Jan. 2, 2006
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) - Miami fired four assistant coaches Monday, three days after the Hurricanes' season ended with a humbling 40-3 loss to LSU in the Peach Bowl - the biggest bowl defeat in the program's history.
Offensive line coach Art Kehoe, who coached on all five of the school's national championship teams, was fired, along with offensive coordinator Dan Werner, linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves and running backs coach Don Soldinger.
"The decision was mine. Mine alone," said coach Larry Coker, who added the Peach Bowl results wasn't the only reason for the dismissals.
Kehoe was also the team's assistant head coach. Soldinger also served as Miami's special teams coordinator.
"For me, it's definitely personally a very tough decision," Coker said. "But it's a decision I think had to be made. ... We have high standards here, high standards are set and I think we have to work hard to live up to those standards."
Miami was 9-3 this season, and is 53-9 over Coker's first five seasons as the Hurricanes' head coach.
The moves come on the same day that junior kick returner Devin Hester was expected to announce that he's skipping his senior season and turning pro. Hester's family has a news conference later Monday to reveal his plans.
Soldinger said he was told of his dismissal Monday morning by Coker, whom he said wouldn't specify why the firings were taking place.
"If he can find somebody better, more power to him," said Soldinger, 61, who was at Miami from 1984-88 and again from 1995 through Monday. "Maybe he'll find younger. He won't find anybody better."
Larry Coker watched his team fall 40-3 to LSU in the Peach Bowl.