From the Desk of Dan Radakovich

From the Desk of Dan Radakovich

Dear Canes Community,

We just concluded an exhilarating month where all Canes fans can say they were heavily invested in the “Madness” of March.

Our men’s basketball team captivated the country with a remarkable run to our first Elite Eight appearance in program history.  The Canes defeated USC and Auburn in Greenville, S.C., to advance to the Sweet 16 in Chicago. We then defeated Iowa State before bowing out to top-seeded Kansas in the Midwest Region Final. The support for the Canes at both venues was incredible and I want to thank everyone who cheered us on.

The exposure that the athletic department and the University generated during this run is immeasurable. Yes, we posted three big NCAA Tournament wins, but I think it was also due in large part to the endearing nature of Jim Larrañaga and his team. You could see the joy on their faces and their devotion to Miami basketball – and each other — throughout the tournament. It was a season we won’t soon forget.

Our women’s basketball team also posted a “first” in March, advancing to our first ACC Tournament final appearance in school history. The Canes upset second-seeded Louisville and third-seeded Notre Dame en route to the final. Katie Meier’s squad then defeated USF in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to top seed and eventual Final Four participant South Carolina on the Gamecocks’ home floor. It was a terrific season for the Canes.

Mario Cristobal and his football team have crossed the midway point of spring practice and you can feel the energy and excitement out on Greentree. Our football alumni will visit next weekend for their annual Alumni Spring Weekend and we are excited as always to welcome them back to campus. You will have your first opportunity to see the Canes at our Spring Game at Inter Miami’s DRV PNK Stadium at 12 p.m. on Saturday, April 16. Admission is free and the game will also be televised live on ACC Network. We hope to see you there!

Our baseball team (18-6 overall, 7-2 ACC) has consistently been ranked as we get into the meat of ACC season and we are currently 17th and off to our best start to a season since 2016. The Canes swept then-No. 13 North Carolina at The Light last weekend and continue ACC action this weekend at Duke. All three games will be televised on ACC Network Extra, starting with tonight’s opener at 6 p.m. Tune in to cheer on the Canes!

Mia Vallée became the 14th diver under Randy Ableman to win an individual national championship when she captured the NCAA 1-meter title last month in Atlanta. Mia’s score of 365.756 set a meet record. She also earned All-America honors in the 3-meter, finishing in a tie for fourth. Emma Gullstrand earned All-America honors in the 1-meter. Zach Cooper placed second in the platform at NCAAs, garnering his fourth straight All-America honor. Max Flory also earned All-America accolades in the platform with a fifth-place finish. Congratulations to Randy and all our divers!

Our women’s tennis team has jumped up to sixth in the national rankings with a record of 12-3 and 7-2 in ACC play. Daevenia Achong, who has won 11 straight singles matches, is the reigning ACC Player of the Week. The Canes will play Columbia today at 3 p.m. at Hard Rock Stadium as part of “UM Night at the Miami Open.” Come cheer on the Canes! Our men’s tennis team (13-6 overall, 2-5 ACC) beat Florida State 4-0 earlier this week and continues conference play today at 11:30 a.m. at Boston College.

Our track and field teams are off to a strong start in their outdoor seasons as the men’s squad entered the national rankings this week at No. 13 while the women opened at No. 23. Russell Robinson posted an NCAA-best 16.23m in the triple jump in our most recent home meet. Last week Isaiah Holmes was named ACC Men’s Indoor Field Performer of the Year after winning the conference title in both the high jump and long jump. Congratulations, Isaiah! The Canes compete at the Florida Relays today and tomorrow in Gainesville.

Our golf team closed out its regular season this past weekend with a seventh-place finish at the Clemson Invitational. Nataliya Guseva fired a final round 69 to vault her 29 spots into a tie for 10th place. Miami now turns its attention to the ACC Championships in Pawleys Island, S.C., which tee off on April 14.

Our rowing team opened its spring season in dominant fashion last week, taking home a trio of first-place finishes in a tri-race with Stetson and Jacksonville in Deland. The Canes are back on the water today and tomorrow at the Sunshine State Invitational in Sarasota.

Volleyball student-athlete Janice Leao was recently selected to USA Volleyball’s 2022 U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team and will train at the National Team Training Center in Anaheim, Calif., this coming June. Congratulations, Janice!

Our eighth annual Celebration of Women’s Athletics presented by adidas will take place on Sunday, April 10, at 5 p.m. at the Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility. The CWA honors current Miami female student-athletes from each of UM’s nine women’s programs for their excellence on the playing field, as well as in the classroom and community. It is the signature annual event for our Together 4 Her campaign, a year-round initiative by UM Athletics that showcases accomplishments of women from around the university while supporting gender equality on and off the field of play. Click here for ticket information. Come support our student-athletes at this incredible event!

We take great pride in Athletics serving as one the University’s three pillars, and we also take great pride in our role in the University’s Ever Brighter campaign. Ever Brighter is UM’s most ambitious fundraising campaign ever, a $2.5 billion initiative that is accelerating our drive to shape a brighter future. As part of this campaign, Miami Athletics has an overall campaign goal of raising $225 million by 2025 which will directly impact our 400-plus student-athletes and equip us with the resources to compete at the highest level. Please visit miamihurricanes.com/everbrighter to learn how you can help!

Our Canes Community is stronger than ever thanks to your continued support. Please click here to sign up for our weekly Miami Athletics Report — or any of our other newsletters — to keep you up to date on everything we have going on with all our sports. Thank you from all of us at Miami Athletics and Go Canes!

Dan Radakovich