami Herald, “People don’t realize what a hard job he’s had the last four years, taking a program that was broken. He didn’t have a weight room, didn’t have a stadium, didn’t have full scholarships. The program had probably the worst APR in the country.”

Under Cristobal, the Golden Panthers have finished with records of 1-11, 5-7, 3-9, and 7-6.  After a rough start, Cristobal kept believing and led the Golden Panthers in 2010 to a place they never would have imagined.  (Dancing on the field to 1966 smash hit, "I Hear a Symphony.")

Here are the details of Mario Cristobal’s new contract:

The annual salary will be $453,183.  Cristobal received a $50,000 signing bonus and will receive another $50,000 on June 30, 2012 if he is still the FIU head coach.  After that, he’ll receive a $25,000 bonus each June 30 he is still the head coach. Cristobal also receives $10,000 bonuses for a bowl game, winning a bowl game, being conference coach of the year, and for the team grade point average being at least 2.5, and an Academic Progress Rate over 940.  The contract also allows for a $112,000 budgetary increase that can be used at Cristobal’s discretion for various costs, including assistant coach pay.

FIU opens the season by hosting North Texas.  The non-conference schedule includes at Louisville, UCF, Duke, and at Akron.





Colorado State coach Steve Fairchild talks about the pressure in coaching

Steve Fairchild is set to enter his fourth season as Colorado State head coach and believes it would be very disappointing if the Rams are not in a bowl game this season.

Fairchild talked with the Denver Post about the pressure of coming off back-to-back 3-9 seasons.

He said, “I've heard a lot of things going into this year, people talking about pressure, people talk about a hot seat and all of that. I will say this: That's the way it was the first year. I think most people that know college football know that's the way it is every year in every job. Somebody might say it would be different if you won nine games last year; I really don't think it is.”

There is definitely some truth to that statement.

“I think there's pressure in this business and in this sport to win and to win every year. I knew what I was getting into when I took this job. I knew it was going to take some time. I'm also smart enough to realize that we're at a point now where all of our recruiting and all of our training with these guys needs to show up on the field. I'm pretty confident it will.”

“In Year 1 we probably overachieved a little bit and got ourselves in a bowl game. Year 2, we definitely underachieved, and I've got to look in the mirror, and our staff too, and realize that. We were a better football team than 3-9. Last year I knew was going to be tough. Could we have won more games? Yeah. But I knew that was going to be a tough year. So, yes, but we all know that this is a results-oriented business, and you can't go 3-9. So, if you are in fact recruiting well and are in fact doing the right thing, then it's got to show up on the field.”

Colorado State opens the season by hosting New Mexico.  A week later, the Rams will host Northern Colorado before playing Colorado in Denver.

Here is more from Coach Fairchild:




Everett Withers: I always thought as a coach that you're day-to-day anyway

Did you know that Everett Withers is the first black head football coach at North Carolina.  In fact, he’s only the second black head coach in any sport in Chapel Hill.

North Carolina officials have stated that Withers will have the opportunity to compete for the permanent head coaching job, but Withers doesn’t seem interested in making a public push for the job.

At least, not yet.

During the David Glenn Radio Show, Withers talked about his approach.  Withers said, “I’m gonna work every day like I’ve worked.  I always thought as a football coach that you were day-to-day anyway.”

“My thought in that aspect is I’m going to come to work hoping I get the next day.  So I’m going to have the same approach.  Our focus is going to be helping these kids have the best experience they can have.  If we can do that, regardless of what happens at the end of this thing, this thing will be a success for us.”

North Carolina opens the season by hosting James Madison.  The Tar Heels will remain at home the following two weeks to host Rutgers and Virgina.

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The time has come for 12 first-time head coaches

It’s about that time.  August camp is here for twelve first-time head coaches.

The list includes Will Muschamp (Florida), James Franklin (Vanderbilt), David Shaw (Stanford), Bill Blankenship (Tulsa), Steve Addazio (Temple), Dave Doeren (Northern Illinois), Kevin Wilson (Indiana), Don Treadwell (Miami OH), Darrell Hazell (Kent State), Hugh Freeze (Arkansas State), Everett Withers (North Carolina), and Jon Embree (Colorado).

Colorado head coach Jon Embree realizes it's here and told the Denver Post,”Once you ate that wedding cake, now what do we do? I know the honeymoon is going to be over quick."

"I'm very optimistic about our team and our players. But I know we're going to probably be underdogs in every game we play.”

Embree is about to begin laying the new foundation, one that will be as simple as the coffee he drinks.

"Black. I take my coffee straight, with nothing except a couple Sweet'N Low. No foamed milk or toffee nut syrup for him. I'm not a fancy guy. I like to run the football."

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Randy Edsall looking forward to new uniforms, apparently a Wiz Khalifa fan

Maryland is set to unveil brand new uniforms later this month.

One of Randy Edsall’s goals is to create a surge of in-state pride that will parlay into stronger local recruiting.  Edsall is making an effort to keep the best local talent in the state of Maryland at home to play for the Terps.

