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Smith Named Running Backs Coach

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Head football coach Mario Cristobal announced Friday the hiring of Miami native and NFL veteran Kevin Smith to the position of Hurricanes’ running backs coach. Smith’s hire is pending completion of a standard University background check.

Smith returns to his hometown after spending the previous two seasons working in the same capacity at Ole Miss.

“From his playing days at Miami Southridge to a record-setting collegiate career to his five years in the NFL, Coach Smith has known nothing but success on the field,” Cristobal said. “In his five years as a college assistant coach, he has already showed an elite ability to prepare running backs for the next level. As one of the top young coaches in the nation, I know Coach Smith will recruit, coach and develop our running back room at a tremendous level and elevate the culture of our program. I’m fired up to add him to our offensive staff.”

In his most recent season with the Rebels, three of Smith’s running backs ranked in the top 25 of the Southeastern Conference in total rushing yards at the end of the regular season – Jerrion Early, Snoop Conner and Henry Parrish. Ole Miss ranked No. 3 in the SEC in rushing yards in 2021, amassing 2,829 yards on the ground for an average of 217.6 per game.

“Miami has arguably the richest tradition in college football history. It’s an honor to be the running backs coach here,” Smith said. “But with it, there’s also expectations. That’s what my game is built on – it’s built on developing and producing, and I’m ready for the challenge. I’m honored to be here and I think that a part of my job, along with the rest of the coaches on staff, is to take this thing to the next level. You’ll never fill the shoes of the guys who are on the walls here at The U, but you can continue to build on that legacy and do great things for not only the running backs who played here, but everybody from the University of Miami program.”

Making an immediate impact in Oxford, Smith coached the SEC’s leading rushing attack in 2020. Ole Miss averaged 210.6 yards per game on the ground to top the conference and rank 26th nationally. Rebel running backs scored 19 touchdowns over the 10-game season. The sophomore duo of Ealy and Conner accounted for 17 of those touchdowns with Ealy’s nine leading all Rebels and ranking sixth in the SEC. Under Smith’s guidance, Ealy earned second team All-SEC honors from Pro Football Focus.

Smith served as running backs coach at FAU from 2017-19, helping capture a pair of Conference USA titles. Prior to Smith’s arrival in Boca Raton, the Owls had tallied two seasons in which they had surpassed the 2,000-yard rushing mark as a team since the program started in 2001. Smith mentored the FAU running backs to three straight 2,000-yard rushing efforts.

Under Smith’s tutelage at FAU, Devin Singletary became the first running back in NCAA history to score 29 touchdowns in a season since Smith did it himself as a star at UCF. Singletary, whose 33 total TDs rank third all-time in single-season touchdowns, was named C-USA’s MVP in Smith’s first year at FAU.

The 2017 FAU running back ranked No. 6 nationally in rushing yards per game (285.3). The No. 6 national ranking was a jump of 45 spots from the previous year. Singletary and Kerrith Whyte, Jr. were both drafted in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Smith is no stranger to rushing records. The standout running back set 17 school rushing records at UCF, including an FBS single-season record with 450 carries and 13 100-yards performances in 2007.

After earning first team All-America honors his junior season at UCF, Smith was selected in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions in the third round. He went on to play five years for the Lions, amassing 17 rushing touchdowns while battling injuries during his career.

Smith graduated from UCF in 2015 with a degree in liberal studies. Smith and his wife Tisha have six children: Kevin Jr., Dennis, Kai, Dennisha, Summer and Paris.

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Heat rally falls short in 110-108 loss to Hawks

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An exhilarating rally fell just short of a memorable road victory, as Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat ran a perfectly executed play that could have been the game winner against the host Atlanta Hawks. Instead, Butler’s close shot rolled off the rim and the Hawks held on for the 110-108 victory Friday night.

Miami only held a brief lead seconds into the game but Atlanta controlled most of the game until they nearly fell apart in the final six minutes. Duncan Robinson scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, including a big 3-pointer that had them within six points with three minutes remaining and another that trimmed the lead to just one point with less than a minute remaining.

Young’s two free throws gave Atlanta their biggest lead of the night at 18 points near the end of the third quarter, but Miami showed resilience to get so frustratingly close to stealing the win. Unfortunately the Heat ran out of time with the margin of error so razor thin and every play needing to be executed perfectly. After two Butler free throws and Robinson’s 3 cut the deficit to one point, Butler curled off a screen at the top of the key and seemingly had the easy alley-oop basket that didn’t go in. Young split a pair of free throws, giving the Heat another opportunity to tie it or take the lead but the play went nowhere fast, ending with Butler missing a difficult 3-point shot attempt in the corner and Max Strus missing a fallaway putback jumper.

