The "U" Has Made a Tremendous Impact on Producing Heisman Winners and National Champions

The Miami Hurricanes football program has had a tremendous impact on college and pro football.  The 'Canes have won national championships, produced Heisman Trophy winners and delivered an "In your face," culture to many opponents.  The "U" has also emerged as a dominating force in producing top-level NFL talent that after winning championships, now resides in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Miami Heisman Winnes

Miami Heisman Trophy Winners

Vinny Testeverde 1986

The "U" entered the prestigious Heisman Club in 1986 when Testeverde Vinny Testaverde left an indelible mark on the college football world when he won the Heisman Trophy. At that time, he was a consensus first-team All-American and had an impressive season with 2557 passing yards and 26 touchdowns versus nine interceptions. The Brooklyn native's victory at the Heisman award was a landslide vote with 678 first place votes, leaving Temple's Paul Palmer with just 28 and Michigan's Jim Harbaugh with 27. With this tremendous feat, Vinny was cemented as one of the great quarterbacks in college football history. It was no surprise when he was selected with the first pick of the 1987 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Gino Torretta - 1992

Gino Torretta's senior year in 1992 is one for the books. His skill and precision on the football field led to over 3,000 yards passed, 19 touchdown passes, and an impressive low of only 6 interceptions. These statistics, paired with his undeniable talent, resulted in Torretta winning the prestigious Heisman Trophy. It's no surprise that he received 310 first-place Heisman votes, beating out strong competitors such as San Diego State's Marshal Faulk and Georgia's Garrison Hearst.

In the Roaring 20s, a Hurricane Began to Form

The University of Miami played football for the first time in 1926.  The program began as just a freshman team and its first contest was an October 23, 7-0 win over Rollins College.  The University advanced to varsity football the next season and again Rollins was the team’s first victim as Miami rolled to a 39-3 win.

The Hurricanes have had much success since then with multiple championships and some of the nation's longest winning streaks.  The "U" has two of the  longest winning streaks in major college football history. From 2000 to 2003, Miami won 34 consecutive games, tying for sixth all-time. Miami also won 29 straight games from October 27, 1990, to January 1, 1993

Miami National Championship Seasons

198311-1Howard Schnellenberger
198712-0Jimmy Johnson
198911-1Dennis Erickson
199112-0Dennis Erickson
200112-0Larry Coker

A Carousel of Championship Coaches Led Miami

1983 - Schnellenberger Delivers on His Championship Plan

Although Miami football generated success in its first decades of football, it wasn’t until the arrival of Howard Schnellenberger that Canes football advanced to championship levels.    The new coached announced his intentions to win a national championship within five years and then installed a pro-style passing offense and a tenacious recruiting effort to make that happen.  Thanks to the recruitment of future Pro Football Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly, Schnellenberger’s plan gained merit.  By 1981 the program was winners of nine games including victories over then-#1 Penn State and Notre Dame.  By the 1983 season, the Canes were ready to answer Coach Schnellenberger’s championship dreams.  That feat was accomplished with a 31-30 Orange Bowl victory over Nebraska that saw Miami make a game-saving play with just seconds left.

1987 - Jimmy Shapes The Canes Dynasty

With Schnellenberger leaving Miami following the 1983 national championship, Jimmy Johnson guided the program for the next five seasons.  The pinnacle of Johnson’s Miami coaching career was the 1987 season that saw the university gain its second national championship.  With stars such as Michael Irvin and Steve Walsh on the squad, the Canes posted an undefeated season.

1989 and 1991 - Miami Continues to Menace with Dennis

After leaving Washington State to guide the Miami football program, Dennis Erickson generated two national championships during his six year span in Coral Gables (1989-94).  With the first national title coming in his first season, Erickson became just the second Division 1 coach to win a national title in his first season at that school. Erickson’s 1991 squad struck national championship gold as well as the QB Gino Torretta directed squad went undefeated.

2001 - Coker Issues the Final Hurricane Warning

Miami fans last opportunity to wear Canes national championship gear was the first year of the Larry Coker era (2001-2006), the long-time assistant had replaced the departed Butch Davis.  Under Coker’s guidance, the U gained its fifth national title with a 12-0 undefeated season.

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