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Hurricanes Return to Practice Field

Hurricanes Return to Practice Field

Dec. 16, 2006

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Coral Gables – – Fresh off final exams and a three-week-long layoff,, the Miami Hurricanes returned to the Greentree Practice fields for the first full day of preparations for Nevada in the MPC Computers Bowl, which will be played in Boise, Idaho on December 31. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.

In addition to concentrating on their final exams as the fall semester came to a close this week, Hurricanes football players had maintained a conditioning and weight-training regimen for the past two weeks.

Coach Larry Coker seemed pleased with the team after their first day of practice since their regular-season ended with a win over Boston College on November 23. “It was good to get back. The guys had a rest and they’re healthy,” Coker said. “For this bowl game, I want to be well-prepared. I want us to have a lot of fun and go out and try to win the football game.”

With offensive coordinator Rich Olson having left for a position at Arizona State, Coker said he would be involved but that quarterbacks coach Todd Berry would serve as the offensive coordinator for the game. “There’ll be a few new wrinkles in the offense,” said Coker. “Hopefully one new wrinkle will be that we score a few points.”

As for his status for this game, Coker said, “I’m the head coach and Randy Shannon is the defensive coordinator. It has not been awkward. After December 31st, he’s the new head coach. They key for me to coach this game is that the athletic director wanted me to coach this game, and Randy Shannon wanted me to coach. And the players wanted me to do it. That did matter. I want to go out and win this game.”

As for the transition from Coker to Shannon, Coker replied, “I think the transition will be fairly smooth. Obviously there’s some distraction, but the players will be focused. Obviously the school felt good about the way things were going or else they wouldn’t have hired a coach from my staff. There will be 19 starters back (next year), and I feel good about that.”