Butch Davis coached the Miami Hurricanes from 1995 to 2000, recruiting numerous future NFL players and maintaining the program’s status as a national power. In fact, he went 11-1 and won the Sugar Bowl in his final season at Miami, which went 35-3 from 2001 to 2003.
The Hurricanes, however, have averaged just 7.4 wins in the 11 seasons since. Davis, 64, would have loved the opportunity to restore Miami to national prominence, but the Hurricanes hired Mark Richt instead.
“Well, obviously I stated about a month before that that I would have loved the opportunity,” Davis said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Certainly I put my name in the ring and got a chance to interview for the job, and they chose to go in a different direction. That’s the life that you live sometimes when you’re a coach. You try to do the best you can. I would have loved the opportunity, but it just didn’t work out.”
Miami did not tell Davis why it chose to go with Richt.
“As a matter of fact, they never called and even told me that I didn’t get the job,” Davis said. “I actually heard it on the radio.”
Richt, who went 145-51 and won two SEC titles in 15 seasons at Georgia, inherits a program that went 6-7 this season. Davis said that Miami’s previous coach, Al Golden, “is probably a very, very good football coach and did a good job recruiting,” but that there was too much instability among the coaching staff.
“Those kinds of things never really help you kind of develop the program that you want,” Davis said. “They were highly rated as far as the recruits that they signed, but you don’t know how they were developed or what kind of players that the evaluation actually meant that they really were going to be. So many people get so hung up on these four-star and five-star players, and a lot of times those guys never really materialize to be the players that everybody expects them to be. The great teams that I had at the University of Miami with Reggie Wayne and Ed Reed and Santana Moss and a lot of those type of guys – some of those guys, I’m not even sure they had any stars, to be honest with you. Some of them were super high-profile. D.J. Williams was obviously defensive player of the year in USA Today and across the nation. So it was kind of a blend, a mixture, of high-profile players but an awful lot of guys who just wanted to win and were willing to do whatever it took to win. Those were some of the issues that they deal with.”
Davis said that the location of Sun Life Stadium, which is about 30 miles from campus, has also hurt the Hurricanes. So did Golden’s apparent refusal to recruit inner-city Miami.
“There’s a lot of work to be done,” Davis said, “but that’s somebody else’s job right now.”