Feb. 4, 2002
Listen to Coach Coker's Press Conference
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - University of Miami president Dr. Donna Shalala and UM athletic director Paul Dee announced today that head football coach Larry Coker has signed a contract extension through the 2006 football season.
Coker led the Hurricanes to the National Championship in 2001, capping an undefeated season with a 37-14 victory over Nebraska in the Rose Bowl. The Hurricanes' 12-0 season also made Coker the first rookie college head coach to lead his team to a national football title since Michigan's Bennie Oosterbahn in 1948. In recognition of Coker's efforts he earned the Bear Bryant Award as National Coach of the Year by the National Sportswriters and Sportswriters Association and shared National Coach of the Year honors by the American Football Coaches Association.
"The University of Miami is extremely pleased to have been able to extend coach Coker's contract through 2006," Dee said. "We have five challenging seasons ahead. I am glad Coach Coker will be our leader."
"Coach Coker is terrific!" Shalala said. "We are extending his contract with great enthusiasm and respect."
"I am very appreciative that the administration decided to extend my present contract," Coker said. "Their trust in me and our staff is greatly appreciated. I am extremely gratified to know that President Shalala, Paul Dee and the Trustees believe that our program is going in the proper direction."
The 2002 season will be Coker's eighth on the football staff at Miami as he was an assistant coach for six seasons before being named head football coach on Feb. 3, 2001. Coker, 53, just completed his 32nd year as a college coach, including 22 seasons as an assistant at the collegiate level.
Prior to coming to Miami, Coker was an assistant at Tulsa, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Ohio State. Wherever Coker has gone in his coaching career, success has been sure to follow. He has worked with college teams that have made 13 bowl appearances and Coker's teams have been victorious in 11 of those 13 games, including a 5-0 mark as an assistant coach and head coach at Miami.
Miami is scheduled to open the 2002 football season on Saturday, August 31, at the Orange Bowl against Florida A&M.