When Miami hired coach Mario Cristobal this offseason, it rejuvenated the entire program.

The Hurricanes have been largely dormant on the national stage for nearly 20 years. They’ve won 10+ games just once since Larry Coker’s Orange Bowl victory at the end of the 2003 season.

From the end of the Coker era, to Randy Shannon, to Al Golden, to Mark Richt, to Manny Diaz, Miami’s investment into its football program wasn’t up to par with the rest of college football’s elite.

Cristobal acknowledged that fact in a wide-ranging interview with ESPN’s Andrea Adelson this week. He also outlined how he expects to lead Miami back to the mountaintop.

“I guess the best way to put it in perspective is that when everything was even, Miami was dominating the college football world,” Cristobal told ESPN. “Then other places started investing a lot, and Miami had fallen away behind. So that’s where there became a gap.”

There’s no doubting what Miami can be when it’s on top. The Hurricanes were dominant in the 1980’s and 1990’s and then again in the early 2000’s. But since that stretch, they’ve struggled to get back into the National Championship picture.

“Now that the gap is being closed completely, and we’re now going to jump ahead and create our own gap, that to me speaks very strongly,” Cristobal told ESPN. “Miami with better resources than just about everybody will place itself in a very unique place in college football once again.”