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Published 01/16/2013
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#ProCanes Coaching Tree Growing Again
David Villavicencio
Miami Athletic Communications

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The University of Miami is known for putting players in the NFL, but there are several coaches with Canes connections roaming the professional sidelines.

Marc Trestman is the latest coach with Miami ties to climb to the top of his profession, as the Chicago Bears named him their head coach Wednesday. Trestman joins former Miami player and assistant coach Rob Chudzinski, who was recently named head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis' Chuck Pagano and Tampa Bay's Greg Schiano as NFL head coaches with UM connections.

Trestman was named head coach of the Chicago Bears on January 16, but began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant on Howard Schnellenger's staff in 1981. Two years later, he coached Bernie Kosar and the rest of Miami’s quarterbacks en route to the school's first national championship.

Following the 1984 season, Trestman moved on to the NFL as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Vikings. Since leaving Miami, the 56-year-old has coached for eight different NFL teams, been the offensive coordinator at NC State and most recently was the head coach of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes.

Chudzinski's ties to Miami go even deeper than Trestman's. "Chud" played tight end for the Hurricanes from 1986-90, earning national championships in 1987 and 1989. Chudzinski returned to Miami as a graduate assistant in 1994 and was promoted to UM's tight ends coach in 1996.

In 2001, Chudzinksi was named Miami's offensive coordinator. The first-year coordinator guided Ken Dorsey and the potent Canes offense to a perfect 12-0 season, while picking up his third national championship ring.

Chudzinski moved to the NFL in 2004 as a tight ends coach and has climbed the coaching ladder since then. He has been an offensive coordinator twice in the NFL and he returns to Cleveland for the third time, after previously serving as tight ends coach (2004) and offensive coordinator (2007-08). He is the second University of Miami alumnus to become a head coach in the NFL. Hurricanes legend Jim Dooley was the first, coaching the Chicago Bears from 1968-71.

Schiano, who was Miami's defensive coordinator in 1999 and 2000, led the Buccaneers to a 7-9 record in his first season in Tampa Bay. Schiano's stint in Coral Gables lasted just 18 months before he accepted the head coaching position at Rutgers. But in his brief time at Miami, Schiano coached standout defenders such as linebackers Dan Morgan and Jonathan Vilma, as well as safety Ed Reed.

Pagano also has connections to Reed, coaching Miami's secondary and special teams from 1995-2000. Before that, he had a brief stint as a Hurricane, serving as a graduate assistant under Jimmy Johnson in 1986. Pagano has had numerous coaching opportunities throughout college and the NFL before being named head coach of the Colts in January 2012.

The 52-year-old saw his Colts rebound from the worst record in football a year ago to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth this season. Unfortunately, Pagano missed much of the 2012 season after he was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia in September 2012. After undergoing treatment, Pagano was able to return to the sidelines in December 2012 and coached Indianapolis in its postseason loss to the Texans.

Beyond the four head coaches with Miami connections, there are several other coaches in the league with ties to the Canes.

Former Hurricane tight end Alfredo Roberts is a member of Pagano's staff in Indianapolis. Roberts, who won a national championship as a senior in 1987, was a four-year letter winner at Miami. He played for the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys over six seasons in the NFL, winning one Super Bowl with Dallas, before retiring after the 1993 season. He began his NFL coaching career in 2009, coaching the Buccaneers’ tight ends for three seasons before joining the Colts in 2012.

Winston Moss was known as a playmaking linebacker for the Hurricanes from 1983-86, but Moss has been coaching in the NFL since 1998. A second round pick by the Buccaneers in 1987, Moss played 11 seasons in the NFL before moving into coaching. He is currently the assistant head coach/linebackers coach for the Green Bay Packers.

Former Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple coached the Browns’ quarterbacks for the past two seasons. Whipple led the Canes offense for two seasons under Randy Shannon, coaching future Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham in 2010.

Miami has had 309 players selected in the NFL Draft. The Hurricanes have produced 59 first-round picks, including two No. 1 overall selections. The Hurricanes hold the record for most players selected in the first round of a draft (six in 2004) and have also produced numerous standouts, such as Clinton Portis, Jessie Armstead and Jim Otto, that were not selected in the top round of the NFL Draft.

51 former Hurricanes were with NFL teams in the 2012 regular season and Miami led the NFL with 18 players reaching the postseason this year.

Miami's pipeline to the NFL is strong, but the Canes have also developed several individuals who have gone on to coach in the NFL.

Jimmy Johnson is the most famous, leading the Dallas Cowboys to a pair of Super Bowls after he guided Miami to the 1987 National Championship.

Two-time national champion Dennis Erickson has been an NFL head coach twice, most recently with the San Francisco 49ers. Butch Davis, who is currently a special assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was also head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 2001-04.

Dave Wannstedt and Dave Campo are two other former Hurricanes assistants who went on to become NFL head coaches. Wannstedt, who was Miami’s defensive coordinator from 1986-88, was the head coach of the Bears (1993-98) and the Miami Dolphins (2000-04). Campo, who coached defensive backs at UM from 1987-88, was the head coach of the Cowboys from 2000-02.