Five Former Hurricanes to be Inducted into UM's Ring of Honor
Sept. 25, 2008
Coral Gables, FLA (www.hurricanesports.com) — – University of Miami Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt and head football coach Randy Shannon have announced the selection of five new members to the UM Football Ring of Honor. Former Hurricanes Edgerrin James, Jim Kelly, Cortez Kennedy, Jim Otto and Gino Torretta will all be placed in the Ring of Honor during halftime of Miami’s home game against Virginia Tech on Thursday, Nov. 13, at Dolphin Stadium.
“The University of Miami has a football legacy that rivals that of any program in the country, and this group exudes the success and excellence that is synonymous with the U” Hocutt said. “All five inductees have had a great amount of success in life – on and off the football field.”
The selection of UM’s Ring of Honor members is determined by the director of athletics and head football coach, in conjunction with an anonymous advisory committee.
Criteria used in the selection process include athletic achievements at UM and at the professional level, commitment and loyalty to the continued success of the university and its athletic department and a personal commitment to courage, fortitude, honesty and integrity.
“We have had so many great players play at the University of Miami, and it’s never an easy decision when it comes to adding to our Ring of Honor,” Shannon said. “A tremendous group has been selected for this next induction.
“Their accomplishments during their time at Miami greatly contributed to the success of this football program,” Shannon added. “They truly understand what it means to be a Miami Hurricane.”
James is the youngest of the class, having played running back at UM from 1996-1998. Cousin of current UM running back Javarris James, he was named first team All-American in 1998 before he was taken in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. James, who currently plays for the Arizona Cardinals, has been selected to the NFL Pro Bowl on four occasions and has twice led the NFL in rushing.
Kelly was a star quarterback at UM from 1979-82, earning All-America status in 1982. Inducted into the UM Sports Hall of Fame in 1992, Kelly went on to enjoy a stellar pro football career that led to his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002. After a short stint in the USFL after college, Kelly was drafted in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills and would go on to be selected to the NFL Pro Bowl on four occasions.
Kennedy played defensive tackle for the Hurricanes from 1988-89 before being chosen in the first round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Kennedy, an All-American at UM in 1989, played exclusively for the Seahawks at the professional level. He was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1992, was selected to the NFL Pro Bowl on eight occasions and was named to the 1990’s NFL All-Decade Team. He retired from the league in 2000.
Otto played center for the Hurricanes from 1957-59 and was inducted into the UM Sports Hall of Fame in 1972. A 12-time Pro Bowl selection from 1961-72, Otto was taken in the first round of the 1960 AFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders, a team he spent his entire career with until his retirement in 1974. A member of the AFL All-Time Team, Otto currently works in the front office of the Oakland Raiders.
Torretta played quarterback for UM from 1989-92 and was inducted into the UM Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. As a senior, Torretta joined fellow UM quarterback Vinny Testaverde in elite company when he was awarded the 1992 Heisman Trophy. Also in 1992, Torretta won the Maxwell Award, the O’Brien Award, the Unitas Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. Torretta played in the NFL for six different clubs, retiring in 1997.
James, Kelly, Kennedy, Otto and Torretta will join current Ring of Honor members Ottis Anderson (1975-78), Don Bosseler (1953-56), Jim Dooley (1949-51), Ted Hendricks (1966-68), Bernie Kosar (1982-84), George Mira (1961-63), Burgess Owens (1970-72) and Testaverde (1982-86) in the Ring of Honor. The new inductees’ names will be on display at future UM games in Dolphin Stadium.
The Ring of Honor was established during the 1997 season as a way to recognize the outstanding players that have passed through the Hurricane Football program. This becomes the third class to be inducted. The initial class was made up of Mira, Dooley, Hendricks and Testaverde while the second class of Anderson, Bosseler, Kosar and Owens was inducted in 1999.
A special luncheon featuring the new Ring of Honor inductees will be held the day of the game, Thursday, November 13, from 12 – 2 p.m. at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club at 19999 West Country Drive in Aventura, Fla. Luncheon tickets may be purchased for $100 per person. To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact the University of Miami Hurricane Club at (305) 284-6699.