Miami Vice President/Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich returns to talk to Josh Darrow about UM’s recent announcement on plans to build a new, on-campus football operations center and how the state-of-the-art facility will benefit the football program, the student-athletes, the entire athletic department, and the University.
Behind the U, the official podcast of Miami Athletics, features entertaining and engaging interviews with Hurricanes past and present, giving listeners exclusive insight into what makes The U one of the most storied and fascinating programs in college athletics.
Episode 100: Alex Mirabal | February 2, 2023
For our 100th installment of “Behind the U” Josh Darrow kicks off a two-part episode with Miami assistant head coach/offensive line coach Alex Mirabal, who talks about growing up in Miami, how he got into the coaching business, how his work as a teacher has helped him connect with players on the field and what he thinks of the linemen in the Canes’ 2023 recruiting class.
Josh Darrow catches up with Miami’s General Manager of Football Operations Alonzo Highsmith, who talks about why he came back to The U, how he leans on his NFL scouting experience, what it takes to build a program in the current college football landscape, what he thinks of the incoming recruiting class and how he views the direction of Canes football.
Josh Darrow checks in with new College Football Hall of Fame inductee Bryant McKinnie, who talks about switching from defensive line to offensive line, why he decided to come to Miami after junior college, the Canes’ dominant run from 2000-01, how the Williams sisters have helped his serve, and his feature turn on “America’s Got Talent.”
Josh Darrow catches up with Canes linebacker great Bernard Clark, Jr., who talks about playing under Jimmy Johnson, his Orange Bowl MVP performance, the competition that fueled those UM teams, how he got into the coaching profession, his new book and getting the call from the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame this fall.
Josh Darrow checks in with Canes diver Mia Vallée, who talks about her NCAA championship run last season, competing in international events for her native Canada, why she chose to venture to Coral Gables, and how she balances her hectic competition schedule while majoring in UM’s world-renowned marine science program.
Josh Darrow walks down memory lane with longtime Associate Athletic Director for Athletic Training Vinny Scavo, who worked under Ron Fraser and Howard Schnellenberger, roomed with an ibis and a Heisman winner, circled the bases with two Major League Baseball teams, and in his latest stint with the Canes was just elected to the UM Sports Hall of Fame.
Josh Darrow checks in with former Canes All-American cornerback and first-round draft pick Kelly Jennings, who talks about why he picked Miami over other in-state schools, how the Canes were able to construct such a talented secondary, what made Sean Taylor special, how he prepared for life after the NFL and how he fits home schooling into his busy days.
Josh Darrow catches up with Canes senior guard Jordan Miller, who talks about last year’s Elite Eight run, why he decided to transfer from George Mason to Miami, how the team is looking to improve this season and how he prepared to deliver the graduation speech at his high school this past spring.
Josh Darrow checks in with former Canes defensive coordinator and NFL head coach Dave Wannstedt, who talks about working with Jimmy Johnson, how their coaching philosophy fit in Miami, the abundance of defensive talent on those UM rosters, how the team bounced back to win the 1987 national title and how his time in Coral Gables prepared him for a long career in the pro ranks.
Josh Darrow catches up with former Canes All-America center K.C. Jones, who talks about playing under the Friday Night Lights in West Texas, why he chose to come to Miami, his toughest battles on Greentree, how UM prepared him for life in the NFL and his relationship with new Canes head coach Mario Cristobal.
Josh Darrow talks to legendary Canes linebacker Jessie Armstead, who looks back at his ballyhooed recruitment coming out of Dallas, why he chose to come to Coral Gables, what made UM’s defense so dominant, his favorite memories of two national championship runs and how he overcame injuries to play more than a decade in the NFL.
Josh Darrow catches up with 1987 national champions Melvin Bratton and Greg Mark, who talk about their favorite moments from the 12-0 season, what fueled the team from start to finish, Jimmy Johnson’s influence on their careers and what they think the future holds for Canes football under Mario Cristobal.
Josh Darrow checks in with Canes offensive line great Joaquin Gonzalez, who talks about growing up in Miami, why he decided to attend UM, his favorite memories, moments and teammates from the 2001 national championships team and how both Mario Cristobal and Alex Mirabal have impacted his life on and off the field.
