Episode 30 is in the books. The “Coach” Mario Cristobal era is materializing and a cornerstone is his life long friend and current offensive line coach. Alex Mirabal is an educator. The former Columbus high school teacher still views himself in like fashion and that will never change. His vision of academia is not limited to just simple brick and mortar or school desks and chairs. It has transcended to many facets of his life including football.
His pedigree of being a teacher has now infiltrated and permeated the Greentree practice field. In a position group filled with giants, Mirabal is a giant in his own right. I was blown away. The simplicity in which he was able to communicate and teach was perfect. Mirabal understands his craft so well that his ability to simplify the game creates its own gravitational vortex. You cannot help but be sucked in.
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Albert Einstein.
When Mirabal spoke, we listened. When Mirabal spoke we learned. One of my most favorite moments was simply asking him, “Coach, what is a gallop step?” There was an instantaneous transition, an almost seamless shifting of gears. I almost sensed a subliminal thank you from his consciousness. Pleasantries withstanding, I deduced when Mirabal had the opportunity to simply answer that question, he was at home in the interview.
“Not all double teams are the same.” Miami Hurricane Offensive Line Coach Alex Mirabal.
The simplicity of the explanation took years of refinement. Maybe some view complexity as a prerequisite for intelligence but the ability to communicate clearly to your audience is such an effective tool. The offensive line room at the University of Miami is in great hands. If Coach Mirabal could explain to some recreational film junkies how to attack a defense with such ruthless effortlessness and efficiency, the master class at Miami is continual.
The nuance in the game of football is so grandiose, it could take years to notice just the smallest detail. We surprised Coach Mirabal with a former Hurricane great that he had the honor and pleasure (his words) to coach in high school. Joaquin Gonzalez’s razor sharp quip told his former coach that he was going to buy him shoes to make him taller.
But make no mistake about it, Gonzalez admirably looks up to his former mentor and coach. Sure the former four year starter took a little jab, but the superlatives given throughout the interview provided the real stature. Mirabal is a giant in his field and has garnered the respect of his peers, students and his protégé’s. The smallest details are now covered. The biggest position group in size who must relish in nuance now has its own teaching giant. Coach Mirabal is his name.