Miami parts ways with athletic director Blake James

·2 min read

Blake James is no longer the athletic director at the University of Miami.

The school announced Monday that the two sides had “mutually agreed to part ways.” James spent 17 years at Miami, including the last eight as the athletic director.

“It has been an honor to lead Miami athletics and to be a part of such a world-class institution,” James said. “I am proud of the work that we have done together, though I know there is still more yet to be achieved.”

The news comes two days after the Hurricanes lost in football to Florida State and about six weeks after Miami president Julio Frenk said in a letter to the university community that he would become more involved in athletics and that his administration was “fully committed to building championship-caliber teams at The U.”

CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 02:  Athletic Director Blake James of the Miami Hurricanes addresses the media during the introductory press conference for head coach Manny Diaz in the Mann Auditorium at the Schwartz Center on January 2, 2019 in Coral Gables, Florida.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 02: Athletic Director Blake James of the Miami Hurricanes addresses the media during the introductory press conference for head coach Manny Diaz in the Mann Auditorium at the Schwartz Center on January 2, 2019 in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

How will this impact Manny Diaz?

The loss to FSU dropped Miami to 5-5 on the season and gave the Hurricanes a 19-15 record in head coach Manny Diaz’s three seasons on the job. James was part of the group that hired Diaz in 2018 after the resignation of Mark Richt.

Miami started the season 2-4 and James had been lukewarm in his public support of Diaz. A three-game winning streak followed that tough sport before the 31-28 loss to the rival Seminoles came on Saturday.

How the removal of James impacts Diaz’s status as head coach is not immediately clear.

James became the AD at Miami in 2013 when the school was embroiled in the scandal surrounding the actions of former booster Nevin Shapiro. The NCAA hit the football program with scholarship reductions, but the program has largely been unable to compete for ACC championships. The school joined the ACC in 2004 but has only once played in the conference title game.

Miami said a national search for James’ replacement will begin immediately with Jennifer Strawley, the school’s deputy director of athletics, serving as the interim athletic director.

“I want to thank your university leadership, our athletics staff, our coaches and especially our incredible student-athletes for their commitment to excellence and for believing in what the University of Miami can accomplish. I wish the Canes nothing but the best and look forward to my next endeavors,” James said.

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