Despite leading FIU to its first two bowl berths, Mario Cristobal was fired Wednesday. (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Florida International has already scrubbed Mario Cristobal’s biography from the school’s athletic department website. Just a few short minutes after Cristobal’s dismissal was announced, all links to his bio began redirecting to the Panthers’ front page. That’s probably a good idea, since the bio starts out like this:
Mario Cristobal will enter his sixth season as head coach of the FIU football program in 2012 and he has become widely-regarded in the coaching profession for the impressive success his tenure has brought to Florida International University.
Not only has Cristobal established a rock-solid foundation for the FIU program to strongly build upon, he was also the architect for one of the greatest turnarounds in college football and sustained periods of success in recent seasons.
Not solid enough for AD Pete Garcia, apparently, who has maybe the best formal job title on the planet: “Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment.” After leading the Panthers to their first two bowl appearances in program history in 2010 and 2011, Cristobal entered 2012 at the head of a team favored by many (including yours truly) to win the Sun Belt. An unfortunate string of injuries hobbled FIU early and often, and the Panthers finished the 2012 season with just three wins, over Akron, Florida Atlantic and South Alabama. Still, do a quick spin through the social media sphere of your choice this afternoon and you’ll see some heavy scorn and disbelief being flung in the direction of FIU’s administration. Safe to say nobody expected this.