As we continue with our Countdown to Kickoff, we come to a number that has been featured on both sides of the ball: 59.
The cover photo athlete for today’s number, LB Mike Smith played for the Canes from 1996-1999. He was a player who helped shepherd Butch Davis’ Miami team that was on probation through a tough time on the field.
In his 4 years with the Canes, Smith played in 33 games. He ended his Miami career with 162 tackles, 9 TFLs, 4 sacks, 3 PBUs, and 1 forced fumble. Playing with standouts such as Dan Morgan, Duane Starks, and others, Smith wasn’t the most talented player on the team, but he was a valued member of the Canes’ defense.
A local player who attended Columbus HS, Luis Cristobal played Offensive Line for the University of Miami from 1987-1990. If the name is kind of familiar, it should be: Luis is the older brother of former Canes’ OL and current CFB coach Mario Cristobal, who also attended Columbus HS.
Luis Cristobal was on 2 National Championship teams in his UM career and never lost a game at the Orange Bowl in his collegiate career. After a short stint in the NFL with the New York Giants in 1991, Luis retired from football and began a career in law enforcement.
Not only was Luis a great player and starting OL for Miami, but his son plays football for, you guessed it, Columbus HS and is a 2019 recruit to watch locally.
Last but not least with the number 59 is OL Art Kehoe. An offensive lineman in 1979 and 1980, Kehoe was a team captain for the Hurricanes after transferring in from Junior College.
While he suited up for the Canes, Kehoe’s largest contributions to The U were as a coach. After starting his coaching career as a grad assistant in 1981, the former offensive lineman coached OL at Miami for parts of over 30 seasons. Kehoe helped develop numerous NFL linemen, and had several players under his tutelage earn All-American honors while at Miami. Some of the All-American players coached by Kehoe: Bryant McKinnie, Joaquin Gonzalez, Richard Mercier, K.C. Jones, and Leon Searcy.
For his work as a coach (though his status as a UM Alum is also noteworthy), Kehoe was inducted into the UM Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
That’s all for today.