Top Ten of the Decade: Miami Sports Moments
Coach Jim Morris and his University of Miami baseball program leave behind a decade of superiority that has largely been ignored by SoFla sports fans. Starting with an NCAA Tournament appearance every year this decade, the Canes also made the College World Series in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008 -- winning it all in '01. Crowned National Champions in 2001 and Conference Champions in 2008, The U has been the preeminent NCAA baseball program of the decade. Too bad no one noticed.
On November 26, 2007, the former Gulliver Prep and Miami Hurricanes football star succumbed to a gunshot wound in the leg inflicted by intruders in his Palmetto Bay home. In December of 2007, Taylor was posthumously named to the Florida High School Association All-Century Team, and was selected to the NFL Pro Bowl for the second time. At just 24 years of age, one of the NFL's brightest rising stars and one of Miami's brightest sons was taken from us far too soon.
Just days before the start of training camp in the summer of 2004, the Dolphins star running back up and decided he no longer wanted to play professional football. It would later be revealed that Williams had failed a third drug test, testing positive for marijuana. A whirlwind of controversy followed. Angry fans railed against his decision to get high over playing for their team, local radio stations held rallies where Ricky Williams jerseys and memorabilia were destroyed. Williams went on to study holistic medicine; the Dolphins fell apart without him, going 4-12 on the season.
High School National Champions in 2007 (Miami Northwestern) and 2008 (St. Thomas Aquinas), State titles, number one rankings by USA Today and ESPN, and national television exposure. A veritable factory for football excellence, these two schools bulldozed their way through the 2000s re-establishing South Florida as the go-to place for college football recruitment. In a word, dominant.