AP Source: Cristobal returning to Miami

TIM REYNOLDS AP Sports Writer Published:

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Mario Cristobal is going back to his roots with the Miami Hurricanes -- again.

Cristobal has been hired as the Hurricanes' associate head coach and tight ends coach, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Thursday. Former Miami player Kareem Brown is returning as a graduate assistant with the defensive line and the team is shifting Brennan Carroll from tight ends to wide receivers coach, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the moves had not been announced.

For Cristobal, who was fired as Florida International's coach last month, it's yet another Hurricane homecoming.

He won two national championships with Miami as a player and was a first-team All-Big East offensive lineman as a senior in 1992. He was a graduate assistant at Miami from 1998 through 2000, then returned as an assistant coach from 2004 through 2006.

And now, he starts a fourth stint as a 'Cane.

"Even with all the places I've been, I've always loved the University of Miami," Cristobal said last year.

Cristobal has also coached at Rutgers, was briefly with the Denver Broncos as a player in 1994 and had a playing stint in NFL Europe.

Cristobal left Miami to become the head coach at FIU, turning around a moribund program and taking it to a Sun Belt championship and the first two bowl games in the school's history. He spent six seasons at FIU before being fired -- a move that surprised many around the Panthers' program -- and speculation immediately began that he and Miami would find a way to reunite.

Cristobal's addition would figure to be a major help for Miami in recruiting, particularly in South Florida. Cristobal is a Miami native, with strong ties to virtually all of the region's top high school programs, and recruited all parts of talent-rich Florida extensively when he was running the program at FIU.

Brown, who played at Miami Norland High, was with the Hurricanes from 2002 through 2006 and was drafted by the New England Patriots. He had brief stays with the Patriots, New York Jets, New York Giants and Tennessee Titans as an NFL player.