Alonzo Highsmith is leaving his position as General Manager with the Miami football program to accept a front-office position with the New England Patriots, per Chad Graff of The Athletic. Highsmith returned to Miami two years ago as part of Mario Cristobal's inaugural staff with the Hurricanes.
Graf, Manny Navarro and Bruce Feldman reported that Highsmith will be hired as an "executive in personnel with a job title that’s not yet determined." Highsmith has worked in the NFL in executive roles and as a scout with the Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers.
Highsmith is a Miami Columbus High School alum who played for the Hurricanes from 1983 through 1986. After Highsmith signed with Miami as a defensive lineman, head coach Howard Schnellenberger moved Highsmith to fullback. Highsmith won a national championship with Miami in 1983 as a true freshman.
Highsmith evaluated transfers and helped Cristobal with budgeting, creating culture and working with the staff per Navarro. Highsmith also helped Cristobal build a more professional atmosphere in the Miami football program.
Feldman reported Highsmith was the primary Miami staff member to evaluate prospects. Highsmith was highly regarded within the Miami football program because of his experience evaluating talent in the NFL, per Feldman. Cristobal and Highsmith worked together on final decisions regarding recruits.
There is no information if Cristobal will choose to replace Highsmith. Director of Player Personnel or General Managers are a recent occurrence in college football. Cristobal still has the final say on recruits and transfers. This late in the hiring cycle, it will be difficult for Miami to replace Highsmith.
Miami hired South Florida running backs coach Matt Merritt for the same position with the Hurricanes on Wednesday. Merritt replaces Tim Harris Jr., who was hired as the offensive coordinator at Central Florida. The remainder of the Miami staff is intact entering the 2024 offseason.