Fans of college basketball stand up and rejoice! March Madness has returned for one shining moment and an opportunity to celebrate all things hoops and college sports hoopla.
My own Gators went dancing again this year — third straight year under Head Coach Mike White — even after a rough campaign through the conference that garnered 17 wins during the regular season and two more during the SEC Tournament. The dramatic tournament win over LSU in the quarterfinal — and a near miss in the semifinal — got us officially off the “bubble” and into the big dance. At one point, 21 teams were vying for just seven slots that final weekend and well, we were happy to accept our invitation.
The Gators missed making the Sweet 16 with a loss to Michigan after a victiory over Nevada.
While my love of college basketball (and football and gymnastics and softball and well, you name it when it comes to Gator sports) dates back to when I first set foot on the University of Florida campus in 1986. We were not very good and about the only time I went to games was when Shaq was in town to provide us a beat down. But, even as a college freshman, I was about to fall in love with a place that would not only shape me personally and professionally, but make me a lifelong Gator and Gators fan.
When I moved to Miami to begin my career in 1992, my first stop was at the University of Miami, and talk about sports lore.
Wow! The Hurricanes had won national titles in football and baseball, of which my Gators had done neither at the time. Since then we have added three in football, two in basketball and one in baseball, a point of pride for any Gator and passionate sports fan.
And, I was lucky enough to parlay that fanaticism for sports into service to my alma mater at the local and national levels. It also opened doors that I never dreamed could be unlocked, including working for the local Super Bowl Host Committee and Orange Bowl Committee, where I led our volunteer recruitment, training and deployment efforts for four different host committees and games.
Today, nearly 20 years later, I am happy to be back in the fold with the NFL and local host committee, led by Rodney Barreto. I am proud to be leading our engagement and recognition efforts as we work to recruit 10,000 volunteers for what is shaping up to be a 10-day celebration of all things pro football, including the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the NFL. Super Bowl LIV will arrive in Miami in February 2020, but the work already has begun, and it is my honor to be part of the community effort.
That is where you come in. That is right — YOU! While the groundwork is being laid right now for much of the screening, selection and training processes, our recruitment efforts have begun and you already can sign up to be part of Super Bowl 2020.
Moreover, the big game will be here before you know it. Less than a year away, we already are busy recruiting, planning for two full days of interviews in May for our team captains, led by Honorary Volunteer Coach Dan Marino, and then a massive training and pep rally in the Fall. In between, there will be a lot of work, but there is no greater reward than showcasing South Florida to the world during Super Bowl LIV.
So, make plans to join us to find out what is in store for No. 54 and be a part of the crew that shines a spotlight on our hometown!
For more information on signing up to volunteer, see below:
The Miami Super Bowl Host Committee is looking for high energy, enthusiastic volunteers who are passionate about football, love the South Florida region, and can commit to three or more shifts during Super Bowl week, Jan. 25- Feb. 2, 2020. The volunteer team will be led by a Miami legend Dan Marino.
All volunteers will act as Miami Super Bowl ambassadors across South Florida, including locations such as Downtown Miami, Miami Beach Convention Center, South Florida airports, various hotels, fan events, and beyond. Volunteers will receive a complimentary volunteer uniform kit, including jacket, polo, backpack, hat, water bottle, and more.
You don’t want to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Apply today!
For more information, visit our website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.