With Josh Gattis’ long-expected departure from the Hurricanes now official, Mario Cristobal and Miami are searching for a new offensive coordinator.
Last year, Miami made a big splash by hiring Gattis, who was coming off a Broyles Award-winning season at Michigan. Unfortunately for UM fans, it did not work out as planned. The Hurricanes ended the season 97th in offense.
Gattis, who also filled the role of wide receivers coach, is the second Hurricanes offensive assistant to leave this offseason, joining former quarterbacks coach Frank Ponce, who is the new offensive coordinator at Appalachian State.
The Hurricanes will need to find a coordinator who can double up at one of those positions and find a new position coach for the other.
But first, UM needs to find its new offensive coordinator. Here is a short list of possible candidates:
Arroyo, who was UNLV’s head coach until he was fired at the end of the 2022 season, has experience working with Cristobal.
The 43-year-old coach was co-offensive coordinator under Cristobal at Oregon in 2018 and was the team’s sole coordinator and assistant head coach in 2019. He also has experience coaching quarterbacks at Cal, Oregon, San Jose State, Wyoming and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Although Arroyo went 7-23 as a head coach at UNLV, he did improve its offense from 119th in the nation in his first season to 76th in 2022. At Oregon, Arroyo’s 2018 offense was 25th in the nation. In 2019, it was 16th.
Candle, the head coach at Toledo, was a candidate for UM’s offensive coordinator job before the 2022 season. However, he reportedly turned down the job. Might the warm weather be more appealing this time around?
Candle has been the Rockets’ head coach since 2016 and has a 54-32 record. He has won two MAC conference titles. This year, Toledo’s offense was 44th nationally with 31.3 points per game.
It would likely take a lot to sway Candle, who is an Ohio native who spent most of his coaching career at Toledo.
Coley is co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Texas A&M, but he has deep Miami roots. A Miami native, Coley played for Miami High and later was an assistant coach at his alma mater and Miami Norland before jumping to the college ranks.
Coley, a Florida State alum, spent one season as offensive coordinator at Florida International while Cristobal was the head coach. He later was the Hurricanes’ offensive coordinator under Al Golden but was let go when Golden was fired.
Since leaving Miami, Coley has coached at Georgia and Texas A&M. In his one season as Georgia’s lone offensive coordinator, the Bulldogs were 49th in offense. They let him go after the season.
Coley moved to A&M, where he was named tight ends coach in 2020. He was promoted to co-offensive coordinator in 2022, but the Aggies struggled and had the No. 101 offense in the nation.
Coley is also regarded as an ace recruiter, which would appeal to any coach but especially to the recruiting-minded Cristobal.
This is a longshot and very unlikely candidate, although he has ties to South Florida. Hartline, a 36-year-old Ohio State alum, has spent his whole coaching career with the Buckeyes.
Hartline was reportedly considering interviewing for the Cincinnati Bearcats head coaching job, but he declined and was recently promoted to the Buckeyes’ offensive coordinator.
The promotion would make it seem impossible that Hartline would leave, but Cristobal did pull defensive coordinator Kevin Steele from Maryland after Steele had already started working for the Terrapins prior to last season.
Hartline, a former Miami Dolphins wide receiver, would be a massive recruiting coup, as he has secured some of the nation’s top pass-catchers the past few seasons. However, Hartline does not have play-calling experience.
Hartline was selected by the Dolphins in the fourth round of the 2009 draft and spent six seasons in Miami, where he had consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in 2012 and 2013. He then spent one season with his hometown Cleveland Browns before retiring after the 2015 season.
Frost, the former Nebraska coach, is a still a free agent after being let go by the Cornhuskers last fall.
Frost’s tenure at his alma mater was a disappointment, as he went 16-31 over parts of five seasons. However, his successful tenures at Oregon and UCF were not that long ago.
Frost was the offensive coordinator with the Ducks (though his time did not overlap with Cristobal’s stint in Eugene, Oregon) from 2013-2015, and he had experience coaching quarterbacks and wide receivers. Oregon’s offense was in the national top five each of those seasons, and he coached Heisman-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota.
His success at Oregon led to his first head coaching job at UCF. While with the Knights, he went 19-7 and won a claimed national title with a 13-0 record in 2017. The 2017 team had the best offense in the country, averaging 48.2 points.
Rees, the 30-year-old Notre Dame offensive coordinator, reportedly interviewed for the Hurricanes’ coordinator job in 2022 before the job was given to Gattis. He also reportedly considered a position on LSU’s staff under former boss Brian Kelly, so he has considered leaving his alma mater.
Rees, a former Fighting Irish quarterback, was named Notre Dame’s quarterbacks coach in 2017 and spent three seasons in that position. He was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2020.
In three seasons with Rees as the coordinator, Notre Dame’s offense has finished 30th, 19th and 41st nationally.
Scott, like Frost, is currently a free agent. The former USF coach could not turn the Bulls’ program around, going 4-26 in three seasons in Tampa.
But Scott did have a lot of success when he was the offensive coordinator at Clemson under Dabo Swinney.
Scott spent 12 seasons on the Clemson staff, starting as the wide receivers coach in 2008. He was promoted to co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach in 2015 and spent five seasons in that position.
While at Clemson, he helped the Tigers reach the College Football Playoff in all five seasons and won two national titles. Clemson’s offense was in the top 15 in the nation in four of those five years, peaking at No. 4 in 2018 and 2019.
On those Clemson teams, Scott helped coach future NFL wide receivers Justyn Ross, Tee Higgins, Amari Rogers and Hunter Renfrow.