FIU coaching search: Butch Davis is leading candidate to replace Mario Cristobal

Streeter Lecka

Butch Davis is being linked to the suddenly open head coaching job at Florida International.

Names are already emerging for the open coaching position at Florida International just a few hours after head coach Mario Cristobal was unexpectedly fired. According to Sports Illustrated, a potential candidate is Butch Davis, the former Miami and North Carolina coach.

FIU athletic director Pete Garcia knows Davis well. The two were together with the Hurricanes, and they also worked together with the Cleveland Browns. Davis' career as North Carolina head coach ended auspiciously in 2010 amid an NCAA investigation, though he was never implicated. He is currently an assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Cristobal led FIU to back-to-back bowl games and was a potential candidate to land a high-profile job last offseason before deciding to stay with the school. The team failed to come close to high expectations this season, plummeting to 3-9, and Cristobal paid the price for his loyalty by losing his job. He spent six seasons as the head coach of Panthers, compiling a 27-47 record while leading the program to its only two bowls.

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