The Miami Herald reports that ESPN is expected to announce next week that Butch Davis and Jonathan Vilma will be reunited for a third time and work together as studio analysts on ESPN2’s college football coverage on Saturdays this fall. They’ll work in tandem with host Chris Cotter. Vilma is replacing Robert Smith who left for FOX Sports.
“I’m very excited about it. I love college football,” said Vilma. “I still remember when Butch first recruited me. I remember seeing Butch for the first time, and he was bigger than I thought: 6-4. I think back to that time and everything has run its course. Now I get to sit alongside the guy who recruited me to UM and jump- start my career. We can’t have a Canes love-fest (on the air). It will be a lot of fun to talk football with him.”
Davis badly wanted the University of Miami Head Coaching job which ultimately went to Marc Richt. But although he didn’t land the opening, he says he’s moved on and has no complaints about the process.
“I would have loved the opportunity. I have a lot of affinity for them. It was a very memorable place for me,” Davis said. “We [helped] rebuild the program and gave it back its character and integrity and put them in position to play for three national titles. It didn’t work out. The things I had accomplished weren’t what they were looking for.”
ESPN senior coordinator producer Lee Fitting said that although it’s great that Davis and Vilma have history together, it wasn’t the reason the network added Vilma. He explained that the decision to bring him on board was because he possessed great skills as a commentator and analyst and when coupled with his experience on the field, both in college and in the NFL, his addition to the network made a ton of sense.