Even though they were outscored 34-22 in the final quarter, Atlanta held on to secure their third straight home victory and avoided losing to Miami for the third time in less than two weeks. Young scored 28 points and went 12-15 from the free throw line — earning more free throw attempts than the Heat as a team.

Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro both were unavailable and PJ Tucker injured his left knee in the first quarter and did not return to the game.

Adebayo had another strong game, leading his team with 21 points while also grabbing six rebounds and dishing five assists. Max Strus scored 15 points off the bench, all in the first half. Butler contributed 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 36 minutes. Gabe Vincent started once again and scored 14 points and had nine assists.

The loss drops the Heat to third in the East, just percentage points behind the Chicago Bulls, who lost to the Milwaukee Bucks tonight. Both teams are now half a game behind the Brooklyn Nets.

Miami returns home to host the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday at 6:00pm on NBA TV.

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Video: Trae Young talks trash to Bam Adebayo, proceeds to break Duncan Robinson ankles and sink 3

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  • Updated: January 21, 2022

Bam Adebayo and Trae Young

The Miami Heat are looking to continue their ascent in the Eastern Conference standings tonight against the Atlanta Hawks.

At one point, big man Bam Adebayo talked trash to Hawks star Trae Young, and shortly afterward, Young responded by putting a move on Duncan Robinson.

Bam Adebayo talking trash to Trae Young, here’s what Trae did in response: pic.twitter.com/oAX5uGVWhb

— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) January 22, 2022

Adebayo recently returned after missing several weeks due to a thumb injury. Needless to say, he is a major part of Miami’s championship aspirations.

The Heat are currently tied with the Chicago Bulls for the top spot in the East, but the Bulls hold the tiebreaker.

Meanwhile, the Hawks, just one season removed from a surprise trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, are sputtering with a 19-25 record.

Young is having a banner season, as he’s averaging 27.9 points and 9.5 assists per game. His efficiency from the field has also improved significantly compared to last season.

As of this writing, the Heat are trailing the Hawks by a sizable margin in the fourth quarter. With Chicago battling the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, Miami has a great opportunity to perhaps take over first place in the conference.

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Swim & Dive Hosts FGCU on Senior Day this Saturday

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MIAMI (Jan. 21, 2022) – The FIU women’s swimming and diving team hosts its last home dual-meet of the season this Saturday, Jan. 22, when the Panthers welcome FGCU to the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Center on Senior Day.


 


The Panthers and Eagles are set to begin competition at 11 a.m. ET.

FIU will honor its nine seniors before the meet with the ceremony beginning at 10:30 a.m.


 

FOLLOW LIVE


A live stream will be available via the FIU Athletics Facebook page. Live results can also be tracked via the Meet Mobile app through the Apple App Store or Google Play for Android users.


 

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS


The meet will run the standard 16 event format including two relays, 12 individual swimming events, as well as the 1-meter and 3-meter dives. The order of events is as follows:

200 Medley Relay


3m Diving (Will run concurrently with swimming)


1000 Freestyle


200 Freestyle


100 Backstroke


100 Breaststroke


200 Butterfly


50 Freestyle


1m Diving

20-minute break


100 Freestyle


200 Backstroke


200 Breaststroke


500 Freestyle


100 Butterfly


400 Individual Medley


200 Freestyle Relay


 

MEET PREVIEW


FIU enters the competition with a 4-1 overall record in dual meets this year. In their last head-to-head competition, the Panthers defeated Marshall by a score of 178-122 (Dec. 17). Saturday’s contest will mark the second time FIU sees FGCU this season. Back on Nov. 6, FIU defeated FGCU on the road by a score of 189.5 to 110.5. 

The Eagles have competed in three dual meets this season and dropped all of them, owning a 0-3 record on the year. Besides the result against FIU, the Eagles were also defeated by the Miami Hurricanes (100-198) and Vanderbilt (143-151).   

FIU holds a four-meet win streak in dual contests against FGCU dating back to the 2018-19 season.


 

UP NEXT


The Panthers hit the road next Saturday, Jan. 29, for a dual-meet against Conference USA foe FAU. Competition is set to begin at 11 a.m. ET in Boca Raton.

SOCIAL MEDIA


Get all the latest information on the team by following on Twitter (@FIUSwimDive), Facebook @FIUSwimmingandDiving) and on Instagram (@FIUSwimDive). General athletic news can also be found at @FIUSports on Facebook and @FIUAthletics on Twitter and Instagram.


 

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