The big question is ?Who?s the next Miami head coach?, but the better question is - ?Who wants to coach at Miami??
In order for an incoming coach to be successful many changes have to happen. Miami must upgrade their facilities. Larry Coker will take the blame for being unable to recruit the skilled athletes that were commonplace under previous Miami teams, but the facilities at Miami are badly outdated. President Donna Shalala has indicated that Miami will upgrade their facilities for any incoming coach (which begs the question, if it was a problem - why didn?t they do this before they fired Coker?).
Miami has a history of not selling out their stadium, even during seasons in which they?re competing for a national title. Without a fan base - even a fickle fan base - Miami can?t rely on ticket sales to feed the coffers like most other powerhouse programs. This puts them in the unenviable position of relying heavily on boosters.
The bad influences - those that were responsible for the brawl with Florida International - need to go. This isn?t just about the brawl, it?s about the culture of barbarity that exists at the University of Miami. It isn?t coincidental that while the brawl was happening, former Miami player and broadcaster Lamar Thomas was praising the violence occurring on the field. A new coach will need to separate those type of influences from the program.
In order to change the culture, the possibility exists that a new coach will need to dismiss talented players. He?ll need to remove the influence of alumni like Lamar Thomas, an action that has the potential of turning off the same donors whose money will be needed to upgrade the facilities, not to mention paying for Larry Coker?s multi-million dollar buy-out.
Both of these changes will lead to at least a couple down seasons at Miami which will lead to more tumult which leads directly to Miami?s biggest problem - extremely high expectations. The Miami Faithful are not going to tolerate more losing seasons (6-6 being a losing season at Miami) when they will barely tolerate teams that lose more than a single game in a season.
The Miami Faithful aren?t looking for a coach, they?re looking for a miracle worker. They won?t find one amongst the current big names in college coaching as those guys know that the Miami job isn?t worth the angst it will bring them. They?ll have to find someone willing to take a chance. And when they do, they can count on him leaving in a few years because the expectations will be too much to handle.