Hurricanes will hire USF’s Matt Merritt as new running backs coach

The Miami Hurricanes are expected to fill the lone gap in their coaching staff, poaching someone from an in-state rival.

Miami will hire USF’s Matt Merritt to be their new running backs coach, sources told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Merritt comes to Miami with seven years of assistant coaching experience at the college level after spending the 2023 season as an associate head coach and running-game coordinator with the Bulls. He previously served as a running backs coach at Georgia Southern for a year, James Madison for two years, Elon for two years and Ohio Dominican for one season.

Under Merritt, the Bulls ran for 182.8 yards per game, which was 33rd in the nation and third in the American Athletic Conference. At James Madison, his rushing offense was 10th in FCS in 2019.

Merritt also worked as a graduate assistant at Ohio State and as an offensive analyst at Tennessee.

Miami had a proficient running game under Tim Harris Jr. last season. UM ran for 173.2 yards per game, which was 45th in the nation. Henry Parrish Jr. led the team with 625 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns, and freshman Mark Fletcher Jr. emerged and ran for 514 yards with five touchdowns. Miami also returns Ajay Allen, who rushed for 361 yards and five scores last season.

Harris left the Hurricanes after one season to become the offensive coordinator at UCF. Harris left the Knights after the 2022 season to coach at UM.

Although the Hurricanes lost Miami native Don Chaney Jr. to Louisville via the transfer portal, they also added four-star running back Jordan Lyle and three-star running back Chris Wheatley-Humphrey in their high school recruiting class.