Saturday, July 2, 2022

Miami hires program legend Alonzo Highsmith as general manager of football operations for Mario Cristobal

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A Miami legend is coming home to “The U.” Alonzo Highsmith, a Hurricanes great from 1983-1986, is returning to the program as the general manager of football operations, first-year coach Mario Cristobal announced Thursday. Highsmith is expected to work with Cristobal in various off-field support capacities. Among them will be scouting, roster assessment and NFL relations.

“Alonzo is a true Miami Hurricane,” said Cristobal in a statement. “He understands the commitment and sacrifice it takes to be a champion on and off the field. His tremendous passion for the University of Miami and this city is unparalleled. Alonzo brings experience as a student-athlete, a first-round NFL draft pick and an NFL executive. He shares our vision for the trajectory and the culture of this football program, and his knowledge and experience will allow him to make a positive and powerful impact on our program and community. I am fired up to welcome home another Miami Hurricane!”

Drafted by the Houston Oilers with the No. 3 pick in 1987, Highsmith had an injury-shortened career and spent most of his post-playing days in front office roles with the Seahawks, Browns and Packers. 

“It is an honor to come back to the University of Miami and I am very humbled,” said Highsmith. “The opportunity to work with Mario Cristobal and Dan Radakovich, as well as my passion and love for the city of Miami is what brought me back. I could not pass up this opportunity and this challenge.”

The hiring of Highsmith, 57, comes two years after former coach Manny Diaz hired another program legend, Ed Reed, as chief of staff. Reed is still in the same role under Cristobal, according to Miami’s athletics directory. Highsmith played for both Howard Schnellenberger and Jimmy Johnson during a four-year run in which the program went 40-9 and won the 1983 national championship. 

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