By: Angela Caraway-Carlton
Sports at the University of Miami.
In Miami, “It’s all about the U,” at least if you’re a Miami Hurricanes fan. School spirit soars high at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, where the Canes football team has gained national attention for decades, and boasts one of the most successful collegiate football programs in the country.
The Canes are a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level, competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) since 2004. The team is currently led by Head Football Coach Mark Richt and hits the gridiron at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Game days are high-energy and always draw a huge turnout with more than 30,000 season ticket holders. Fans packing the stands can be seen grandly displaying clothes (and bodies) adorned with their school colors of green, orange and white, while holding up the “U” sign with their hands, as the school’s mascot Sebastian the Ibis keeps spirits high.
The Miami Hurricanes kicked off their first football game in 1926, and over the decades, the team has become a national powerhouse, securing five National Championships along with loads of conference titles. Their stats are impressive with 20 National Award Winners, 30 bowl appearances, 72 All-Americans and 62 first round draft picks.
The team’s history is so highly regarded, there are even two wildly-popular documentaries about the UM football program; The U takes a look at the rise of the Miami Hurricane’s football program in the 1980s, when the team won four national titles between 1983 and 1991; and the sequel The U Part 2 picks up where the original film left off. Both documentaries were part of ESPN's “30 for 30” film series.
Football’s Famous Faces
The Hurricanes pride themselves on an unprecedented collection of talent, producing exceptional NFL players throughout the years such as Ray Lewis, Michael Irvin, Warren Sapp, Vinny Testaverde and Ed Reed. Alumni of the Miami Hurricanes football team include five members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and two Heisman Trophy winners.
While UM’s football team admittedly garners much of the sports attention, theMiami Hurricanes baseball team has also made its mark in the athletic arena. The baseball team, which is currently coached by Jim Morris, has won four national championships since 1982 and made a record 43-consecutive trips to the NCAA Championship. The college baseball team has also played in 88 College World Series games.
Similar to the football team, the Canes have turned out many pro players such as baseball greats Gaby Sanchez, Pat Burrell, and Ryan Braun, who as a junior at UM, earned the Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Player of the Year award.
The team plays their home games at the on-campus baseball stadium called the Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field. While famed pro baseball player “A-Rod” never played at UM, the park was named after him when he contributed $3.9 million toward the stadium's renovation in 2007-2009.
Pick a Sport
UM’s athletic department goes far beyond football and baseball; the university fields a total of 16 varsity athletic teams with men’s teams competing in basketball, cross country, diving, tennis, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field. Women’s teams square off in basketball, cross country, swimming and diving, golf, rowing, soccer, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and volleyball.
For tickets and more information, visit HurricaneSports.com.
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