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A Message from the Athletic Director: June 2021

Hurricane Fans,

We are looking for a strong ending to a successful sports year as our baseball and track and field squads gear up for another postseason run.

Our baseball team starts NCAA Tournament play today at 5 p.m. on ACC Network as the Canes face South Alabama as the No. 2 seed in the Gainesville Regional. The winner of the UM-South Alabama game plays the winner of the Florida-USF game tomorrow at 4 p.m. This will be our first meeting with the Jaguars since 1997. We last faced USF in 2020 and opened the 2021 season with a series win over the Gators in Gainesville. Tune in to root on the Canes as they begin the Road to Omaha!

Our track and field team is preparing for the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which begin June 9 in Eugene, Ore. The Canes qualified for seven events. Michelle Atherley, the 2019 NCAA pentathlon champion, will compete in the heptathlon; Alfreda Steele will run both the 100m and 200m; Kayla Johnson will run the 800m; Kevin Arreaga will compete in the hammer throw; Isaiah Holmes will compete in the high jump; and our women’s 4x400m relay will also run in Eugene. Good luck to all our Canes at nationals!

Estela Perez-Somarriba concluded her stellar career at Miami last week by reaching her second consecutive NCAA singles final. Estela, the defending champion, fell to Emma Navarro from Virginia, ending her 20-match winning streak. Estela leaves as Miami’s all-time career wins leader and ranks second in the ACC in career wins. She is also a two-time UM graduate and ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She has been a remarkable representative of The U both on and off the court. Thank you, Estela and best of luck on the professional tennis circuit!

The kickoff times and television networks for four of our first five football games have been announced. We will open our season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta against defending national champion Alabama in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game on Saturday, September 4 at 3:30 p.m. on ABC. The Canes then return home to host Appalachian State at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, September 11 at 7 p.m. on either ESPN2 or ESPNU. On Saturday, September 18, the Canes welcome Michigan State for a noon kickoff on either ABC or ESPN. Our game against Virginia, scheduled for Thursday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m. will be televised on ESPN.

Our ticket pre-sale for Hurricane Club members and season ticket holders for the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game starts June 8. You can click HERE for more information.

UM Athletics earned an Academic Progress Rate score of 990 in the NCAA’s latest APR report, an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams nationally. Miami’s 990 score for the 2019-20 academic year is five points higher than the NCAA requirement and one point higher than UM’s 989 score for 2018-19. Eleven programs achieved APR perfect scores of 1,000 – men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s cross country, men’s diving, golf, rowing, soccer, women’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis, women’s track and field and volleyball.

Our student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom, and I couldn’t be prouder of our programs that earned perfect APR scores. I also want to thank our coaching staff and academic services staff for their continued support and dedication to these exceptional young men and women.

We will be holding the seventh annual Celebration of Women’s Athletics presented by adidas starting June 14. We will unveil the winners in each sport on our social media platforms throughout that week and cap the celebration with a student-athlete panel featuring adidas brand ambassador Ally Love, a Miami native. We are excited to be able to continue the CWA – it has become one of our signature annual events and despite the current challenges of holding in-person events we still want to recognize, honor and celebrate these incredible female student-athletes.

We recently launched the 2021 Hurricane Club Student Impact Fund annual campaign, which offers a great way to make an immediate impact and help ensure that we support our student-athletes athletically, academically and culturally for years to come. Gifts to the Student Impact Fund support scholarships, academic services, medical care and comprehensive well-being, nutritional programs, and leadership development. For more information on the how you can help us Build Champions by supporting the Student Impact Fund, please call the Hurricane Club at 305-284-6699 or visit www.UHurricaneClub.com.

If you have any questions or need any assistance, please feel free to contact a member of our staff. For the latest information on UM Athletics, please be sure to visit our website — miamihurricanes.com – download our Miami Hurricanes app or follow us on our various social media channels. I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy. Enjoy this month’s magazine!

Go Canes!

Blake James