Cristobal speaks about return to Miami


Cristobal speaks about return to Miami

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) Mario Cristobal can tell you every detail of what transpired during his last practice as a Miami assistant coach in 2006. Or more specifically, what happened at the end of that practice.

As darkness fell, Cristobal stood with a few colleagues, debating whether he should leave his alma mater and become head coach at Florida International.

The decision, ultimately, was to say yes.

``I do remember it,'' Cristobal said. ``And I know I've grown tremendously from it.''

He's about to show Miami how he's grown in those six seasons since that night on the Greentree Practice Fields. Cristobal spoke out Friday for the first time since being hired as the Hurricanes' associate head coach under Al Golden, a move than came about a month after the two-time national championship winning player at Miami was fired by FIU after six seasons.

``It's an incredible feeling,'' Cristobal said. ``I think everyone knows how I feel about the University of Miami. I'm excited about just getting back here, just getting to work right away. That's something I've always been attracted to when I was a player here. It was just engrained, embedded in your mind ... and now to join a staff that's the exact same way, it's an incredible feeling. So let's hit the ground running.''

Cristobal won two national championships at Miami as a player, then was a graduate assistant at the school and eventually an assistant coach.

And when he was fired by FIU, Miami was his first phone call.

At the moment Golden heard Cristobal was let go by the Panthers - despite taking what was considered the worst program in the nation at the time of his hiring to a pair of bowl games - he called him up to offer condolences. And out of that conversation, an offer eventually came for Cristobal, whose closet is still filled with Hurricanes' gear from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, to return home.

On Friday, Cristobal proudly showed off his latest piece of Miami clothing, an orange-and-green jacket.

``Coach Golden does things the right way,'' Cristobal said. ``He has a true care factor, which I think we all know goes extremely far when you're a teacher.''

Also Friday, the Atlantic Coast Conference released its new scheduling model for the 2013 season.

Miami will play host to Virginia Tech (for the second straight year), Wake Forest, Virginia and Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes will play ACC road games at Duke (also for the second straight year), Florida State, North Carolina and new conference member Pittsburgh.

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Tarik's 3 Stars: Wilson and Backstrom shine in Caps 3rd straight win

Tarik's 3 Stars: Wilson and Backstrom shine in Caps 3rd straight win

Tom Wilson scored twice, Nicklas Backstrom recorded four helpers and the assistant coaches chipped in with a big assist in Montreal, where the Caps earned a 6-4 victory over the Canadiens on Saturday night.

The win was Washington’s third in a row and seventh in eight games as they close in on another Metro Division title. Caps Coach Barry Trotz, meantime, claimed victory No. 200 in Washington; his next win will equal Bruce Boudreau for second all-time in franchise history.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Tom Wilson, Capitals

Wilson’s all-around game continues to blossom…and the Caps’ big winger continues to fill up the scoresheet. At Bell Centre, he scored back-to-back goals less than four minutes apart in the first period to put the Caps in command. Wilson also missed an empty net in the closing seconds by just a few inches. The soon-to-be 24-year-old now has 13 goals—six more than his previous career high.  

2-Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals

Backstrom notched four assists and, as usual, he did it quietly. And they weren’t cheapies—three of the four helpers were of the primary variety. Backstrom, who has four goals and 12 assists in his last 12 games, has now notched four or more points 20 times in his career. It was also his 11th-career four assist game.

3-Leonhardt and Ohashi, Capitals

That’s right, I’m giving the third star to assistant coaches Brett ‘Stretch’ Leonhardt and Tim Ohashi. They quickly spotted that the Habs were offside on their second goal. And, after a coach’s challenge, the refs agreed. Instead of 2-0, it remained 1-0 and the Caps took full advantage of their second chance, scoring the game’s next four goals.

Agree? Disagree? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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Growing rumors that Redskins will land Pernell McPhee

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Growing rumors that Redskins will land Pernell McPhee

Every team in the NFL would love to add to their pass rush, and the Redskins are no exception. The team withdrew its contract offer to Junior Galette, spurring rumors that they were looking elsewhere.

The Redskins recently had linebacker Pernell McPhee in for a visit, and rumors are swirling that the former Bear is close to joining the Burgundy and Gold.

Nothing has been confirmed, but if McPhee does come to Washington, it would be in the hopes that he can provide a boost to the team's pass rush. The linebacker has proven himself capable of getting to the quarterback in his seven seasons in the NFL, recording 31.0 sacks in his career, with 21.5 of those coming in the last four years. He's also forced at least one fumble in each of the past five seasons.

Playing in the DMV again would mark a homecoming of sorts for McPhee, who played in Baltimore for 4 seasons after being drafted by the Ravens in the 5th round of the 2011 draft before signing in Chicago as a free agent.