Miami football team extensive experience in coaching and coordinator

New Joint Defense Coordinators Kevin Steele and Charlie Strong have extensive experience as head coaches and coordinators. Offensive coordinator Josh Gates and quarterback coach Frank Pons enter the inaugural season with the Miami Football Program with prior experience as coordinators.

Steele was Baylor’s head coach from 1999 until 2002 and has 11 years of experience as a defensive coordinator. Strong has 10 years of experience as a defensive coordinator and head coach. Strong spent all of his previous ten seasons as a DC and three as head coach on the Power Five programmes.

Gates comes to Miami from Michigan where he has been COO for the past three seasons. Prior to Michigan, Gattis was the Co-OC of Alabama in 2018. Pons was a Co-OC in the Applachian State from 2013 through 2018 and was the only OC in the Mountaineers last season. Mario Cristobal surrounded himself with an experienced staff.

The connections between Cristobal and his staff are often Alabama and Miami. Gates, Steele, and Strong all trained in Alabama under Nick Saban. Cristobal and Strong both grew up in Miami. Ponce played at Miami Senior High and was a high school coach in South Florida from 1992 until 2006 after graduating from college.

Cristobal was an alumni’s assistant in the Miami soccer program from 1998 to 2000 and an assistant coach from 2004 to 2006. The Cristobal and Ponce tracks have a long history. Gattis, Ponce, Steele, and Strong have experience in calling a game that provides them with a game-planning perspective of the opponent.

Steele and Strong have extensive experience with the Securities and Exchange Commission outside of Alabama. Steele has also worked as a coach at Auburn, LSU, and Tennessee. Strong was an assistant in Florida, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Gattis brings training perspective into the Big 10 and the SEC. Miami has a staff that has seen many forms of football.

Miami plays at Texas A&M on September 17 and Clemson on November 19. In addition to the other seven ACC games and three other non-conference games, Cristobal has a staff that has prepared for the big games of their entire career. Knowing how to put together a game plan should help Miami enter its inaugural season under Cristobal.

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