Miami offensive coordinator and former Broyles winner Josh Gattis fired after one season
Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis came to the University of Miami from Michigan in February 2022 as the reigning recipient of the Broyles Award that goes to the nation’s top assistant coach in college football.
On Friday morning, Miami coach Mario Cristobal announced in a one-sentence news release that Gattis “has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator.’’
The firing comes less than one year after he arrived and 11 days after it was announced that UM quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Frank Ponce was returning to Appalachian State as the offensive coordinator.
Gattis was the Hurricanes’ fourth offensive coordinator in five seasons, following Rhett Lashlee, Dan Enos and Thomas Brown.
Cristobal must find a replacement for Gattis before spring practice begins in March.
Gattis, 39, came to the Hurricanes (5-7 in 2022) as a vaunted coordinator with the highly ranked Wolverines, who ultimately lost in the College Football Playoff semifinals the past two seasons. But the accolades ended there, and Gattis never proved a good fit at Miami. The Canes plummeted in their offensive rankings— contributed in part to a litany of debilitating injuries at key offensive spots, including the starting quarterback.
The Hurricanes finished 2022 ranked 96th of 131 FBS teams in rushing offense (128.1 yards a game), 60th in passing offense (239 yards a game), 86th in total offense (367.1) , 87th in red-zone offense, 97th in scoring (23.6 points a game) and 109th in sacks allowed (three sacks allowed a game, 36 total).
Fans were skeptical from the start, because Gattis, and Cristobal as well, made it clear that the Canes needed a significant running attack added to an offense that under former coordinator Rhett Lashlee was an up-tempo, no huddle, passing-heavy scheme. In the end, Miami attempted 413 passes and ran 414 times last season.
But little seemed to go right. Between losing the services of accomplished quarterback Tyler Van Dyke for most of the last six games with a shoulder injury, running backs going down with season-ending or nearly season-ending injuries, integral receivers being out for several weeks and several offensive linemen sustaining extended injuries, the offense was in disarray much of the time.
Cristobal said after UM’s regular-season finale loss against Pittsburgh that he would evaluate the coaching staff “as it relates to everything — performance on the field, performance off the field, performance in recruiting.”
“You reassess everything.”
On Nov. 21, WQAM talk-show host Joe Rose brought up Gattis to Cristobal and how he had been criticized for his play-calling.
“What are your thoughts on Gattis and his play-calling?” Rose asked.
“You don’t share certain things in public,’’ Cristobal said. “You always try to work things out within the walls of the program. We’ve done a really good job in hiring coaches that have had tremendous success in every place that they’ve been at. We’ve had our offensive struggles but we put that on all of us. You just don’t start singling out people and isolating people during the season. That’s not it.
“People either come together or they unravel. You have to be the example in terms of leadership to the entire organization. So, our entire focus is on doing whatever it takes to get one more point than the opponent — whatever that is. Whether things are going well, whether things are not going so well. That’s our entire focus and that’s all we talk about.’’