Davis out at FIU; school ‘sabotaging’ program

  • College football reporter.
  • Joined ESPN.com in 2008.
  • Graduate of Northwestern University.

Florida International football coach Butch Davis will not return in 2022.

Davis, who has led FIU since 2017, told The Action Network that he’s out after the season and criticized the school’s administration for “sabotaging the program.”

He has informed the coaching staff that he will not be back, sources told ESPN, although it’s unclear whether he will coach FIU’s final two games against North Texas and Southern Miss. Davis’ contract expires Dec. 15, and FIU last month had a job posting for its head-coaching position online with the American Football Coaches Association.

FIU announced last week that longtime athletic director Pete Garcia will step down after 15 years. The school has hired a search firm to assist in finding its next athletic director and head coach.

Davis, who is 24-30 at FIU and 1-9 this season, told The Action Network that in addition to the posting about his job, the school is using old uniforms and equipment, refused to offer multiyear contracts to assistants and would not allow the coaches to go out recruiting the past two years because of financial reasons as well as COVID-19 concerns.

“This year has been a nightmare,” Davis told The Action Network. “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.”

Davis, the former head coach at North Carolina, Miami and the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, took the FIU job after working as an ESPN college football analyst. He led the Panthers to bowl appearances in 2017, 2018 and 2019 — the best three-year record (23-16) in team history — before FIU went winless last year.

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A message left for Davis was not immediately returned.

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