Josh Darrow checks in with UM alum Bruce Feldman, who talks about covering college football for The Athletic, Mario Cristobal returning to Miami, his outlook on the Canes this season, how he developed his famous “Freaks List” and what he sees on the horizon for college football after a newsworthy summer.
Josh Darrow walks down memory lane with ESPN’s Andrea Adelson, who talks about growing up in Miami, her time as a writer on the Canes beat, how last year’s 2001 national championship retrospective came to life, her thoughts on the hire of Mario Cristobal and how she sees the ACC playing out as football season fast approaches.
Josh Darrow checks in with Denver Nuggets guard and former Canes Hoops standout Davon Reed, who talks about why he chose Miami, what he learned from Jim Larrañaga, his most memorable moments as a Cane, how he prepared for the NBA and the journey that took him from the Suns to the Pacers to the G League to Taiwan and now to Denver.
Josh Darrow checks in with new Canes golf coach Janice Olivencia, who talks about her journey as a collegiate and professional golfer, how she got into coaching, what she learned as a longtime assistant at Florida and why she seized the opportunity to take over the Miami program.
Josh Darrow chats with the man behind the famous milkshakes at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field as Mitch Freedman details how he got his start with Ron Fraser and Canes baseball, what’s behind his milkshake operations and marketing, how the signature shakes come to life and some of his favorite memories over 37 years of dishing out his delicious treats.
Josh Darrow talks to Canes women’s basketball legend and current assistant coach Shenise Johnson, who discusses how she fell in love with basketball, what made her choose to play for Katie Meier at Miami, how she helped accelerate the program’s trajectory, her career in the WNBA and the transition from player to coach at her alma mater.
Josh Darrow catches up with Canes baseball legend and MLB standout Jon Jay, who talks about growing up a Canes fans for all seasons, playing for Jim Morris, his favorite memories at The Light, going back to school and how the lessons he learned in Coral Gables translated to a stellar 12-year career in the Majors.
Josh Darrow chats with legendary Miami diving coach Randy Ableman, who talks about what drew him to the UM job, how he has sustained success over three decades, how he helps his divers manage the pressure of the situation and some of his most memorable moments at both Miami and his six Olympic coaching experiences.
As we close out Mental Health Awareness Month, Josh Darrow has a powerful, emotional and unfiltered conversation with Canes assistant strength and conditioning coach Jeff Eaton, who talks about his battle with mental illness, how his support system helped him in his time of need and why he hopes sharing his story can encourage others to seek help.
Josh Darrow talks to new Canes assistant basketball coach Kotie Kimble, who talks about his path to coaching, who has influenced him along the way, why his teams’ offenses have been so successful, what attracted him to the Miami job and what excites him about the future of the program.
Josh Darrow chats with Canes baseball public address announcer Jay Rokeach, who talks about his 54 seasons calling games at The Light, how he first met Ron Fraser as a UM student, the genesis behind Miami’s craziest marketing ideas at the ballpark, his all-time Canes starting nine and his favorite memories calling football games at the Orange Bowl.
Josh Darrow catches up with recent UM Sports Hall of Fame inductee and All-America linebacker Jay Brophy, who talks about being recruited by Howard Schnellenberger, how the Canes shocked the college football world his senior year, his time with the Dolphins under Don Shula and what it was like to coach LeBron James on the high school gridiron.
Josh Darrow talks to Canes men’s tennis coach Aljosa Piric, who shares his remarkable story of leaving war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina as a teenager, how he ended up in Italy and then the United States, how tennis helped him navigate his journey, what drew him to college coaching and his goals as he continues to push the Canes program forward.
Josh Darrow catches up with ESPN broadcaster and former Canes volleyball student-athlete Christine Williamson, who talks about her time at The U, how she broke into broadcasting, how her role continues to evolve at ESPN and her takeaways from serving as the emcee at UM’s recent Celebration of Women’s Athletics.
Josh Darrow revisits Miami’s recent Elite Eight run with point guard Charlie Moore, who discusses playing high school ball in Chicago, his decision to come to UM, how the team came together during the season, some of the season’s most memorable moments and his thoughts on Coach L’s locker room dance moves.
In part two of a two-part episode, Josh Darrow continues his talk with Miami’s new strength and conditioning coordinator Aaron Feld, who details his career path, his relationship with Mario Cristobal, his philosophy when it comes to helping his players succeed physically and mentally and how excited he is to put his program to work at The U.
