RedHawks hire former Irish offensive coordinator Haywood

Updated: December 24, 2008, 3:10 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Miami of Ohio named Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Haywood as its head coach on Tuesday.

The hiring of Haywood brings the number of black football coaches in the Bowl Championship Subdivision to six of 119 programs. He succeeds Shane Montgomery, who resigned last month.

"I knew this was the place because there were so many similarities in education [and] the type of student-athletes that are recruited there," Haywood told The Associated Press late Tuesday.

The RedHawks were 17-31 during Montgomery's four seasons as head coach and went 2-10 this season.

Haywood joins Turner Gill at Buffalo, Randy Shannon at Miami (Fla.), Mike Locksley at New Mexico, Kevin Sumlin at Houston, and Ron English at Eastern Michigan as the only black coaches in college football's top tier.

Haywood, a Notre Dame graduate, had been offensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish since 2005. He previously worked as an assistant at Texas, LSU, Ball State, Ohio, Army and Minnesota. In 2005, he was named NCAA Division I-A assistant coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association.

The 44-year-old coach was in Honolulu with the Irish, getting ready to play Hawaii on Wednesday night in the Hawaii Bowl. He'll be introduced at the Ohio school next week.

Sitting poolside at the team hotel and wearing a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and flip flops, Haywood said he was offered the job Monday and the paper work was processed early Tuesday. He said board members at Miami assisted him, along with Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis, who was "extremely instrumental."

Haywood said people have a misunderstanding of his relationship with Weis, whom he called a mentor and "one of the finest men in college football."

Haywood's agent, Albert Elias, said Haywood agreed to a five-year deal with Miami. Haywood also was interviewed for the vacant Washington and Syracuse jobs this season and with Houston and Minnesota last season, Elias said.

"He feels bittersweet about leaving Notre Dame -- that's where he went to school -- but we really feel like we have a chance to win there and be successful," Elias said.

Last week, before English was hired and after Gill had been passed over as a candidate at Auburn, the Black Coaches and Administrators group opened a national telephone hotline offering legal advice to coaches. That move could set the groundwork for a landmark case against universities under civil rights legislation over the lack of minority football coaches in big-time college football.

In 1997, there were eight black head coaches in what was then known as Division I-A, the most in history. In 1993 and 2005, there were only three.

Fifty-five percent of all student-athletes are minorities.

Information from ESPN reporter Joe Schad and The Associated Press was used in this report.