Miami Hurricanes Football History And Championship Seasons

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.

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Miami Hurricane Pro Football Hall of Fame Players
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Miami has produced two Super Bowl MVPs
Miami Football First Kicked Off in 1926

A Hurricane Forms in 1926

Miami’s first football season: 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.

Miami advanced to their first bowl game with an invitation to play in the 1935 Orange Bowl.  Despite having the home field advantage, Miami lost to Bucknell 26-0.  The Hurricanes have had much success since then with multiple championships and one 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

University of Miami National Championship Seasons

 The ‘Canes Championship Cup Runneth Over – Miami has captured five NCAA Division 1 championhips.  The national title seasons include 1983, 1987, 1989, 1991 and 2001.  Four separate coaches have guided the Hurricanes to the top.

  • Schnellenberger delivers the taste of success: 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.
  • A dynasty emerges:  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 gained its second national championship.  With stars such as Michael Irvin and Steve Walsh on the squad, the Canes posted an undefeated season.
  • The Hurricanes continue 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.
  • College football’s 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.
  • Miami conference affiliations:  Except for a brief stint in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1929-41), the university spent many years as an independent.  Miami finally resumed conference status when it joined the Big East Conference in 1991.  The school then departed for the ACC in 2004.
  • Miami Hurricanes top rivals:  In-state rivals Florida and Florida State easily serve as the U‘s most heated opponents.  With all
    three schools meeting each season, the team with the best record receives the Florida Cup.  That trophy has been awarded since 2002.  Miami won the first three.
  • University of Miami Heisman Trophy winners: The University has produced two Heisman Trophy winners.  Vinny Testaverde
    (1986) and Gino Torretta (1992) have been honored with college football’s top individual award.