Miami football staff extensive head coaching and coordinator experience
New co-defensive coordinators Kevin Steele and Charlie Strong have extensive experience as head coaches and coordinators. Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis and quarterbacks coach Frank Ponce enter their inaugural season with the Miami football program with previous experience as coordinators.
Steele was the head coach at Baylor from 1999 through 2002 and has 11 years of experience as a defensive coordinator. Strong has 10 years of experience each as a defensive coordinator and a head coach. Strong spent all 10 of his previous seasons as DC and three as a head coach at Power Five programs.
Gattis comes to Miami from Michigan where he was the OC for the last three seasons. Prior to Michigan, Gattis was the Co-OC at Alabama in 2018. Ponce was the Co-OC at Applachian State from 2013 through 2018 and the Mountaineers’ sole OC last season. Mario Cristobal has surrounded himself with an experienced staff.
The connections between Cristobal and his staff are frequently Alabama and Miami. Gattis, Steele and Strong all coached at Alabama under Nick Saban. Cristobal and Strong both grew up in Miami. Ponce played at Miami Senior High and was a high school coach in South Florida from 1992 through 2006 after graduating college.
Cristobal was a graduate assistant with the Miami football program from 1998 to 2000 and an assistant coach from 2004 to 2006. The paths of Cristobal and Ponce have an extensive history. Gattis, Ponce, Steele and Strong having experience calling a game provides them with the perspective of game-planning for an opponent.
Steele and Strong have extensive experience in the SEC beyond Alabama. Steele has also coached at Auburn, LSU and Tennessee. Strong was an assistant at Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina. Gattis brings the perspective of coaching in the Big 10 and the SEC. Miami has a staff who has seen multiple styles of football.
Miami plays at Texas A&M on September 17 and Clemson on November 19. In addition to the other seven ACC games and three other non-conference games, Cristobal has a staff that has prepared for big games throughout their careers. Knowing how to game plan should help Miami enter its inaugural season under Cristobal.