Miami Hurricanes and Blake James have parted ways per report

CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 02: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 02: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami Hurricanes have parted ways with athletic director Blake James according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. James has had an embattled tenure as the Miami athletic director. The departure by James comes less than 48 hours after the Miami football team lost 31-28 at Florida State.

The first name that will likely be mentioned is former Miami Hurricanes honorable mention All-American running back Alonzo Highsmith. Highsmith played at Miami from 1983 through 1986. Signed as a defensive end, Highsmith was moved to RB by national championship head coach Howard Schnellenberger.

Following a six-year NFL career, Highsmith became an NFL scout and executive. Highsmith has served in executive positions in the NFL as a senior personnel executive with the Green Bay Packers from 2012 through 2017 and the vice president of player personnel with the Cleveland Browns from 2018 through 2019.

Highsmith has been a personnel executive with the Seattle Seahawks since 2020. Highsmith does not have any college experience. Any other candidates would be pure speculation at this point. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting that Miami “will announce Blake James’ departure soon today.”

Another name that could be mentioned according to the Hochman and Crowder show on WQAM is former Miami linebacker, Twan Russell. Russell played at Miami in the mid-1990s and was a fifth-round draft pick of the Washington Football team in 1997. Russell had a seven-year NFL career.

Russell currently oversees his own foundation, is the Dolphins Sr. Director of Community Affairs since 2013. Previously, Russell was the Director of Youth and Community Programs from 2005-2013. Russell has been in his current position since 2013. Miami will likely conduct a national search for the new athletic director.

The new athletic director could be busy. With the Miami football team 5-5, head coach Manny Diaz is under a lot of heat with a 19-15 overall record in his third season. Head coach Jim Larranaga has guided the Miami basketball team to three straight losing seasons under extenuating circumstances.

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Some fans have been upset with the Miami baseball team posting a 86–45 record in three seasons under head coach Gino DiMare. DiMare has led Miami to two regionals in two attempts with the majority of the 2020 baseball season canceled due to COVID. The new AD could have at least two important hires to make.