In part one of a two-part episode, Josh Darrow sits down with Miami’s new strength and conditioning coordinator Aaron Feld, who details his career path, his relationship with Mario Cristobal, his philosophy when it comes to helping his players succeed physically and mentally and how excited he is to put his program to work at The U.
To tip off the first week of March Madness Josh Darrow catches up with former Canes point guard Angel Rodriguez, who talks about growing up in Puerto Rico, moving to Miami in high school, transferring from Kansas State to The U, the Canes’ Sweet 16 run in 2016 and how he’s continuing his professional basketball career back home.
Josh Darrow checks in with former Canes quarterback Jacory Harris, who talks about his decision to play at Miami, how he handled the transition to a new coaching staff during his tenure, why he decided to become a firefighter and how the mental and physical lessons he learned from football have helped him in his new career.
Josh Darrow catches up with Canes associate head basketball coach Chris Caputo, who talks about competing on the legendary New York City high school basketball courts, how he got his start in coaching, his longtime relationship with Jim Larrañaga, how his role has evolved at UM and what has been special about this group of Canes in 2021-22.
Josh Darrow checks in with Canes guard Kameron McGusty, who discusses Miami’s improved play on the court this season, the big win at Duke, his relationship with Coach L, rooming with current NBA star Trae Young at Oklahoma and why he decided to come back for one more season in Coral Gables.
Josh Darrow catches up with Canes alum and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn, who talks about his decision to transfer to Miami, how he became a leader in the locker room so quickly, his breakout second season with the Vikings and what being a part of the U Family means to him.
Josh Darrow checks in with Miami Vice President/Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich, who talks about his journey through college athletics, what he has learned from the successes at his previous stops, his decision to return to Coral Gables and his vision for UM Athletics going forward.
Josh Darrow talks to Rudy Fernandez, the University of Miami’s Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications and Chief of Staff to the President, who discusses his lifelong passion for the Canes, the story behind the recent hirings of a new athletic director and head football coach, and the integral role that UM Athletics plays in the University’s overall mission.
Josh Darrow has an in-depth conversation with former UM and NFL offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson, who talks about growing up in Minneapolis as a standout football and basketball player, coming to Miami as the nation’s top overall recruit, his NFL career, his battle with Crohn’s disease and what he’s planning to do next.
Josh Darrow checks in with two-time UM national champion and two-time Super Bowl champion Darrin Smith, who looks back at his decision to come to Miami, the Canes’ stacked linebacker group during that run, working on his Master’s degree while he was still playing, getting drafted by Jimmy Johnson in Dallas and some of his favorite moments as a Cane.
Josh Darrow talks to Canes quarterback D’Eriq King, who talks about how he gravitated to football at a young age, his father’s influence, why he chose to play quarterback, which schools recruited him, the detail in his preparation week to week, how he has coped with injuries and what’s next for him as he graduates this week with his Master’s degree and starts preparing for the NFL Draft.
Josh Darrow catches up with UM All-American and Minnesota Vikings legend Chuck Foreman, who talks about his decision to go to Miami, the foundation for the program he helped set in the early 1970s, his star-studded career as a Vikings running back and some of his favorite players from The U throughout the years.
The Canes honored Dan Morgan at this past Saturday’s home finale for his upcoming induction into the College Football Hall of Fame so this week we’re re-releasing an episode from earlier this year with the legendary linebacker, who details his historic UM career as well as his success as both an NFL player and executive.
Josh Darrow sits down with his broadcast partner Joe Zagacki – the Voice of the Canes – who takes us in depth into how he prepares for each broadcast, from researching teams, watching games, building his charts, honing his vocabulary and painting the pictures on gameday that Canes fans enjoy from wherever they’re listening.
In the second of a two-part episode, Josh Darrow continues his chat with Canes men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga, who talks about growing up in The Bronx, how he discovered basketball, his college and pro career, his coaching journey and how his philosophies on basketball and life have evolved throughout his legendary career.
In the second of a two-part episode, Josh Darrow continues his chat with Canes women’s basketball coach Katie Meier, who talks about growing up in Chicago as one of eight siblings, her college and professional playing days, her coaching journey and what eventually led her to Miami as she now enters her 17th season at UM.
