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Hurricanes running backs coach Tim Harris Jr. leaving to return to UCF

Miami Hurricanes coach Mario Cristobal will have to replace one key staff member before spring football starts in a little more than a month.

Running backs coach Tim Harris Jr. is leaving Miami to return to UCF to become the Knights’ new offensive coordinator, according to UCF.

“I’m excited to welcome Tim back to our staff,” Knights coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement. “He’s one of the best coaches and teachers of the game that I’ve worked with. Tim was a huge part of building our foundation in our first two years here and he’s a rising star in our profession.”

Harris, a former Miami track star and UM Hall of Famer, left UCF to join Cristobal’s staff last year. He spent two seasons in Orlando in his last stint with the Knights, earning the title of assistant head coach under Gus Malzahn.

Under Harris, the Hurricanes’ running game performed admirably. UM ranked 45th nationally and seventh in the ACC with 173.15 yards per game after averaging just 128.33 yards (95th nationally) in 2022. Veteran running back Henry Parrish Jr. led the group with 625 rushing yards with six touchdowns on 100 carries.

Harris’ lone season as running backs coach also saw the emergence of freshman Mark Fletcher Jr., an American Heritage star who finished second on the team with 514 rushing yards.

Harris proved to be a solid recruiter, helping bring four-star St. Thomas Aquinas running back Jordan Lyle and three-star South Broward halfback Chris Wheatley-Humphrey into Miami’s 2024 class.

Other than Harris’ departure, Cristobal’s coaching staff has stayed intact following the 2023 season. Defensive coordinator Lance Guidry was rumored to be a candidate for other defensive coordinator positions, but he remains with Miami. Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson was mentioned as a possible candidate for South Alabama’s open head coaching spot, but the Jaguars hired Major Applewhite.