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Butch Davis will not return to FIU, says administration is 'sabotaging' football program

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Butch Davis will not return as Florida International’s head coach.

Davis told The Action Network that university officials would not extend his contract, which is set to expire on Dec. 15. Davis, who previously was the head coach at Miami, North Carolina and for the Cleveland Browns, said his agent asked FIU for a one-year extension.

Davis has been at FIU since 2017. FIU has had a football program since 2002 but had just two winning seasons prior to Davis’ arrival. Davis led the Panthers to two winning seasons and three bowl games in his first three years. Additionally, Davis coached FIU to an upset victory over Miami in 2019.

Over the past two seasons, though, FIU has a combined 1-14 record. The Panthers won their home opener this season but have since lost nine straight, including a 50-10 defeat to Middle Tennessee on Saturday. Overall, Davis has a 24-30 record at FIU.

According to multiple reports, Davis informed his staff he will not be back at the school. It’s not immediately clear if Davis will coach the team’s final two games against North Texas and Southern Miss.

Pete Garcia, FIU’s longtime athletic director, stepped down last week.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 23: Head Coach Butch Davis of the FIU Golden Panthers on the field during warm ups prior to the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Marlins Park on November 23, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Butcch Davis has a 24-30 record at Florida International. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Davis: FIU administration ‘sabotaging’ football program

Davis told The Action Network that this season has been a “nightmare.” He also accused the university administration of “sabotaging” the football program.

Last month, FIU posted a job opening for the head-coaching position on the school website and the American Football Coaches Association website. Davis said that decision has had a very negative impact on the program.

“This year has been a nightmare,” Davis said. “You can imagine the players’ reaction when a head coach’s job was posted online. The administration has been sabotaging the program. Their decision to post the job has resulted in a major negative impact on the football program and our ability to recruit and retain players.”

On top of that, Davis said the school would not allow him to offer contracts longer than one year to assistant coaches. Davis also said the team is using old uniforms and equipment and that his staff has not been permitted to hit the recruiting trail over the past two years because of financial issues and the pandemic. 

Davis, who turns 70 on Wednesday, rose to prominence as a defensive coach at Miami and with the Dallas Cowboys. He later became the head coach at Miami in 1995 and also had stints as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns and at the University of North Carolina. 

FIU becomes the 11th FBS school to have a head-coaching opening this season. Three schools have already hired new coaches: Georgia Southern (Clay Helton), Texas Tech (Joey McGuire) and UConn (Jim Mora).

The other schools with openings are Akron, LSU, TCU, UMass, USC, Washington and Washington State.

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