7 athletes inducted into UM Sports Hall of Fame
Seven Miami Hurricanes were inducted into the UM Sports Hall of Fame during its 45th annual induction banquet held Thursday at Jungle Island, the university said.
Prior to the inductions, junior football player Shane McDermott was presented with the Walter Kichefski Endowed Football Scholarship by Don Mariutto Jr.
The UMSHOF “Distinguished Service Award” was presented to Dr. Clyde B. McCoy.
The Class of 2013 included Ed Contreras (baseball, 1957-59), Ken Dorsey (football, 1999-2002), Bryan Gillooly (diving, 1994-98), Norm Parsons (administration / coaching, 1972-2012), Brett Romberg (football, 1999-2002), Don Soldinger (coach, 1984-88 and 1995-2006) and Jay Tessmer (baseball, 1994-95).
Ed Contreras, Baseball
One of Miami's first true power hitters, Contreras led the Canes in home runs and RBI in each of his three seasons (19 HR, 67 RBI in 77 games) and also led the team in batting in 1958 (.316) and 1959 (.310). He left Miami as the school's single-season and career home runs leader and he still holds the UM career slugging percentage record (.615) for under 300 at bats. He played for legendary major leaguer and UM coach, Jimmy Foxx, and also played basketball for UM Sports Hall of Famer, coach Bruce Hale.
On joining the greatest Hurricanes athletes of all-time, Contreras said, “It’s an honor. Most of them are pretty humble and down to Earth. I think it’s great because we’ve all interacted and it has been a great experience.”
Ken Dorsey, Football
Dorsey quarterbacked the Hurricanes to their fifth national championship in 2001 and was named MVP of the 2002 Rose Bowl. He was a 2002 All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. The 2001 and 2002 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year, Dorsey set eight UM career records, including total offense, passing yards, passing touchdowns, completions and attempts. He is the winningest quarterback in program history (38-2) and he won the 2001 Maxwell Award as the top player in college football.
On whether he thought if he’d ever get inducted into the Hall of Fame, Dorsey said, “Definitely not. This is beyond an honor for me. Going in with the group of guys that are here tonight and joining the group of guys that are already in, joining such great company truly is a dream come true. I was up for the Heisman Trophy twice, won the Maxwell Award and a bunch of other awards but this, by far, is the biggest honor I’ve ever received in my life."
Bryan Gillooly, Diving
Gillooly was a two-time NCAA diving champion, winning the 10-meter platform title in 1996 and the 3-meter springboard in 1998. He was a 12-time All-American, garnering the honor in the 1- and 3-meter springboards, and the 10-meter platform in each of his four years at Miami (1995-98). He was also named the 1996 NCAA Diver of the Year and was a BIG EAST Academic All-Star in 1996-97. Gillooly was a finalist at the 1996 and 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Gillooly addressed what it means to join so many great Hurricane divers and great athletes in the Hall of Fame.
“Just to be on that team is an honor," said Gillooly. "It’s not like anyone can come off the street and be a Hurricane diver. Then to be recognized as one of the best, I can’t put into words how great that is. I’m happy to be joining my teammates and I am sure there are more that will come behind me. It’s an honor to join so many great athletes that have come out of this school. To be in the same breath as them is special. I’m a huge Hurricanes fan, so to be in the Hall of Fame means everything to me.”
Norm Parsons, Administration/Coaching
Parsons, who served as the women's golf coach from 1973-78 and men's golf coach from 1980-88, coached the women's golf team to the 1977 and 1978 AIAW national championships. He served UM as Director of the Herbert Wellness Center (1996-present), Director of Campus Sports and Recreation (1977-96), and Intramural Director (1972-73) among other positions. He coached current UMSHoF members Cathy Morse, Woody Austin and Nathaniel Crosby.
Parsons shared his favorite memory while at The U.
“The initiation of the women’s athletics program in 1973," said Parsons. "I happened to give the first female scholarship in the United States to Terry Williams from Homestead, Fla. Being involved with that movement and that program was just exceptional. That only happens once in a lifetime and to be involved with that was just outstanding.”
Brett Romberg, Football
In 2002 Romberg was a consensus All-American and Rimington Award winner as the nation's best center. He was a first-team All-BIG EAST selection in 2001 and 2002, while never allowing a sack in his time as the Hurricanes center. Miami went 35-2 in his 37 consecutive starts at center, helping lead the Canes to the 2001 national title and three BIG EAST titles.
“It was awesome," Romberg said about his induction. "It never really hit until about 10 minutes after I hung up the phone. It was emotional to be put in the category of Hall of Famer at the University of Miami. With all the past players and players that I played with, there is a long list of them that I am sure will be getting in here over the next couple of years. To have my name put in the same category as so many phenomenal people and players is awesome.”
Don Soldinger, Coach
Soldinger was the linebackers and tight ends coach for Jimmy Johnson from 1984-88 and was the running backs and special teams coach under coaches Butch Davis and Larry Coker from 1995-2006. He was on the 1987 and 2001 national championship coaching staffs; he also coached six of the seven Miami running backs that rushed for 1,000 yards in a season (Willis McGahee, Edgerrin James - twice, Clinton Portis, Danyell Ferguson, Frank Gore and James Jackson). In his 16 seasons as a Hurricanes assistant coach, Miami won 158 games.
Soldinger said he has several good memories at UM.
“The first national championship was special. That’s why I always wear this ring from the ’87 season," he said. "The first game I coached in, I was coaching linebackers and we played Auburn in the Kickoff Classic. They had Bo Jackson and Tommie Agee and we held Bo Jackson to 78 yards and beat them 20-18. That was pretty special. That was Jimmy’s first win. I was coaching inside linebackers and to hold Jackson to 78 yards and they were ranked No. 1 in the country. That was special to me.”
Jay Tessmer, Baseball
Tessmer was a first-team Collegiate Baseball All-American in 1995 after collecting 20 saves - tied for second-most in school history - and posting a 1.31 ERA to lead Jim Morris' squad to the College World Series. He finished second nationally in Division I with a 1.16 ERA in 1994, while his career 1.24 ERA ranks second in school history. He holds the UM record for fewest walks per 9 innings (1.42 average) and has the second-most appearances by a pitcher in a season (45 in 1995). Tessmer finished his career fifth with 23 saves and played professionally for the New York Yankees.
“It’s great," Tessmer said of his induction. "You think of some of the great players that have come through UM and to be considered in their class is a huge honor for me.”
The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1966 by eight Dade County Circuit Court judges, who wanted to establish an organization that would recognize those student-athletes, coaches and administrators who excelled at their sport and brought acclaim to UM through their achievements and championships.
For more information about the UM Sports Hall of Fame, visit www.UMSportsHallofFame.com or call 305-284-2775.