Florida International hires Garcia as athletic director

Updated: October 11, 2006, 9:00 AM ET
Associated Press

MIAMI -- Florida International hired Pete Garcia as its new athletic director Tuesday, luring him from Miami days before the schools meet in football for the first time.

Garcia was Miami's senior associate athletic director. He replaces Rick Mello, who will now oversee FIU's football stadium expansion, a $34 million project scheduled to be completed in 2008. The expansion also includes the construction of a $24 million student center adjacent to the stadium, set to open in 2009.

Mello had been AD since 2000. Garcia had a major role in the Hurricanes' football program during two stints at Miami

He has been with Miami since September 2005. Garcia was also with the Hurricanes from 1990-00, spending five years as the director of football operations. Garcia also assisted in recruiting following the 2005 season.

When Butch Davis left Miami after the 2000 season to coach the Cleveland Browns, Garcia left, too. He first served as that team's director of football development and later was promoted to vice president of player personnel.

Florida International and Miami play Saturday at the Orange Bowl.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press