We have been the go-to charter bus to Miami Hurricanes football games for over 35 years. When you’re ready to go, we have the vehicles to bring your group to home games at Hard Rock Stadium or away games anywhere in the continental United States!
It’s About The “U”
The ‘U’ is one of the most iconic logos in American sports. The orange and green are instantly recognizable, and sports fans across the country know exactly which team it represents.
The University of Miami Hurricanes football team conjures up plenty of memories. The 1980s and 1990s were the program’s most successful decades. College football fans of a certain generation can still remember the smoke machines used as the team entered the Orange Bowl, or the iconic head coaches that patrolled the sidelines.
Miami Hurricanes football is legendary and includes players such as Ray Lewis, Michael Irvin, and Jim Kelly. Even legendary professional wrestler and actor, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson suited up for the ‘U’, as a defensive tackle wearing the No 94 jersey. Yet, before the Hurricanes were the team of the 1980s and 1990s, the team experienced a very different past.
It wasn’t until 1983 that Miami won the first of its five NCAA National Championships. The win under head coach Howard Schnellenberger put Miami football on the map and set it on a course to be the team of the next two decades. Miami Hurricanes football was sexy, exciting, and completely different from teams from the heartland like the Oklahoma Sooners, Nebraska Cornhuskers, or Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish.
The Beginning of Miami Hurricanes Football
The Miami football program started in 1926. At the same time, the team was being discussed, the university’s first president, Dr Bowman Ashe, proposed a stadium with a 50,000-seat capacity to be built. Dr Ashe had big dreams for Miami football, but those plans were shelved due to a hurricane that ravaged South Florida.
Due to the hurricane, the football team didn’t start its inaugural campaign until late October. A crowd of only 304 turned out to see the ‘Canes defeat Rollins 7-0. The team’s first season featured two victories over the University of Havana, as the teams played a pair of holiday games. A Thanksgiving Day game took place in Miami, and a Christmas Day matchup was held in Cuba.
By 1933, Miami reached its first-ever bowl game, defeating Manhattan in an upset victory in the Palm Festival Bowl. A year later, the ‘Canes fell in the Palm Festival, as Duquesne picked up the bowl win. The landscape of college football was far different to the one Miami operates today, but the program now had a foothold in the sport.
The Rise of Miami Hurricanes Football
Compared to colleges around the United States, Miami was still considered a backwater school in terms of football. With transport links weak, Miami wasn’t an easy city for much of America to reach.
However, things began to change at the dawn of the 1940s. The arrival of Jack Harding as head coach and university athletic director changed Miami’s fortunes. Suddenly, the school’s football program shifted from being a minor player to being a major team in the sport’s landscape.
The groundwork created by Harding was continued in the 1950s and early 1960s by Andy Gustafson. He patrolled the sidelines for 16 seasons and led the Hurricanes to four bowl appearances.
During that period, appearing on national television wasn’t common for college football programs. Gustafson’s team played nine times on national television, however, helping to grow the university’s identity. Miami achieved its first national top-10 ranking under Gustafson’s watch in 1954.
After Gustafson left the program, Miami heralded in a new era, by signing its first Black player. Wide receiver Ray Bellamy signed for the ‘Canes in December 1966. Bellamy’s arrival made Miami only the second major college football program located in America’s south to have a Black athlete on scholarship.
The Calm Before the Miami Hurricanes Storm
Unfortunately, Miami hit a dip in the 1970s. Over the course of a nine-year period, the Hurricanes employed five different head coaches. Results on the field weren’t great, and the team finished under .500 during that nearly decade stretch.
Everything would change for the football program in 1979 with the arrival of head coach Howard Schnellenberger. Schnellenberger joined the team after achieving success as the Miami Dolphins’ offensive coordinator. He overhauled the team’s offensive, inputting an NFL-style passing game that would take college football by storm. Despite the new-look offensive, Miami still finished the season under .500, as the team went 5-6.
The 1980 season was a turning point for the Hurricanes. An 8-3 season led to a berth in the Peach Bowl and a year later, the ‘Canes finished 9-2., and a 7-4 season followed in 1982. Schnellenberger’s final year as head coach, 1983, was the culmination of his work. Freshman quarterback Bernie Kosar led the ‘Canes to an 11-1 record and a first National Championship.
More National Championships
Jimmy Johnson arrived in 1984 from Oklahoma State as Schnellenberger’s replacement. Johnson kept the good times rolling with five strong seasons in South Florida. His best campaign was in 1987, as Miami went 12-0 and won the Orange Bowl. In addition, the team was named National Champions for a second time, as they completed a first unbeaten season, defeating Oklahoma for the title.
Miami was becoming a conveyor belt for future NFL coaches and players. Johnson’s departure after the 1988 season led to the hiring of Dennis Erickson. He remains the most successful coach in Miami Hurricanes football history, with two National titles in 1989 and 1991. The 1991 team is one of the most well-remembered football teams by fans of the era, as it went 12-0 during the campaign. Erickson became just the second Division I coach to win a National Title in his first season. Miami Hurricanes football was must-watch TV.
Despite success on the field, Miami wouldn’t win its fifth National Championship until 2001 under coach Larry Coker. Coker led Miami to another 12-0 record, as the ‘Canes thrashed the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Rose Bowl 37-14 to win the title. Miami led 34-0 at halftime before seeing out the game in the second half.
In 2004, Miami joined the Atlantic Coast Conference, ushering in a new era. Unfortunately, Miami Hurricanes football hasn’t hit the same heights since winning its fifth National Championship. Yet, the program continues to be one of the country’s biggest and most talked about. Perhaps, it is just the calm before the next hurricane makes landfall.
The courteous, knowledgeable drivers of East Coast Limousine will show up on time and provide the greatest level of service, safety, and care. Just sit back, and enjoy your charter bus to the Miami Hurricane game.
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