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Original Issue

Hurricane Warning

The University of Miami football coaching vacancy can't be filled by just anyone

Now hold on just a minute. Before you lick that stamp, before you send that rèsumè, before you think you've got what it takes to be the next University of Miami football coach, you need to know what we here on the UM Search Committee are looking for.

Hey, this is the top college football program in America. Four national titles between 1983 and '91, baby. More exposure than Lance Ito. More than a dozen player sightings at the library. This job is the fattest èclair in the bakery. We're not letting just anybody sink his teeth into us.

For instance, we want our next coach to have degrees in music and accounting. You'll need the music because you'll be seeing a lot of Luther Campbell, the lead singer of the rap group 2 Live Crew. Luther is welcome on our sidelines. You will like Luther. He is a wonderful influence on the kids. You might have heard his big hit Me So Horny. He does weddings, too.

The accounting you'll need on account of Luther, too. (Our motto: Our rules are just a little Luther.) It has been reported that he occasionally runs a fun incentive program for the players—$50 for causing a fumble, $100 for a sack, $200 for returning an interception for a TD. Somebody's got to keep track of all that.

We also want a coach who understands the importance of freedom of expression. Our kids like to yank off their helmets and crow after making a really big play, like tackling someone who made a two-yard gain. They just love thumping their chests and doing their little dances. Quite often our kids will push their own teammates out of the way just so the TV cameraman can get a nice close-up. Sometimes our guys are so exhausted from celebrating that a team like Nebraska will blow right by them in the fourth quarter and win an Orange Bowl, or something like that, but what have the Cornhuskers gained in self-esteem?

Candidates for this job should have spent a minimum of two years in a White House disinformation campaign. Each of our last three coaches insisted he had absolutely no interest in a job he eventually took a week later. Our most recent coach, Dennis Erickson, had three years left on his contract at Washington State when he came to us in 1989 and six on his contract here when he left last week for the Seattle Seahawks. And that was after saying, "I have no interest in the NFL."

Oh, a couple years experience as a cop wouldn't hurt, either. We had a quarterback in here, Bryan Fortay, who seems to have secretly recorded some conversations with Dennis. Seems Fortay has Dennis, in 1990, saying, "In all honesty, Bryan Fortay will be the next starter here.... He'll have the opportunity to win the Heisman." Of course, Dennis gave the job to Gino Torretta, who wound up winning the Heisman. Now Fortay is suing. So from now on we want a guy who not only can coach a kid but can also give him a quick frisk beforehand.

As for the benefits of the Miami coaching job, you get your own parking space and managed health care, but we're not providing lawyers anymore. Dennis is suing us because we wouldn't pay for his defense in the Fortay suit. Plus, we have two (cough, cough) in-house investigations going—one examining a $173,744 Pell Grant fraud we committed (57 football players were involved) and the other looking into reported payouts to players—and the NCAA may soon be on us like Ban Roll-On about Luther's little incentive program, which might also have violated federal bribery laws. At Miami you'll end up handling more cases than a beer distributor.

We want you to be pro-player, pro-Miami and, well, just a pro. After all, we don't like to consider ourselves so much a college as an NFL franchise to be named later. Our last three coaches have accepted pro jobs, and most players come here solely in hopes of making it to the NFL.

Oh, and we don't want any Phil Donahues, either. Check your feelings at the airport. Dennis went 63-9 here and still got killed by the radio shows and the fans. You'd have thought he'd gone around kicking canes out from under blind men. Not that it's anything new. Dennis's family hadn't felt comfortable watching a game from the stands since his first season.

Most of all, we don't want anybody who's all hung up on authority. At Miami it's not really your team. It's everybody's. During practices and games you'll be joined on the sidelines by dozens of our alumni now in the NFL—such as the Seahawks' 290-pound All-Pro defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy. At Miami former Hurricane players hand down the great tradition of winning. Of course, there's a report out that some of them, including Kennedy, hand down cold cash, too—as much as $800 to the player who had the big hit in each game. But, hey, are you going to be the one to tell Cortez to knock it off?

Anyway, if you insist on applying, FedEx your resume to us right away. We need to get the list of our five finalists to Luther by next week.