Butch Davis won’t return as FIU coach, accuses school of sabotage
Coach Butch Davis has been informed he won’t be offered a new contract when his expires Dec. 15, despite leading the program to three bowl games in five years, The Action Network reported Monday.
And he had harsh words for the university, which hadn’t been to a bowl game since 2011 before his arrival in 2017. The program had only two winning seasons in its 13-year history before Davis took over, yet last month an ad for his job appeared on an industry website.
“This year has been a nightmare,” Davis told The Action Network. “You can imagine the players’ reaction when a head coach’s job was posted online. The administration has been sabotaging the program.
“Their decisions to post the job has resulted in a major negative impact on the football program and our ability to recruit and retain players.”
The Golden Panthers are 1-9 on the season. Per the report, 13 starters — 21 players in all — either sustained season-ending injuries or left the team.
Per the report, the university routinely posts every head and assistant coaching job on its internal website, even when an opening isn’t available. It did not address the posting on the American Football Coaches Association website.
Davis told The Action Network that coaching at FIU has been difficult beyond this season, considering:
–He could offer his assistant coaches only one-year contracts, ruling out those who were offered multiyear deals elsewhere.
–Coaches could not recruit on the road the past two years because of both COVID-19 and school finances.
–The school has limited equipment purchases. For example, when he arrived in 2017, he found out the team shoulder pads were 10 years old. Through a staff member, he learned Mississippi State was replacing its shoulder pads, and the school gave the old ones to FIU.
“They were five years old,” Davis said. “But they were new to us.”
The school uniforms also are nine years old, said Davis, who turns 70 on Wednesday.
Last week, athletic director Pete Garcia resigned to take a position as senior adviser to university president Mark Rosenberg.
Davis went to Florida International with an extensive coaching record.
He coached at Miami from 1995-2000, then at North Carolina from 2007-10. In between, he was the coach of the Cleveland Browns from 2001-04, leading them to a playoff appearance in 2002.
Overall, his college coaching record is 103-73, including a 24-30 mark at FIU.
–Field Level Media