The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame & Museum has officially unveiled its Class of 2024 inductees for the 54th UM Sports Hall of Fame & Museum Induction Banquet, scheduled for the upcoming spring.
Comprising ten distinguished members, the Class of 2024 includes Kimberli Barrett (women’s track & field), Johan Donar (men’s tennis), Jose “Chemi” Gil (men’s diving), Megan Saake-Knokey (women’s basketball), Shane Larkin (men’s basketball), Brandon Meriweather (football), George Oliver (polo coach), Chris Perez (baseball), and Eric Winston (football). Additionally, the class features the esteemed longtime athletics administrator, Rick Remmert.
The President of the UM Sports Hall of Fame & Museum, Mike Ward, expressed his excitement, stating, “On behalf of the UM Sports Hall of Fame & Museum, it gives us great pleasure to announce the 2024 Class, which is comprised of UM athletes from seven sports, a coach, and an athletics administrator. We will celebrate this diverse class and showcase their outstanding accomplishments from their Miami careers at our induction banquet in the Spring of 2024.”
The formal introduction of this year’s inductees will take place during an on-field ceremony at the Miami-Virginia Homecoming game on Saturday, October 28, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Details regarding the date and venue for the 54th UM Sports Hall of Fame & Museum Induction Banquet will be disclosed at a later time. For further information about the banquet or other Hall of Fame events, visit UMSportsHallofFame.com or contact 305-284-2775.
Founded in 1966 by eight Miami-Dade County Circuit Court judges, all of whom were University of Miami alumni, the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame & Museum stands as a non-profit organization with a rich history. Its mission is to acknowledge exceptional student-athletes, coaches, and administrators who have not only excelled in their respective sports but have also brought prestige to the University through their achievements and championship victories. With the inclusion of the Class of 2024, the Hall of Fame will have honored a total of 364 distinguished individuals in its nearly century-long history.
Here’s a glimpse into the Class of 2024 with their respective biographies:
Kimberli Barrett (Women’s Track & Field, 2005): Despite her one-year tenure at Miami, Barrett made an immediate impact on the track & field program. She clinched the 2005 NCAA titles in both indoor and outdoor shot-put competitions, along with securing both the 2005 ACC indoor and outdoor Shot-Put titles.
Johan Donar (Men’s Tennis, 1986-1990): Donar, a two-time All-American in singles and doubles, remains one of the finest tennis players to have ever graced the Canes. He holds the program’s all-time record for singles victories with an impressive 108 wins and, alongside fellow Swede and UMSHoF&M member Conny Falk, formed one of the nation’s top-ranked doubles teams, ultimately reaching the No. 4 spot in their final season.
Jose “Chemi” Gil (Men’s Diving, 1992-1995): With an impressive six-time All-American record (three times each in the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard), Gil triumphed at the 1995 NCAA Championship in the 1-meter event. Gil is a three-time Big East Conference champion in the 3-meter, and once each in the 1-meter and platform diving, solidifying his status as one of Miami’s most decorated divers.
Meghan Saake-Knokey (Women’s Basketball, 1999-2003): Saake-Knokey, recognized as the 2002 Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year, holds the distinction of setting the school’s single-season steals record (121) during that season. A member of the 1,000-Point Club at Miami (1,030), she ranks second all-time in career steals with an impressive 358. Saake-Knokey, a two-year team captain, was also honored as the Miami Hurricanes’ 2010 ACC Legend.
Shane Larkin (Men’s Basketball, 2011-2013): Larkin, the 2013 Lute Olson National Player of the Year, led the Canes to their first-ever ACC regular season and conference tournament titles during that season. He received accolades as the ACC Player of the Year and the ACC Tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Additionally, Larkin earned a second-team All-American title from the Associated Press (AP), National Association of Basketball Coaches, and ESPN. Currently, Larkin is playing professionally in Turkey after being selected in the first-round of the 2013 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks.
Brandon Meriweather (Football, 2003-2006): Meriweather, a two-time recipient of the Hard Hitter Award (a team honor) and a two-time All-American, was a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award, presented to the nation’s best defensive back. In 2005, he led the team in tackles with 115, including 13 tackles for loss, seven passes defended, and three interceptions. In 2006, Meriweather was named to the 50th Anniversary Playboy Preseason All-America Team and was also on the Thorpe Award watch list for the second consecutive year. During that season, Meriweather delivered an exceptional performance, registering 91 tackles, one sack, eight pass break-ups, and one interception in 12 games. He was also a semi-finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and was voted first-team All-ACC and All-American. Meriweather left Miami with the record for the most tackles by a defensive back, totaling 293. He was drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots and went on to have a nine-season career in the NFL, earning two Pro Bowl selections.
George Oliver (Polo Coach, 1948-1951): A remarkable professional polo player himself, Oliver was tasked with creating a program at Miami that had never existed. In an astounding fashion, he led the Hurricanes to four consecutive national championships, triumphing over traditional powerhouses like Yale, Cornell, and Princeton. Despite their success, budgetary concerns led to the discontinuation of the program after the 1951 campaign, with Miami undefeated and boasting four national championships in four seasons.
Chris Perez (Baseball, 2004-2006): As a standout closer in Coach Jim Morris’ bullpen, Perez topped the team in saves in 2005 and 2006, amassing a total of 20 career saves to secure seventh place in school history. Perez’s 2006 season was particularly outstanding, featuring 12 saves, a 4-1 record, and a remarkable 1.79 earned run average across 37 appearances. His contributions played a crucial role in the Canes’ return to the College World Series in Omaha. Perez also represented the USA National Baseball Team and was selected as a first-round pick in the 2006 MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Rick Remmert (Athletics Administrator, 1978-1987, 2012-present): A UM graduate of 1977, Remmert was appointed by legendary baseball coach Ron Fraser in 1980 to spearhead the program’s marketing and promotions, making him college baseball’s first full-time personnel in that capacity. He played a pivotal role in guiding The U to lead the nation in attendance and revenue for seven consecutive seasons. Returning to Miami in 2012, Remmert currently serves as the Associate Athletic Director of Alumni Programs, overseeing national championship reunions and alumni weekends, while also acting as Athletics’ chief liaison with its former student-athletes.
Eric Winston (Football, 2002-2005): Winston’s remarkable football career earned him a 2005 All-American title by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the American Football Coaches Association, Sports Illustrated, and Rivals.com. Additionally, he secured a second-team selection by the AP. Winston was honored with the ACC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy, recognized as the league’s best blocker by a vote of ACC coaches, and was a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award, presented to the nation’s top college football lineman. Winston was drafted by the Houston Texans in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft. With a 12-season stint in the NFL and a term as the president of the NFL Players Association from 2014 to 2020, he has solidified his legacy as a football icon.
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