Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis came to the University of Miami from Michigan in February 2022 as the reigning recipient of the Broyles Award for the nation’s top assistant coach in college football.
On Friday morning, Miami coach Mario Cristobal announced in a one-sentence press release that Gattis «has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator.»
The layoff comes less than a year after he arrived and 11 days after it was announced that UM quarterbacks passing game coach/coordinator Frank Ponce was returning to Appalachia State as offensive coordinator. .
Gattis was the Hurricanes’ fourth offensive coordinator in five seasons, joining Rhett Lashlee, Dan Enos and Thomas Brown.
Cristobal must find a replacement for Gattis before the start of spring training in March.
Gattis, 39, came to the Hurricanes (5-7 in 2022) as a much-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 himself in Miami. The Canes have dropped in their offensive rating — contributing in part to a litany of debilitating injuries in key offensive spots, including the starting quarterback.
The Hurricanes finished 2022 ranked 96th out of 131 FBS teams in rushing offense (128.1 yards per game), 60th in passing offense (239 yards per game), 86th in total offense (367.1), 87th in red zone offense, 97th in scoring (23.6 points per game) and 109th in sacks allowed (three sacks allowed per game, 36 overall).
Fans were skeptical early on as Gattis, and Cristobal as well, made it clear the Canes needed a significant running offense added to an offense that under former coordinator Rhett Lashlee was a crash diet, with no huddle, with lots of assists. In the end, Miami attempted 413 passes and ran 414 times last season.
But little seemed to go well. Between losing the services of accomplished quarterback Tyler Van Dyke for most of the last six games with a shoulder injury, running backs down with or near season-ending injuries, full receivers missing for several weeks and several offensive linemen injuries, the offense was in disarray most of the time.
Cristobal said after UM’s regular-season loss to Pittsburgh that he would evaluate the coaching staff «on everything — performance on the field, performance off the field, performance in recruiting.»
«You reevaluate everything.»
On November 21, WQAM talk show host Joe Rose spoke about Gattis to Cristobal and how he had been criticized for his call to play.
«What do you think of Gattis and his calling game?» Rose asked.
«You don’t share certain things in public,» Cristobal said. “You always try to arrange things within the walls of the program. We have done a very good job hiring coaches who have had tremendous success wherever they have gone. We had our offensive struggles but we put that on all of us. You just don’t start to single people out and isolate them during the season. It’s not that.
“People either come together or they fall apart. You must be the example in terms of leadership for the whole organization. So our goal is to do whatever it takes to get one point over whoever the opponent is. If things are going well, if things are not going so well. That’s our whole focus and that’s all we’re talking about.»
This story was originally published January 27, 2023 8:46 a.m.