Coley hire can't be overstated

Coley hire can't be overstated

Peter Ariz
Peter Ariz
What Al Golden was able to pull off today by hiring James Coley could turn out to be a defining moment of his Miami career. Some people would argue, "What's so special about an offensive coordinator who has never really had to call plays on a consistent basis?" This hire is more than what scratches the surface. It's more than the fact this could lock up Matthew Thomas and Denver Kirkland, amongst others. It's more than the fact that Coley's recruiting ties in South Florida are stronger than almost anybody in the country (we will get to this shortly). It's about where Coley is coming from and how this all went down.

James Coley has been considered Jimbo Fisher's right hand man and top recruiter since he joined FSU's staff in 2007, which is what makes this move so bold. Coley was the only name heavily rumored for the Offensive Coordinator position at Miami since Jedd Fisch left to the Jaguars last week, which tells me that this was Miami's #1 target for the job since last Saturday. This was a huge recruiting job by not only Al Golden, but also Mario Cristobal, who has close ties with Coley back to their days at FIU together. Miami was able to pry Coley away from his alma mater and it is even being reported that Florida State even surpassed the monetary offer made to him by Miami, as well as Jimbo Fisher giving him the opportunity to call plays.

To say that this is a monumental hire for recruiting purposes is an understatement. Take a look at this excerpt from a Miami Herald story, which touches on some of Coley's connection to the Miami area:

At Miami High from 1998-2000 he coached Roscoe Parrish and Andre Johnson. He then served as the offensive coordinator at Miami Norland when Dwyane Bowe and the Vikings won a state title in 2002. He was then a grad assistant at LSU under Nick Saban for two years before moving onto the Dolphins with him for two more years.

A number of South Florida area coaches I speak to absolutely love Coley and spoke extremely highly of him when he was at Florida State. Here are a couple of the responses I'm getting from a couple South Florida area coaches that I've talked to about the hire:

Awesome, it's huge. I'm a huge fan of his. Crazy.

Coley and Cristobal's on

He puts in work as a recruiter

It's not only the coaches that love him, but the recruits as well. Even current Miami commits that were recruited by Coley have a great respect for him. For example, last night I tweeted that I expected Coley to be named Miami's next offensive coordinator, and Miami commit Jamal Carter responded with this:

dat would be love!

The question that remains to be seen is the fact that Coley has never really had to call plays besides a lone season at FIU in 2007. Coley's philosophy is more of a spread than pro-style. While Miami fans may be hesitant about this "change," can you really describe what Jedd Fisch did over the past two years as a true pro-style offense? Coley will be handed the keys to a Maybach for next season and it's going to be really interesting to see what he does with it.

"Big names" don't always equate to success in terms of a coaching staff, but there's no way anybody can argue that this isn't one of the most star-studded staffs in the country right now. As I eluded to earlier, this is very likely the final push that Miami needed to lock up Matthew Thomas and Denver Kirkland. As a matter of fact, Booker T. Washington Head Coach Tim "Ice" Harris coached James Coley when he was a quarterback at Miami High. I'm not sure it will have much of an affect on Alex Collins, who is already leaning towards Miami at this point, but it certainly doesn't hurt. Same goes with Stacy Coley.

If Miami's fortunes over the next day continue into Signing Day, this could be a close for the ages.

Comments (102)


Only a couple weeks, and this should officially stand on Mr. Golden's head.
Def an intriguing hire, but risky.
Signing day can't get here soon enough. I just want to go to sleep and wake up on Feb 6
"I'm not sure it will have much of an affect on Alex Collins, who is already leaning towards Miami at this point, but it certainly doesn't hurt. Same goes with Stacy Coley."

I see what you did there.
****'S...ABOUT...TO...GET...REAL!!! Jimbo's gonna have to be the new "national add campaign" face for "Depends" diapers and Kleenex.
what kind of offense does he run? pro style? spread?
People think being an offensive coordinator is just calling plays.'s preparing a game plan, running the offensive meetings, organizing practice, running drills, etc.

My understanding is that Coley did all the real work and then Jimbo called the plays. So Coley really was the offensive coordinator just not the play caller.

Fisch was a coordinator/play caller for 1 year at Minn before getting here.

Coly has been a coordinator for 6 years and a play caller for 1.

Coley has much more experience than Fisch coming in.
its even better to read this while watching a replay of last nights rape at the BUC
what kind of offense does he run? pro style? spread?

Pete said spread, probably the only curious part of the hire

i actually like the idea of the spread offense, all of our current offense and potential recruits would fit the spread except mayb Collins. plus south florida is full of fast scat backs and slot WR who we pass on that end up producing at a high level in a spread offense