On a day it was learned that new UM coach Mark Richt would not be attending the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, another Hurricanes coach and former Cane preparing his players to face Washington State said he very much wants to remain on the Miami staff.
Receivers coach Kevin Beard, who graduated from UM and played there from 2000 to 2003, said he has “no idea” about his future, but cheerfully made it clear that his heart is with his alma mater.
He said he sat with Richt for a 15-minute “meet-and-greet” type meeting, but not specifically a job interview.
“The mindset is, I want to be here,” Beard said. “I make jokes that they’ll have to claw me out of here, you know? That’s how much I want to be here. But, you know, it’s a business. Things are going to happen the way they’re going to happen. God has a plan for me. I just trust it and continue to work with the kids, love on them and have fun with it.”
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Meanwhile, Richt did not attend practice Wednesday and wasn’t available for comment. He previously said he wanted to be at the bowl, but it’s unclear why he doesn’t plan to travel to El Paso.
“I completely understand,” said offensive tackle Kc McDermott, when told Richt wouldn’t be attending. “It’s Christmas. He’s been playing bowl games over Christmas the past 15 years. He needs to spend Christmas with his family.
“I’m sure he’s going to be watching the game. It’s a nationally televised game. There’s no problem there.”
Beard was asked what he tells the players he’s recruiting about his future.
“If Miami is the place for you — because I do this from my heart — I’ll be the first one to tell you. Not because I’m recruiting you, not because I’m here, it’s because this is the best place for you.”
Beard said he’s flattered that recruits such as Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas receiver Sam Bruce have said they want the coach to stay, but that the most important thing is for him to set an example on “how to be the same guy every day. If you’re the same guy every day — rain, sleet or snow, ups and downs, sad, happy — it doesn’t matter what happens in your life, you’re going to be successful at whatever you do.
“You dictate the temperature. You set the tone. When you exemplify that for these young men, it gives them another way of looking at life.”
Beard was asked about junior receiver Stacy Coley’s pending decision on whether to enter the NFL Draft.
“It’s just a 20-, 21-year-old kid who has a hope and a dream to play in the NFL,” Beard said, “and this could be one of his opportunities. He’s going to definitely entertain it. My thought process is to always tell kids, ‘It’s about your degree.’ That’s what you come to college for. The money’s going to be there now or later. … I hope he comes back.”
Defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio, who is not expected to be retained by Richt, also spoke Wednesday, saying the only thing he knew about his future was that “right now I’m going to go upstairs and watch the Wednesday practice and then get ready for the Thursday practice,”
D’Onofrio said. “that’s really it. My job is right now to worry about the players and everybody else in the building, to go to El Paso and try to go get a win against a really good opponent. That’s really all we can focus on.”
▪ Interim head coach Larry Scott confirmed he is keeping the team on a schedule that mimics a normal game week. “What I wanted to do is just keep kind of a routine,” Scott said. “The way we’re already trained and built is to keep to the same type of schedule so we can keep the same mindset. A lot of times what happens in bowl games is you start to change the routine up, and if you change it too much guys are like all over the place. What time is this? What time is that? On top of having exams and having study sessions you’re causing them to do too much thinking.
“We’ve been fast and we’ve been efficient.”
The Canes will have a closed walk-through Thursday, a short practice Friday and then have off Saturday and Sunday before leaving for El Paso on Monday.
“We’ll get them back in here Monday and do some activities — a lift and run and those types of things to get a little blood flowing before we get on the flight and go through another week of routine,” Scott said.
▪ Offensive tackle Sunny Odogwu (knee) again missed practice Wednesday, while guard Danny Isidora (undisclosed injury) was again in a red, no-contact jersey. Safety Jamal Carter (hamstring) was in a yellow, limited-contact jersey.