79 Days to Miami football: Miami legends Don Latimer and Mike Sullivan

SAN DIEGO, CA -(Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA -(Photo by NFL via Getty Images) /

Defensive tackle Don Latimer and offensive tackle Mike Sullivan are Miami football legends, University of Miami Sports Hall of Famers and the best players to wear number 79 in program history.

Defensive tackle Don Latimer and offensive tackle Mike Sullivan are Miami football legends that wore the number 79 who are in the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame. Latimer was a star middle guard, the center of a five-man defensive line.  Sullivan was part of the Miami football program from 1986-90 on the offensive line.

After redshirting as a true freshman in 1986, Sullivan set a Miami record at the time by starting all 48 games for the Hurricanes from 1987-92. Sullivan was an ironman for the Hurricanes who played through injuries in his Miami career.

Latimer set a Miami record in 1977 with 15 sacks. The dominant senior season by Latimer in 1977 earned him a first-team All-American by the Sporting News. Latimer was the 27th pick in the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft by the defending AFC Champion Denver Broncos. Latimer played six seasons with Denver.

Following his career in Denver, Latimer played the 1984 season with the Jacksonville Bulls of the United States Football League. Latimer’s football legacy lived on through his son Zack. Zack Latimer played linebacker for Oklahoma in 2005 and 2006 making 168 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss six sacks and three interceptions.

Latimer and his high school teammate

Eddie Edwards

became University of Miami Sports Hall of Famers. Latimer was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. Latimer’s 15 sack 1977 season still currently ranks fourth in Miami history after being passed by

Greg Rousseau

‘s 15.5 in 2019.

Sullivan was a part of the most dominant era in the history of the Miami football program. The Hurricanes went 44-4 with Sullivan as a starter for two years at offensive guard and two at offensive tackle. With Sullivan, a key member of the offensive line, Miami won national championships in 1987 and 1989.

Sullivan earned some of the highest off the field honors during his tenure in Coral Gables. Sullivan is a member of the Iron Arrow Society and one of only two Miami athletes to earn an NCAA Post Graduate scholarship. Following his collegiate career, Sullivan was a sixth-round pick, 153rd overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1992.

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Sullivan played four seasons in the NFL. One of many Miami players to return to Coral Gables, Sullivan was a graduate assistant for the Hurricanes in 2000. He followed head coach Butch Davis to Cleveland to become an assistant offensive line coach with the Browns. Sullivan has been an NFL and college coach since then.