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FIU, Davis down an assistant after McCarthy departure

Florida International University and head coach Butch Davis need an offensive assistant and in a hurry. The Panthers' 2021 season is less than 70 days from kickoff.

D.J. McCarthy, a veteran assistant coach at both the collegiate and NFL levels, has parted ways with Florida International University, sources confirmed Saturday to FootballScoop.

Stadium's Brett McMurphy was first to report the news of McCarthy's departure from the FIU program.

McCarthy is a native of the South Florida region, hailing from Boca Raton, Florida, prior to his playing career as a wide receiver at the University of Washington.

McCarthy's had numerous stops throughout the Sunshine State, including at Bethune-Cookman, Florida Atlantic and on staff at FIU since early 2020.

Sources told FootballScoop that Butch Davis will begin an immediate search to find McCarthy's replacement, with a goal of narrowing the candidates' pool early next week and trying “to get this done” within a couple weeks.

Davis is preparing for his fifth season atop the Panthers' program. After leading FIU to a bowl berth in each of his first three seasons at the school, Davis saw his FIU squad unable to post a win in five games of the COVID-19-abbreviated 2020 season.

Finding McCarthy's replacement in a timely manner is key for Davis & Co. The Panthers open their 2021 slate in just 68 days – Thursday, Sept. 2, against Football Championship Subdivision program Long Island.

FIU also is transitioning under new offensive coordinator Andrew Breiner, who was hired by Davis along with new special teams coordinator Casey Horny in April.

Breiner has been the Panthers' running backs coach, in addition to his work overseeing the offensive side of the ball. Horny was hired as special teams coordinator in a move that, at the time, allowed McCarthy to shift from his role in charge of special teams to coaching wide receivers, a position McCarthy had filled for a number of programs that included LSU, UCLA, UCF and Nevada.