Mario Cristobal Has One Mission
Many times when Mario Cristobal is leaving the Miami football complex late at night, he drives toward the Kindred Hospital. Kindred Hospital is a long-term acute care center. Just before reaching it, he would realize his mistake and then would turn around the vehicle towards his family home near campus. He says it has become a habit as Clara Cristobal had to lay intubated in a hospital bed for more than three months and also in and out of consciousness unable to speak. She got this illness at the same time when her youngest son accepted the head coaching job at Miami last December. It is like a Cuban American captaining his hometown team’s football program. It was his dream job.
When Mario was toiling away putting his plans in place to revive one of the college football’s lost brands, he spent early mornings and late nights at his mother’s bedside. He would play videos for his mother. He would hold her hand, would brush her hair, and would spend time talking with her. She would smile at times and would even squeeze his fingers.
In the end, she started to blow kisses. She bided goodbye at the age of 81 on March 4. She left knowing that Mario was home. She understood that and was happy.
In fact, Mario’s move from Oregon to Miami is one of the family. It can be said that it is one of home and heart. A very few would be better suited for such a revival project than the 51-year coach who needs to be at the top of his craft. Mario returned to resurrect the program whose most recent national had come 20 years and five coaches ago. Mario was back to save the Hurricanes. Before signing the contract, a large number of budgetary items were approved.
The coaching salary budget in the school history was $20 million a year. This year the price tag has doubled with $8 million going to Cristobal, $7.5 million for his on-field and strength staff, and $5 million for the support staff. More than $100000 was spent on the strength and conditioning equipment.