A week of mourning for Sean Taylor at the University of Miami culminated Saturday as students and members of the community came together for a candlelight vigil outside the BankUnited Center.
The school has planned a series of memorial actions and events for Taylor, including a banner which students have signed and that was presented to the Taylor family.
The vigil, immediately after Miami’s basketball win over St. John’s, featured speakers from the university, the football team and the family.
“Sean set an example — not just for football players, but for all student athletes,” said Emerson Davis, a swimmer and president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
Taylor was famous for his success in the defensive secondary at Miami and for the Washington Redskins. Head Coach Randy Shannon, Taylor’s defensive coordinator and the man who recruited him, shared stories about Taylor’s time at UM.
The most emotional moment came when Taylor’s girlfriend Jackie Garcia and father Pete Taylor came to the stage. Garcia, in tears, quickly thanked the crowd before leaving. Taylor spoke about the support the community has provided.
“Sean loved the U. He bled orange and green,” Taylor told the crowd. “My family is so, so, so proud.”
Taylor’s father ended with simple advice for the crowd:
“If you haven’t told a family member you love them, make sure you do.”
Matthew Bunch may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.