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FIU AD Mello reassigned, UM's Garcia to replace

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FIU AD Mello reassigned, UM's Garcia to replace

We certainly have them beat in the admin dept….

UM's Garcia to replace AD Mello at FIU
BY BARRY JACKSON
[email protected]

FIU is expected to announce on Tuesday that it is reassigning athletic director Rick Mello and replacing him with UM senior associate athletic director Pete Garcia, according to two officials close to the situation.

Coincidentally, the move happens the same week UM and FIU are scheduled to meet in football for the first time. The teams will play Saturday at the Orange Bowl.

FIU and UM officials declined to confirm the athletic director change. According to one of the officials, the FIU administration isn't happy with the on-field performance of the athletic program's marquee sports and want the program to ascend to the next level.

Garcia returned to UM last September and oversaw the school's ticket office, ticket sales, Internet and media relations. He assisted UM football coach Larry Coker with recruiting last spring because Coker was short-handed after firing four assistant coaches.

Garcia previously was UM's recruiting coordinator under football coach Butch Davis. When Davis left to become head coach of the Cleveland Browns, he accompanied Davis and took an executive position in football operations.

At UM, Garcia was widely considered the likely successor to athletic director Paul Dee. Garcia still could emerge as UM's next athletic director, but not likely in the foreseeable future. Dee is under contract through 2010 and has said he intends to remain in the job.

One of Garcia's biggest decisions will be determining the future of coach Don Strock, who has guided the team to a 15-35 record in five years, including 0-6 this season.

The basketball team last season was 8-20 under Sergio Rouco, who's entering his third season.

Mello is expected to be reassigned to another position in the administration.
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FIU AD Mello reassigned, UM's Garcia to replace

They are talking about this BIG TIME on the FIU board. They think Strock will be history. Personaly, I think Strock has done fairly well. EVERYONE and I mean everyone should know this was going to be an off year for FIU football. We went though it. Its their school and their call so be it.

for FAU:

Despite what some posters may feel, I like Angelos. I normally don't have much fondness for lawyers but he is using those skills constructively instead of chasing ambulances.

FAU - THE REAL SLEEPING GIANT
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FIU AD Mello reassigned, UM's Garcia to replace

angelos is great.
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FIU AD Mello reassigned, UM's Garcia to replace

I've been reading the FIU board as well. I know that their fans are frustrated, but Strock is getting a pretty raw deal. They have some pretty unrealistic expectations for a team in their stage of development. We went through it last year, you lose that many seniors and your team will struggle. Things will get better but it takes time. Strock may not be a great coach and a change might indeed be necessary eventually, but the guy has built the program up from nothing and deserves a little bit of time. Of course it doesn't help when you are constantly being compared to FAU. While FIU clearly is ahead of FAU on some things, notably faciilties and funds, on the field FAU has a decided advantage (out of conference wins, 1-aa semifinals, etc.)

I hope the new AD down there does good things for their university, but I cannot see what a coaching change at this stage accomplishes….besides getting rid of the one man pretty much soley responsible for them fielding a team at all.
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FIU AD Mello reassigned, UM's Garcia to replace

I think it would be great if FIU gets rid of Strock...It would be the biggest mistake they could make. As much as I hate to say it, they guy is a winner and I would love to see him leave their program.
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FIU AD Mello reassigned, UM's Garcia to replace

This is my perspective. I truly hate to see Mello go. He is a very, very nice guy, and has put together a succesfull program, and with excess revenues over expenses over the years, even with the advent of football. He has put together nice schedules, and just got the new stadium's plans approved by the BOT. I have a feeling he was here for the long haul, but…..on the field results, I believe, were his culprit.

On to Strock. I also think he got a raw deal so early. He built this program, and to just look at W-L this year is kind of unfair. However, Strock is no Schnellenberger in terms of coaching. He is not proven, and actually, many thought he was not a good manager of assets at FIU. I was willing to give him more time, as I normally do, but it seems the administration wants results now. He has no track record (as Howard does) as being a winner (15-35 record all time), although there is a chance that with time, he very well might be.

BTW, I don't think either of our programs is decidedly ahead of the other at this point. Last season, you were 1-5 at this point, and we are 0-6, nothing to be proud of, but understandable (for some, anyways) in a growth situation. I truly hope our administration know what they are doing in firing Mello and hiring Garcia at this point, since I have no knowledge of what he will bring to the table, and what major difference he could bring over Mello, who in my opinion, was doing a decent job overall, a pretty good job finances-wise.
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FIU AD Mello reassigned, UM's Garcia to replace

Change can be either good or bad, both Mello & Strock have done a good jod with the limited resources both had to work with. These days and ages people want results now, which is unfortunate - FAU and FIU are both very young programs who, IMO both made the jump to 1-A to quickly, but in the same instants made the right decision to move to 1-A when they did.
FIU has made more progress off the filed while FAU has made more progress on the field. We are both headed in the right direction and when things have been given a chance to develop both programs will be fine. I would hope that Garcia would give Strock the benenifit of the doubt and give him the time to properly bring the program to a higher level.

We all want results and sometimes forget what the ultimate goals for the programs are. Hopefully, Garcia is able to bring stability to FIU - we are still jointed at the hips, unfortunately, F_U will still be a common things for a while longer.

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FIU AD Mello reassigned, UM's Garcia to replace

It's important to remember that Rick Mello, not Don Strock, has been replaced. Rick is a good guy. I wish him the best as well as FAU, AD Angelos and Howard. Good luck this week.
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FIU AD Mello reassigned, UM's Garcia to replace

I was kind of shocked to see Mello replaced. That guy really worked his butt of for the school and that program. Hey, Fanatic to have Mello replaced by Garcia is pretty big time. At least he isn't being replaced by a nobody. They need to give Strock at least another year, like a couple of guys have said this is a building year and both schools had to realize that. the pipeline gets filled and the pain get less as the programs go on. Good luck to the rest of your season, except of course the Shula Bowl game. ;)
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FIU AD Mello reassigned, UM's Garcia to replace

I know I'm going to catch he!! from FIUfanatic for this so here goes.

I just find it rather amazing that some of the people on the FIU board can change like that. Last season there was some degree of discontent with Strock. There were a few negative discussions. Then they won 5 games and embarrased FAU. Suddenly he was a great coach so was his staff. Very nice things were written on the FIU board. When this season began, Strock was the man. Now its back to discontent and Strock bashing again.

As far as I'm concerned, their doing fine. The posters on the FIU board brag about how fast they became D1A, but they are paying a price for that. Its hard to beat D1A teams with D1AA players still on the roster. I know its frustrating to see your team lose but what more do you want out of such a young program especially competing in D1A. I would like to have seen FAU compete D1AA a little longer but it didn't happen that way. So here we are.

FAU - THE REAL SLEEPING GIANT
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