About Miami, Fla.
It is a city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat of Miami-Dade County. The 42nd largest city proper in the United States, with a population of 413,892, it is the principal, central, and most populous city of the Miami metropolitan area, and the most populous metropolis in the Southeastern United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Miami's metro area is the eighth most populous and fourth-largest urban area in the United States, with a population of around 5.5 million. Miami is a major center and a leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, the arts, and international trade. More About the City of Miami
About the football program
FIU began putting together its football program in Sept. 1999, when they hired former Miami Dolphin quarterback Don Strock to be FIU's Director of Football Operations and then hired him as the school's head coach a year later. FIU won its inaugural game on Aug. 29, 2002 against Saint Peter's College (New Jersey), 27-3. After the 2004 season, FIU moved up to the Division I FBS level and became a member of the Sun Belt Conference. The Panthers stayed in the SBC until this year when they became members of Conference USA. FIU has been to two bowls in the their relatively short history, appearing in the 2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (Detroit, Mich.) and the 2011 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl.
Head Coach Ron Tuner
The Panthers are coached by Ron Turner, who is in his first year with the program and is the school's third football coach. Turner, who enters his 37th season coaching in 2013, has spent 24 seasons at the collegiate level with nine of those seasons as a head coach with Illinois and San Jose State. In his college seasons, he has led or been an assistant on programs that went to eight bowl games and produced numerous All-Americans and NFL draft picks. Along with memorable appearances in the Rose, Fiesta and Sugar bowls, in addition to trips to the Aloha, Citrus and Micron PC bowls, Turner's collegiate career has also included a 2001 Big Ten Championship at Illinois and that season's Big Ten Coach of the Year honor. In 12 seasons coaching in the National Football League, Turner has been with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears.
The home facility for the Panthers is called Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium and seats 20,000 fans. The stadium is nicknamed "The Cage."
Omar Baez, Jr., NASA launch director for Launch Services Program at John F. Kennedy Space Center; Dr. Stephanie Barnes, President and CEO of Dow Corning; Andy Garcia, Academy Award nominated actor; Adolfo Henriques, Chairman/CEO of Union Planters Bank-Florida; Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River; Danny Pino, actor on CBS's Cold Case.
Something You May Not Know about FIU
The site of the original campus was an old abandoned air field. In the summer of 1969, founding FIU president Chuck Perry gathered three leaders who would help him create his vision for FIU at Tamiami Airport and set up shop in the former air traffic controllers' tower. The tower had no phones, no drinkable water and no furniture. President Perry decided that the control tower should never be destroyed and so it remains standing today at the center of campus, as FIU's Ivory Tower. From that single building on that abandoned airfield, FIU has grown to be one of the largest universities in the country.
Switched to defensive tackle from end ahead of spring practice ... enters 2013 listed prominently in the FIU record books ... school-record holder with 10 career quarterback hurries ... tied for fifth with four forced fumbles ... 23 tackles for loss for 84 yards are ninth in both categories ... nine sacks are sixth-most while 48 sack yards ranked ninth.
Enters 2013 only behind a few former quarterbacks in the FIU record book ... is No. 4 in pass completions (189), No. 5 in pass attempts (319), No. 4 in passing yards (2,503) and No. 4 in passing touchdowns (14) ... already holds the school record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (5).
Sam Miller CB - 5-10 - 180 Senior Miami, Fla. (La Salle HS)
Heads into 2013 as the veteran leader in FIU's defensive backfield with 15 career starts ... three career fumble recoveries tie for fourth all-time ... tied for 10th with 10 career pass break-ups.
Enters 2013 already rated as FIU's all-time leader in multiple offensive categories, and is poised to overtake several others during the season ... 2,156 career rushing yards are 39 shy of FIU's all-time rushing mark held by Rashod Smith (2,195) ... 441 rushing attempts and eight 100-yard rushing games are a school-record ... 13 rushing touchdowns tie for third-most ... his 54 career receptions by a running back are three shy of the top mark held by A'mod Ned (57), while his 545 receiving yards are a school-record ... 2,755 all-purpose yards are No. 5 all-time and 2,156 total offensive yards are No. 7 ... eighth in scoring (90 points) ... fifth in touchdowns scored (15).