Alumnus Jim Kelly, former Miami Hurricanes quarterback and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, returned to campus this weekend for the homecoming celebrations.
Kelly served as the grand marshal for Friday’s homecoming parade, as well as honorary captain for Saturday’s football game against the University of North Carolina, where he made a few remarks during halftime.
After graduating from the University of Miami, Kelly went on to be quarterback for the Buffalo Bills team in 1986.
After recently beating jawbone cancer, Kelly now has a staph infection in his bones for which he carries portable medical equipment. For Saturday’s green-out game, students across the stadium wore green “Kelly Tough” shirts to show their support. These shirts were given out at the game and were sold at various homecoming events.
Saturday was deemed “Kelly Tough” day, and Kelly was presented a $10,000 check at the game from the sales of the “Kelly Tough” T-shirts. This money was to benefit The Hunter’s Hope Foundation, which he started in honor of his son Hunter, who died at age 8 in 2005 from globoid cell leukodystrophy.
At the game, Kelly was also presented with a Miami Hurricanes jersey with Hunter’s name on it.
“I really haven’t heard that many cheers in this stadium for a long, long time,” he said as he took the stage during halftime for his remarks.
He thanked his wife and daughters for their support along the ride, as well as fans in Buffalo and Miami for their prayers.
“I know in Buffalo, New York, and right here in South Florida, the resiliency that you’ve had to continue to pray for myself and for my family … God bless you guys,” Kelly said. “And now we’re on the right track to making sure we turn the U all the way around.”
Kelly showed his optimism for the Hurricanes’ future by calling Saturday the beginning of the Hurricanes’ road to winning more national championships.