Peter Holland, Jr. // Asst. Sports Director
Pete Garcia held a press conference for the hiring of FIU’s new football head coach Butch Davis on Tuesday, Nov.15.
After being introduced, Davis expressed his excitement to be coaching again at the collegiate level after five years.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be the head coach at FIU,” Davis said. “I love this opportunity. I am grateful to be here and to be the head football coach at FIU. I look at this challenge as one that has no limits for the ceiling.”
Both Garcia and Davis have close connections with one another back when both were at University of Miami.
Garcia believes bringing in Davis is a “game changer” and hopes that the 61 year old can elevate the 14-year-old football program.
“To say we are excited to have Butch Davis as our head coach at FIU is an understatement,” Garcia said. “There is no doubt that he will take FIU football to new heights.”
One of Davis’ goals he mentioned is to unite the alumni and students of FIU and fill out the seats at FIU Stadium.
“One of the things that stole me was the fact that there are 200,000 alumni in Dade and Broward County,” Davis said. “We’ve got to unite those fans and alums and get them back in the stadium.”
Davis is well-known for being the former head coach for the Miami Hurricanes. For six seasons, Davis lead the Hurricanes to a 51-20 record. This includes three big east championship titles and one BCS National Championship title in 2001.
He then stepped down to accept the NFL head coaching position for the Cleveland Browns. In 2002, he led the Browns to their only playoff appearance after being relaunched as a franchise in 1999.
After stepping down in 2002, he came back to college to be the head coach for University of North Carolina in 2006.
Five years later he was fired after being accused of academic fraudulent by the NCAA and players receiving improper benefits. He was 28-23 for four seasons at North Carolina.
Before being hired, Davis was working for ESPN as a college football analyst.
Garcia has been struggling for a winning season for the football program since being launched in 2002. Their only bowl appearances was in 2010 and 2011 under former head coach Mario Cristobal before he was fired in 2012 after a 4-8 season. After the hiring of Ron Turner, the Panthers went 12-39 as a head coach. He was fired earlier this season after an 0-4 start.
Defensive Coordinator Ron Cooper has been the interim head coach this season and the Panthers are now 3-7 with two more games left to play.