University of Miami linebackers coach Micheal Barrow abruptly resigned Thursday night for family reasons, forcing a remake of Al Golden's staff the weekend before the start of fall camp.
Barrow said in a statement early Friday that "As a proud University of Miami graduate, former football player and coach, it is with a heavy heart that I announce I'm taking a sabbatical from coaching this season," Barrow said. "This was an extremely tough decision to leave my dream job. However, I have a very important family obligation that requires my full attention, and I would not have had enough time to effectively fulfill my coaching duties.
"With the 2014 football season starting soon, please know that I am truly sorry if my decision brings the organization any inconveniences. I would like to thank President Shalala, Blake James, Al Golden, the coaching staff, UM football players and the entire UM family for seven great years. During this time, my professional career has grown and afforded me wonderful opportunities on and off the field. I have enjoyed working alongside some excellent colleagues and privilege to coach some great kids. I will never forget my tenure at the U and I'm looking forward to watching them this year."
Golden moved running backs coach Hurlie Brown to defense to coach the linebackers. Brown, who played safety at Miami, has extensive coaching experience on the defensive side of the ball. Prior to returning to his alma mater, Brown spent four-plus years at Louisiana-Lafayette, where he served as defensive backs/kickoff team coordinator (2007-10) and secondary coach (2010-11).
"Words cannot explain how fired up I am about going back to coaching on the defensive side of the ball," Brown said. "The defensive side of the ball has always had a very special place in my heart. And to be given the opportunity now in my career to be able to coach linebackers at the University of Miami is a dream come true.
"I have played on the defensive side of the ball all my life, safety, corner, linebacker and some defensive line. My passion and love for football has always come from a defensive mindset. Aggressive play, physical play and playing with a high motor are all defensive terms that have helped fueled me to love this game. I know I can help instill my love for the game and the University of Miami in the young men that are playing linebacker for the Hurricanes today."
Tim "Ice" Harris, the former Booker T. Washington Head Coach who has been on Golden's team since March in a football operations role, was named running backs coach.
"I am so excited to be the running backs coach at the University of Miami," Harris said. "Having been born and raised in Miami and also a high school football coach in Miami, words cannot explain how I feel about this great opportunity. It's a dream come true. I have a great passion and love for the game of football and developing young men to help them achieve their maximum potential every day and also be great in the community."
Golden stated that "I'm extremely happy for Ice Harris and his family. Ice has been a winner, teacher and mentor to young people in South Florida for more than 20 years and is excited to share his wisdom with our student-athletes here at The U! Coach Harris brings a championship mindset founded on discipline and toughness to the running backs room. Born and raised in Miami, Ice is an excellent recruiter and is excited to continue the many relationships he has formed here in the Miami community and throughout the state over the years. It is with great respect and admiration that we welcome the National Champion Ice Harris to our staff as running backs coach."
Former Miami receiver Kevin Beard, the receivers coach at University School in Broward County, takes over Harris' old job in football operations.
"I am truly thankful for this opportunity," Beard said. "I understand that this opportunity does not come around often. To come back to my alma mater, a place that has shaped me to be the man that I am today is truly a blessing. I am excited to get started with this new chapter in my life. I hope to pass on the legacy that was passed on to me during my tenure here to bring a national championship back to the Miami Hurricanes."
Golden said of the addition that "We are very fortunate to add Kevin Beard to our staff. As a former team captain of a national championship team here, he truly understands what it means to be a student-athlete at The University of Miami. His diverse background as a player, teacher, coach, and trainer enables him to contribute in a unique way, and we're looking forward to him sharing his experience with our team. His work ethic and personality will be welcome additions to our staff. I am excited to have him rejoin the U Family."
Barrow was entering his seventh season as UM's linebackers coach. He played 13 seasons in the NFL after a stellar career at Miami from 1989-92. In 1992, he earned All-America honors, was the Butkus Award runner-up and finished seventh in Heisman Trophy voting. He was also the Big East Defensive Player of the Year and finished his career as the third-leading tackler in school history.
He was a second-round draft choice of the Houston Oilers in 1993. Barrow played for the Oilers through 1996, for the Carolina Panthers (1997-99), the New York Giants (2000-03), the Washington Redskins (2004) and the Dallas Cowboys (2005). During his NFL career, Barrow played in 173 games, making 1,133 tackles, 43 sacks and two interceptions.
As a Hurricane, Barrow played in 45 games, starting 37 times. He made 423 total tackles, along with seven sacks, 34 tackles for loss, three interceptions, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. After retiring from pro football, Barrow served as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Homestead High School, his alma mater, during the 2006 season. He was inducted into the UM Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
"Coach Barrow has always put faith and family first in his life and this is clearly a time in his life where family needs him," Golden said. "Micheal Barrow is the very definition of a Miami Hurricane - having given 11 years of class, service and leadership to the University and our community. We wish Micheal, Shelly and their children all the best as they enter a new chapter in their lives and we certainly hope Mike will return to coaching and mentoring young people in the near future."
Brown was entering his second season as the Hurricanes' running backs coach. He was promoted last year after working as the senior football operations coordinator and was responsible for community outreach and recruiting official visits among other administrative duties. But he is most comfortable coaching on the defensive side of the ball where he played, so the move is considered a bonus for him and opens the door to make Harris a full-time coach.
Brown was a standout safety for the Hurricanes from 1988-91. After winning two national titles under Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson, he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Erickson for the 1992 season. He was signed as a free agent in 1992 by the Washington Redskins and signed as a free agent with the San Francisco 49ers the following season. He later went on to play for the Sacramento Gold Miners, San Antonio Texans and the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League from 1993-97. Following his CFL career, he worked as an assistant coach at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In May 1999, he returned to his prep alma mater, Merritt Island High School, serving as special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach before joining FIU in 2001.
"When I informed Hurlie Brown about the vacancy on defense he was sad to leave the running backs he coached and recruited, yet equally excited about the opportunity to return to the defensive side of the ball," Golden said. "Hurlie brings with him 14 years of coaching and playing experience at four different defensive positions. His time on offense has made him a better coach, and Hurlie has always had a great rapport with our players, regardless of their position, so I know his transition back to defense will be a seamless one. We are excited to add Hurlie Brown and his attacking mindset to our defensive staff."
Harris was named Assistant Director of Football Operations on Al Golden's staff on March 3, but it has been assumed inside the inner circles of the program that he would soon find an open door on the coaching staff. The past five months he has been the primary liaison with high school coaches and has assisted in coordinating community service events for current student-athletes while finishing his degree work at Miami, a prerequisite to becoming a full-time coach.
Harris has more than 24 years of high school coaching experience. He returned to Miami, where he also served on Randy Shannon's operations staff, after a second successful stint as the head coach of Booker T. Washington (2003-07, 2011-13), where he compiled a 99-10 record in eight seasons. He was named Florida Dairy Farm Florida Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2013 after guiding Booker T. Washington to back-to-back Class 4A state championships. Booker T. Washington finished No. 1 in the final MaxPreps national football rankings. He also led the Tornadoes to the 2007 Class 4A state championship and a No. 8 national ranking. Harris was named the 2007 USA TODAY National Coach of the Year, Miami Herald Coach of the Year and South Florida Touchdown Club Coach of the Year. He also earned 2003, 2004 and 2006 Florida Dairy Farm Coach of the Year honors.
Harris worked at Miami High School from 1986-96 where he coached wide receivers and served as the offensive coordinator. He served as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Northwestern High School from 1997-98 and 2001-02. He was the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Miami Central High School from 1999-2000.