TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Head coach Nick Saban announced Wednesday the hiring of Mario Cristobal as Alabama's offensive line coach and assistant head coach. Cristobal takes over for Jeff Stoutland, who was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles on February 8.
"We are very pleased to announce the addition of Mario Cristobal to our staff," said Saban. "He has an outstanding reputation as both a coach and a recruiter. He will be a great fit in our organization and I think our players will respond to his positive attitude and energy. This is a very important hire in terms of working with our offensive line and we feel fortunate that we were able to hire a coach of Mario's caliber. We want to welcome Mario and his family to the University of Alabama and we are excited to have them here."
Cristobal spent the last six seasons (2007-12) as head coach at Florida International University. He led the Panthers to the 2010 Sun Belt Conference title and their first bowl appearance, a victory in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl over Toledo. He was the 2010 Sun Belt Coach of the Year and also guided FIU to a bowl appearance in 2011 (Beef O'Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl). He most recently joined Miami's staff on January 10, 2013, where he served as associate head coach and tight ends coach.
"I want to thank Coach Saban and everyone here at the University of Alabama for this incredible opportunity," said Cristobal.
Before taking over as the head coach at FIU, Cristobal was an assistant at Miami for three seasons (2004-06). He was the tight ends coach the first two seasons and offensive line coach in 2006. His first full-time coaching position was as an assistant at Rutgers, where he coached tight ends and offensive line from 2001-03. From 1998-2000, Cristobal was a graduate assistant on the Miami Hurricanes staff.
Cristobal was a four-year letterwinner for the University of Miami from 1988-92, playing for Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson. During his four years at UM, the Hurricanes won a pair of National Championships (1989 and 1991) while playing in two Sugar Bowls, one Cotton Bowl and an Orange Bowl. Cristobal was a first team All-Big East selection as an offensive tackle in 1992.
Following his college playing career, Cristobal signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos in 1994. He played for the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe in 1995 and 1996.
The Miami native was a prep standout at Christopher Columbus High School. He graduated from Miami in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and later earned a master's degree from UM in 2001.Cristobal and his wife Jessica were married in June of 2006 and have two sons (Mario, Jr. and Rocco).