In the first of a two-part episode, Josh Darrow talks to Canes head women’s basketball coach Katie Meier, who details her “Seek the Gap” philosophy, how she built her program, what she looks for in her players on and off the court, some of her favorite moments in Coral Gables and what she’s expecting from the Canes as the 2021-22 season fast approaches.
Josh Darrow catches up with Canes head men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga, who talks about his basketball philosophy, his head coaching journey, coaching both of his sons in college, how he got the job at Miami and what his current group of Canes looks like as they get ready for the 2021-22 season.
Josh Darrow catches up with Canes All-American, national champion and Super Bowl champion Antrel Rolle, who discusses why he chose Miami over Florida, those initial workouts on Greentree, the 2001 and 2002 national championship games, the best players on those squads and how UM prepared him for a stellar NFL career.
Josh Darrow checks in with UM volleyball coach Keno Gandara, who talks about growing up in Puerto Rico as a baseball and volleyball standout, his collegiate playing days at UC-Santa Barbara, his professional career overseas, his decision to get into coaching, why he coveted the Miami job and how his team has jumped out to a 9-1 start this season.
Josh Darrow catches up with former Canes assistant coach and legendary Miami high school coach Don Soldinger, who talks about getting hired by Howard Schnellenberger, working for Jimmy Johnson, Butch Davis and Larry Coker, the most memorable UM running back performances on his watch and what the Canes and Miami mean to him.
Josh Darrow checks in with Canes punter Lou Hedley, who talks about growing up in a small Australian fishing town, his love of Australian rules football, how he transitioned to the American version of the sport, how he arrived at UM, what sparked last season’s net punting record and (of course) his famous collection of tattoos.
Josh Darrow catches up with ESPN college football analyst Todd Blackledge, who discusses playing Miami when he was the quarterback at Penn State, his thoughts on conference realignment, what he likes about D’Eriq King and how the Canes match up against Alabama in the season opener, which he will call as a member of ABC’s crew.
Josh Darrow chats with Canes wide receivers coach Rob Likens, who details how football helped mold him and guide his career path, how he came to embrace an up tempo offense, his experience as an offensive coordinator, how he ended up at Miami and what he loves about his wide receiver room in Coral Gables.
In conjunction with the launch of CanesVault – Miami’s new non-fungible token marketplace — Josh Darrow talks NFTs with Brian Burns and Jon Parise from GigLabs, who detail the history of NFTs, the philosophy and technology behind it and how they helped Miami build CanesVault, the unique marketplace that celebrates the rich history of UM Athletics.
Josh Darrow talks to Canes basketball great Durand Scott, who looks back at his high school playing days in the Big Apple, his decision to come to Miami, the Canes’ magical run to the 2013 ACC title, his professional career overseas and the non-profit he’s launched to help other players.
Josh Darrow catches up with Canes track and field legend Michelle Atherley, who details her journey to Miami, how she came to embrace the multi events, the NCAA and ACC titles she captured, her recent run at the Olympic Trials and her continued activism on the social justice front at UM.
In the second of a two-part episode, Josh Darrow continues his conversation with Canes offensive line coach Garin Justice, who discusses his stint as a young Division II head coach, what he learned as an offensive coordinator at UNLV, how he arrived in Coral Gables and what he loves most about coaching offensive linemen.
In the first of a two-part episode, Josh Darrow catches up with Canes offensive line coach Garin Justice, who recounts his days as a three-sport standout in West Virginia, his ascension to team captain in college, his decision to make coaching a career and his versatile karaoke skills, which a surprise guest verifies.
Josh Darrow hosts a roundtable with former Canes student-athletes who are now playing professional jai-alai in Miami. They discuss the initial outreach to UM alumni, how their athletic backgrounds helped them transition to a brand new game and what they envision going forward for the sport they now proudly call their own.
Josh Darrow talks to Canes baseball great, seven-year MLB veteran and current ACC Network analyst Gaby Sanchez, who discusses growing up in Miami, his two trips to Omaha with the Canes, breaking into the big leagues with his hometown Marlins and how baseball shaped his life on the diamond and beyond.
