Mario Cristobal Fired as Florida International University Head Football Coach

Cristobal dismissed after six seasons at FIU

By Brian Hamacher
|  Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012  |  Updated 4:11 PM EDT
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Florida International University has fired head football coach Mario Cristobal, the school said in a statement Wednesday.

“Today we informed Coach (Mario) Cristobal that a change was being made in the direction of our football program. I want to thank Coach for all that he has done to develop the football program over the past six seasons," FIU Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment Pete Garcia said. "We will now turn our attention to attract the very best candidate to fill the position of head coach. We will begin a national search immediately.”

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Cristobal spent six seasons at FIU, going 27-47, including a dismal 3-9 in 2012.

A native of Miami, Cristobal played at Christopher Columbus High School before moving on to the University of Miami, where he was a member of national championship teams in 1989 and 1991 as an offensive tackle.

Cristobal made his first foray into coaching at UM as tight ends coach and offensive line coach.

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He was named head coach at FIU in 2006, after the Golden Panthers finished 0-12.

Cristobal's best year came in 2010, when the Panthers went 7-6 and were named the Sun Belt Conference Co-Champions. Cristobal also took home conference coach of the year honors in 2010.

The Panthers went on to defeat Toledo in the 2010 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, the school's first ever bowl game.

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