After weeks of speculation and multiple names being tossed out as potential candidates, new University of Miami head coach Manny Diaz waited for his pitch and seemingly hit a home run.
The school officially announced Friday that it is hiring former University of Alabama quarterbacks coach Dan Enos to be the Canes offensive coordinator.
Enos spent the 2018 season as the associate head coach for the Crimson Tide in addition to his duties coaching the quarterbacks. Multiple reports out of Alabama confirmed that Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban was set to promote Enos to offensive coordinator after former Bama coordinator Mike Locksley took the head coach position at Maryland.
Instead, Diaz convinced Enos – a 28-year college coaching veteran – to come to Coral Gables and lead the Hurricanes’ offense.
“Dan was my primary target for our offensive coordinator position from the outset and I’m thrilled that he’s now a Miami Hurricane,” Diaz said. “Dan is one of the most innovative play-callers in college football and he not only has a remarkable track record of coaching quarterbacks, but also developing players for the NFL at numerous positions. His experience as a head coach will also provide invaluable insight to our entire program.”
Enos’ name didn’t really pop up on the radar really until the day the hire was announced. Shortly after Diaz took over and cleaned house of all of the former UM offensive coaching staff, names like former University of North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora came up for the then-vacant OC job as did former University of Houston head coach Major Applewhite.
While Fedora and Applewhite would’ve been considered solid hires, bringing in Enos – who played a part in Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa completing 69 percent of his passes while throwing for 3,966 yards with 43 touchdowns and just six interceptions – shows how highly regarded Diaz is as a young coach and what his vision is for Miami’s program.
Enos, 50, said that coming to Miami was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
“I couldn’t be more excited to join a program as rich in tradition as the University of Miami,” Enos said. “Coach Diaz has a clear vision for this program as we move forward and it’s an honor to help build the Hurricanes in his image. This was an opportunity I felt I couldn’t pass up.
“I also want to express my sincere appreciation to Nick Saban and the Alabama program for giving me the opportunity to coach there this past season. I learned so much during my time there and I will always be grateful.”
Even though he spent just one season with the Crimson Tide, Enos’ contributions and impact on the Alabama offense is well-documented. Amid one of the nation’s most talked about quarterback controversies with Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts, Enos played a big part in keeping the crowded quarterback room not only civil, but quite harmonious considering how volatile those situations tend to be.
Under Enos’ tutelage, Tagovailoa set an all-time FBS single-season passer rating mark (199.44), was named first-team All-SEC, won the Walter Camp and Maxwell Awards, and finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting.
Even as a backup, Hurts had a productive year under Enos – as he completed 73 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and two interceptions, helping Alabama rank first in the nation in team passing efficiency. The Crimson Tide also ranked sixth in the country in total offense, sixth in passing offense and third in scoring offense.
Conversely, Miami’s total offense ranked 104th in the NCAA and was 65th in scoring offense while Alabama ranked No. 6 and No. 3 respectively in those categories. Those numbers lackluster numbers stemmed from Mark Richt’s vanilla if-not-outdated play-calling and his inability to live up to his billing as a quarterback guru. Instead, Richt played musical chairs with Malik Rosier and N’Kosi Perry this past season and never really developed either one.
Richt also seemed rigid in his stance to hold on to play-calling duties, no matter how loudly the outcry for a change became, as well as standing firm on retaining his son, Jon Richt, as the team’s quarterbacks’ coach.
Once Mark Richt retired and Diaz took over, he made it clear that the Canes offense cannot be the anemic group that it was over this past season and needed to be “fast, physical, and violent”.
“In terms of establishing the identity of what we’re going to be on offense and what that vision should be, it’s very similar to what we’ve been on defense. We came here three years ago and set a vision of how the Miami Hurricanes play defense and what, in my mind, fits best for the talent that’s available to us here in South Florida and those are all the things we talked about on the radio three years ago, about playing fast and physical and violent,” Diaz said on a radio appearance days after being hired.
Enos has a track record of improving quarterback play over the course of his coaching career. A former signal caller himself at Michigan State from 1987 to 1990, Enos boasts more than a decade of play-calling experience and more than two decades of experience coaching skill position players. Prior to his one-year stint in Tuscaloosa, Enos spent three seasons (2015-17) as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arkansas, where his offenses set school records, and five years (2010-14) as the head coach at Central Michigan, where he led the Chippewas to two bowl games and helped offensive tackle Eric Fisher become the first Mid-American Conference player to ever be selected with the No. 1 overall pick of the NFL Draft.
Enos served a short stint as an offensive assistant coach at Michigan in January 2018. Prior to that, he directed some of the most prolific offenses in Arkansas history over three seasons in Fayetteville. His 2015 offense set single-season school records for first downs (305) and completion percentage (.658), while posting the second-best total yardage (6,051) and yards per play (6.83) in school history. In 2015 and 2016, the Razorbacks were one of two FBS teams with a 3,000-yard passer and 1,300-yard rusher – featuring a different quarterback and different running back in each season.