Josh Darrow chats with UM Sports Hall of Fame Executive Director John Routh, who details the history of the Hall of Fame but also reminisces about his longtime stints as Miami’s beloved mascots Sebastian the Ibis and Miami Maniac, which include helicopters, steers, parades, wedding receptions, ski jumping and being “detained” on an opponent’s field in 1989.
Josh Darrow catches up with nine-year NFL veteran and three-time Pro Bowler Jon Beason, who talks about his high school days in South Florida, his transition from fullback to linebacker, his coaching mentors, his memories of Sean Taylor, the unparalleled linebacker tradition at Miami and what it takes to achieve greatness.
As a run up to Miami’s seventh annual Celebration of Women’s Athletics presented by adidas, Josh Darrow talks to Estela Perez-Somarriba, whose decorated tennis career includes the 2019 NCAA singles champion title, five All-America honors, the most wins in UM history, two degrees and a 3.9 GPA. Josh also visits with Deputy AD Jennifer Strawley on the history and importance of the CWA.
Josh Darrow visits with 2001 national championship head coach Larry Coker, who reflects on his path to coaching, his arrival in Coral Gables, assuming the reins as head coach, the Canes’ incredible championship run and the controversial finish that denied UM back-to-back titles.
Josh Darrow checks in with 2001 national champion and nine-year NFL veteran Clinton Portis, who talks about moving from Mississippi to Florida, his recruitment to UM, his running back battles with fellow Canes greats, what fueled the national title run and his pro career in Denver and Washington.
Josh Darrow catches up with All-American offensive tackle and first-round draft pick Leon Searcy, who talks about his late start to high school football, playing for both Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson, being a member of three national championship teams and how The U prepared him for an 11-year career in the NFL.
Josh Darrow visits with two-time national championship coach and College Football Hall of Famer Dennis Erickson, who looks back on his arrival at Miami, his revolutionary offensive schemes, some of the Canes greats he recruited and coached, and his memories of the 1991 national champions as their 30th anniversary approaches this fall.
Josh Darrow checks in with Heisman Trophy winner and national champion Gino Torretta, who reflects on his recruitment to Miami from northern California, taking over the starting quarterback role, the 1991 national title, his memories of Hurricane Andrew and his award-winning senior campaign.
Josh Darrow catches up with Canes basketball legend and current Mayor of Dania Beach Tamara James, who discusses her decision to come to UM, her record-setting career as a Cane, how her pro career led her overseas and how her basketball background has helped her navigate her new role as a public servant.
Josh Darrow joins All-America wide receiver and 14-year NFL veteran Santana Moss for a candid, emotional and uplifting conversation about growing up in Miami, his journey to UM, playing two sports for the Hurricanes, the football program’s rise back to national prominence and his remarkable pro career.
Josh Darrow checks in with legendary Canes quarterback Steve Walsh, who talks about getting recruited by Jimmy Johnson, learning the ropes from Heisman winner Vinny Testaverde, helping UM capture the 1987 national championship, the controversial loss to Notre Dame the following year and his current job as a CFL coach.
Canes basketball alumna Amy Audibert talks with Josh Darrow about playing for two UM head coaches, her decision to pursue a broadcasting career in upstate New York and her native Canada, and her historic Toronto Raptors broadcast last week as part of the NBA’s first all-female television broadcast crew.
Josh Darrow catches up with UM Director of Recruiting David Cooney, who discusses his rise through the South Florida high school coaching ranks, his decision to jump to college coaching, his transition to the recruiting department and how the Canes are approaching their recruiting efforts for the upcoming class.
Jess Simpson talks with Josh Darrow about his return to Coral Gables as assistant head coach/defensive line, how working in the NFL helped him grow as a coach, his legendary high school coaching career in Georgia, and what excites him personally and professionally about coming back to The U.
Joe Zagacki checks in with Brooklyn Nets point guard Bruce Brown, who talks about his two seasons at The U, how Jim Larrañaga and the staff helped him hone his game, his NBA development and what it’s like to suit up with the likes of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving on a Nets squad contending for a title.
Josh Darrow sits down with the winners of the first UM Athletics Trailblazer Award. Hurricanes legends and pioneers Will Allen, Ray Bellamy and Kim Sands discuss their journey to Miami, the challenges they faced, the lasting legacies they have created and their memories of fellow honoree Dr. Henry King Stanford.