In order to accomplish that goal, Edsall asked Under Armour to create new uniforms that will feature “Maryland” on the chest of the jerseys. In the past several years, only the word "Terps" has appeared in small letters across the front.

By all accounts, the new uniforms are drastically different than the previous look.  Maryland is essentially recreating its brand.

Gone are the player’s names on the back.  In addition to the traditional red and white uniforms, Maryland will now have alternative black & yellow uniforms.  Edsall, from what we hear, is a huge Wiz Khalifa fan.  Always on his iPod.

Here’s a sneak peak at some photos that have leaked.  (We’d hate to see Maryland (all gold) vs. Wyoming (all brown) in a bowl game).

Terps2

Terps1




Kevin Sumlin defends CUSA, not interested in two-for-ones anymore

Kevin Sumlin is set to enter his fourth season at Houston.  Under Sumlin, the Cougars have finished 8-5, 10-4, and 5-7.

Expectations are high in Houston this season with the return of Case Keenum and a defense that enters their second season in the 3-4 under defensive coordinator Brian Stewart.

Sumlin, however, doesn’t expect any sort of cake walk to the Conference USA championship.

He told Sports 56 in Memphis during CUSA Media Day, “I said it and people think I’m nuts, but this league is getting better and better every year.  You look at the final AP poll last year…two teams in the final Top 25.  And there’s one league that didn’t have any, a big six league.”

(Nice work, Big East)

Houston opens the season by hosting UCLA.  It’s the middle game in a two-for-one series that sends the Cougars back to Pasadena next season.

Sumlin is hoping it’s the last two-for-one he plays as the head coach at Houston.

He said, “Within a 60-mile radius of campus, we’ve done a study and over the course of the last three signing classes, in that 60-mile radius every year there have been between 100-108 players sign D1 scholarships.”

“Quite honestly, with the 105 players or so in the area, there is a little bit of an incentive for people to come and play in Houston.  We try to market that and we try to market our brand of football.  We think we ought to play home & home series with just about anybody.”




Video facility tour: FSU strength center - "Fear the Spear"

Florida State released a video today highlighting head strength coach Vic Viloria and the Seminoles’ strength facility.

Viloria joined the FSU staff when Jimbo Fisher took over for Bobby Bowden.  He previously served as the head strength coach at SMU and an assistant strength coach at LSU.

Viloria explains, “Everything that we do through Coach Fisher’s vision of where our team is headed, is about creating an attitude and an atmosphere.”

“Our motto is “fear the spear.”  And this is where they come to sharpen the spear.”

There shouldn’t be a lack of motivation in the ‘Noles strength facility.

Viloria says, “You can hear the war chant jamming.  We have this room rockin'.  We want to create that atmosphere.  We want to create the environment that it’s time to go to work.  It’s time to train, no matter what.  These next 45 minutes or hour training session will be the best I’ve ever had.  Every single day, that’s what our athletes come to do.  That’s what we demand.  That’s what Coach Fisher demands.”

Check out the video:




Butch Jones defends chest bumps when trailing

Talking about awkward…

Tim Adams of Bearcat Lair asked Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones to comment on the chest bumps that Cincinnati coaches and players partake in, even when the team is trailing by two or three touchdowns.  (Apparently, the chest bumps are quite annoying to the Bearcat fans.)

Jones responded, “First of all, I’m a very passionate individual and so are our coaches. I think it’s very important to bring a high energy level to the field. Also, college football is a grind, and with eighteen, nineteen and twenty-year-old individuals, I think you still have to make it fun.”

“The Wall Street Journal did a study on ‘high fives’ and chest bumps as did the University of Cal-Berkley. The teams that do those types of things are usually successful and have great team chemistry. You win with team chemistry. We’ve done this before, and we know what it takes. It’s an infectious attitude, a mentality, a passion for what you’re doing. When you’re 4-8, everyone is looking at someone or something to blame, but that’s the way we’re going to do things. The program will be centered on passion and energy.”

Research indicates that winning teams touch more, evident by these stats about the Dallas Mavericks.

Cal-Berkeley scientist Michael Krause found, “With few exceptions, good teams tended to be touchier than bad ones.  The most touch bonded teams were the Boston Celtics and the LA Lakers … and at the bottom were the mediocre Sacramento Kings and the Charlotte Bobcats.  The same was true, more or less, for players.  The touchiest player was Kevin Garnett, followed by Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer.”

Butch Jones added, “When you have a passion, a commitment and an energy level to be the best, it leads itself to have the work ethic, discipline, willingness to sacrifice and the overall effort that goes into being successful. Because of this, an individual and team will be able to persevere through any obstacle or situation that presents itself not only through the course of a game but throughout the course of a long season as well.”

Cincinnati opens the season against Austin Peay.  The next three games are at Tennessee, Akron, and NC State.  The NC State game is the ESPN Thursday night primetime game.

Keep an eye on the chest bumps and high fives.