Cristobal arrives at Miami, says it’s ‘time to go to work’

Dec 7, 2021, 3:28 AM | Updated: 5:31 pm
Miami football coach Mario Cristobal speaks after being introduced at a news conference, Tuesday, D...

Miami football coach Mario Cristobal speaks after being introduced at a news conference, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, in Coral Gables, Fla. Cristobal is returning to his alma mater, where he won two championships as a player. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Mario Cristobal scrawled notes in pencil on a yellow legal pad during the private flight that brought him to Miami. He carried the pad into the Hurricanes’ football building Tuesday, his first full day as the program’s head coach.

The list of things he’d jotted down wasn’t short.

“It’s time to go to work,” Cristobal said.

Miami threw Cristobal his introductory news conference in Coral Gables, Florida, roughly 24 hours after finalizing the deal that had been expected for several days and could finally be announced after the Hurricanes fired Manny Diaz. Cristobal met with his new team, then went down to the practice field for the event where boosters, trustees and former players celebrated the hire.

“We want to make sure that the program here is always a program that you can be proud of, for the right reasons,” Cristobal said. “A program of relentless competitors. Always, always a team that nobody wants to play. That’s what we want to be. That’s what you’ve got to work to be, because I can’t proclaim that, I can’t tweet that. We’ve got to get together with these coaches, these young men and make that a reality. We’ve got to speak it into existence. We’ve got to work that into reality.”

Cristobal is a Miami native, won two national championships at the school as a player and earned two degrees from his time here. He was lured home after four years in Oregon, where he went 35-13, guided the Ducks to a pair of Pac-12 titles and had them ranked as high as No. 3 in the country.

Oregon made 53 appearances in the AP Top 25 under Cristobal. That’s four more than Miami has made in the last eight seasons combined.

Recruiting will be an eight-day sprint to the finish; the early signing period starts Dec. 15. Cristobal’s reputation as a recruiter is elite, but having basically a week to put together a class would be daunting for anyone.

It’s clear that he wants quarterback Tyler Van Dyke — who took over when D’Eriq King got hurt and finished the regular season with nearly 3,000 yards in nine games — to return. Van Dyke has given no indication otherwise.

“It’s obvious, watching from afar and watching film on the way in, there’s not a better quarterback in the country,” Cristobal said.

Cristobal had several family members at the event Tuesday. His mother, he said, is seriously ill at a nearby hospital and will “get the news when she’s ready for it.”

He seemed genuinely touched by the turnout, by some of the words spoken, by the chance to come home.

“What an honor. My God, what an honor,” Cristobal said. “This is incredible. This is just the beginning.”

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The ski slopes are almost devoid of snow at the Tūroa ski field, on Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand on Se...
Associated Press

Missing snow puts famed New Zealand ski areas on precipice

TUROA SKI AREA, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand’s Turoa ski area is usually a white wonderland at this time of year, its deep snowpack supporting its famed spring skiing. This season, it’s largely a barren moonscape, with tiny patches of snow poking out between vast fields of jagged volcanic boulders. The ski area was […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Kansas City Royals manager Mike Matheny waits for the next player to enter the cage as he pi...
Associated Press

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians. The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, […]
21 hours ago
Philadelphia 76ers' James Harden goes up for a dunk during the first half of a preseason NBA basket...
Associated Press

Embiid, Harden begin as 76ers top Cavs in Mitchell’s debut

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid and James Harden were done with their preseason debuts long before Montrezl Harrell scored the go-ahead basket with 26 seconds left, and the Philadelphia 76ers beat Cleveland 113-112 on Wednesday night in Donovan Mitchell’s first game with the Cavaliers. Embiid had 12 points and six rebounds in 18 minutes before […]
21 hours ago
Central Florida coach Gus Malzahn, left, and SMU coach Rhett Lashlee talk before an NCAA college fo...
Associated Press

UCF scores 31 unanswered points, beats SMU in AAC opener

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — John Rhys Plumlee threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns, both coming in the second half to Ryan O’Keefe, and UCF scored 31 unanswered points to beat SMU 41-19 on Wednesday night in a game postponed because of tropical weather. UCF trailed 13-10 at halftime before scoring four touchdowns in the […]
21 hours ago
New York Mets' Mark Vientos celebrates with James McCann (33) after they scored on a three-run home...
Associated Press

Mets prep for playoffs with 9-2 rout of Nationals

NEW YORK (AP) — Francisco Lindor and the New York Mets geared up for the playoffs with a 9-2 rout of the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, completing a fantastic regular season with the second-most wins in franchise history. Jeff McNeil won the major league batting crown without taking a plate appearance, and New York (101-61) […]
21 hours ago
Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly waves to the crowd after a baseball game against the Atlanta Br...
Associated Press

Mattingly wins his last game as Marlins manager, tops Braves

MIAMI (AP) — Don Mattingly went out as a winner in his final game as Miami’s manager when rookie Peyton Burdick homered and drove in four runs to lead the Marlins over the NL East champion Atlanta Braves 12-9 on Wednesday. Matt Olson hit his 34th homer and Marcell Ozuna hit his 23rd for the […]
21 hours ago
Cristobal arrives at Miami, says it’s ‘time to go to work’