CORAL GABLES — Paul Dee, Miami's athletic director from 1993-2008, died Saturday night after a recurrence of tongue cancer, the school said Sunday. He was 65.
"Paul was a good man and did a great job," former Miami football coach Jimmy Johnson told the Miami Herald. "He didn't just care about the football team. He cared about all the sports."
Mr. Dee attended his first Miami football game as a child in 1957. He graduated from Florida in 1970 with a degree in political science, earned a master's degree from Miami in 1973 and a law degree from there four years later. He became the school's general counsel in 1981 and served as it for 12 years.
As AD, he oversaw Miami's move from the Big East to the ACC as well as the construction of an on-campus arena. The Hurricanes won two national titles in football and one in baseball during his tenure.
For the past four years, Mr. Dee was a professor for Miami's School of Education and Human Development.
Mr. Dee was fondly remembered by two of his basketball coaches. Katie Meier credited him for his commitment to women's sports. During his tenure, he added women's soccer, volleyball and rowing.
"His vision for intercollegiate athletics was based on integrity and equality," she said in a statement released by the school.
Current Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton went 1-17 in Big East play in 1991-92 and 0-18 in 1993-94. But Mr. Dee ignored pleas to fire him. And Hamilton led Miami to the NCAA Tournament five times, reaching the Sweet 16 in 2000.
"Paul was an extremely intelligent man who put his heart and soul into that athletic department and treated everybody with such love and tender care,'' Hamilton told the Herald. "He always demonstrated faith in us as a staff even when things weren't going well. He didn't let outside sources persuade him. That is very rare in our business. He didn't believe in a quick fix.''
Softball: Florida was made the No. 5 overall seed and will host USF, Central Florida and Florida Gulf Coast in one of 16 NCAA double-elimination region tournaments. USF-UCF opens it at 3:30 Friday followed by Florida-FGCU. FSU travels to No. 12 seeded UCLA. It faces San Diego State at 6 Friday followed by UCLA-Hofstra. Tournament winners go to the best-of-three Super Regions. Those winners go to the World Series.
Men's tennis: Host Florida's men beat Harvard 4-0 to reach the round of 16 of the NCAA tournament. They face Ohio State Friday in Athens, Ga. … Visiting FSU's men fell 4-0 to Georgia in the second round of the tournament.