The mission of the Hurricane Club is to strengthen the University of Miami's committment to student-athlete excellence. Through the Hurricane Club, alumni, former student-athletes, and volunteers collectively seek to increase scholarship funding, improve facilities, and provide the operation and maintenance funding essential for all 17 varsity sports.
An average annual athletic scholarship at the University of Miami is $52,000. Annually, the Hurricane Club must strive to meet the scholarship costs for our 400+ dedicated student-athletes. Through gifts to the Hurricane Club we are able to raise funds that currently help offset the costs of athletics scholarships with a long term goal of fully funding our scholarship costs through annual donations.
As a member of the Hurricane Club, your charitable gift is tax deductible and affords you several benefits - priority seating, parking, members-only events, and other exclusive rewards. The greatest reward, however, is the direct and immediate impact you make on the lives of our student-athletes.
There are many ways to support our athletics program and become involved through the Hurricane Club. We truly appreciate all of your generous and continued support of University of Miami Athletics.
Blake James - Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development & Ticket Operations
Blake James is beginning his third season with the University of Miami Athletics Department serving as Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development and Ticket Operations. James is responsible for several aspects of the Canes athletics operations. He oversees the day-to-day operations of development, ticket sales and ticket operations. James is also a member of the Hurricanes' senior staff and provides sport supervision. James came to UM after spending five years (2005-10) as the Director of Athletics at the University of Maine.
Development | Major Giving
Jesse Marks - Associate Athletic Director for Development
Jesse Marks rejoined the University of Miami team in March 2010, now serving as Associate Athletic Director for Development.
Marks, under the guidance of Blake James, Sr. Associate AD for Development and Ticket Operations, is responsible for the management and daily operations of all development efforts including major/capital giving, endowment, annual fund and special events. Since 2010, the Hurricane Club has raised more than $19 million for scholarship and operational support and more than $15 million dollars to fund the Theodore G. Schwartz and Todd G. Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence, which is currently under construction and set for completion in 2013. Membership in the Hurricane Club has also grown over 18% to over 5,500 active members since 2010.
Jesse returned home to UM in 2010 after working at Wake Forest University in a similar capacity. Marks coordinated major gifts from the southeast region of the country for the Demon Deacons, and was responsible for increasing annual and capital gift revenue by nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
Prior to that, he served as the Assistant Athletic Director of Development at Florida International University, where he oversaw all development operations for the athletic department, including major giving, annual fund and premium seating. During his tenure at FIU, he was a member of the athletic department senior management team and his efforts saw total athletic giving increase by more than 80 percent.
Marks began his career with the University of Miami Hurricane Club, serving as Development Associate from 2004-06 and then as Assistant Director of Development for Annual Giving from 2006-08. At Miami, he managed all aspects of The Golden Cane Program, in addition to assisting with all annual fund operations. During this time at UM, annual giving increased by over 50 percent.
Marks has earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in sport administration from the University of Miami.
Chris Cohen - Director of Development for Major Gifts
Chris Cohen is currently in his 12th year with the University of Miami athletic department. Serving as the Director of Development for Major Gifts, Cohen is primarily responsible for raising funds for athletic department capital and special projects through the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of key supporters. He has been involved in fundraising for numerous capital projects including the BankUnited Center, Alex Rodriguez Park and the Schiff Tennis Center. Cohen also served a key role in the University's overall $1 billion-plus "Momentum Campaign" as part of the athletics team that was able to raise close to $90 million for the campaign.
Rick Remmert - Director of Alumni Programs
The University of Miami named Rick Remmert to the position of Director of Alumni Programs in August of 2012
Remmert officially returns to the UM Athletics Department after having previously spent nine years as the University’s Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Promotions from 1978-87.
Considered college baseball’s first full-time marketing director, the UM graduate was initially hired by legendary coach Ron Fraser to lead the team’s marketing efforts. Under the watch of both Fraser and Remmert, the program would set national college baseball records for season tickets sold, attendance and revenue, and led the nation in those categories for seven consecutive years (1981-87).
Since leaving his official capacity at UM, Remmert has worked with the Women’s International Tennis Association, Colorado State University Athletics, the Miami Seaquarium and Nova Southeastern University in administrative roles ranging from marketing to development. After creating and directing successful 25-year reunions for the Miami Hurricanes' 1982 and 1985 National Champion baseball teams, Remmert returns as Director of Alumni Programs.
In addition to his professional experience in various fields, Remmert has also served as a lecturer at UM and Saint Thomas University for courses in both sport marketing and business. An accomplished and published writer, Remmert earned his bachelors of arts in communications - journalism from UM in 1977.
Kristy Richie - Events Planner, Athletics Development
Kristy Richie joined the University of Miami team in September of 2011 as the Events Planner for Athletics Development.
Jennifer Urs - Assistant Director of Development
Jennifer Urs is in her first year as Assistant Director of Development at the University of Miami. She is responsible for cultivating relationships with existing and prospective donors at the annual giving level.
Jonathan Gombinski - Donor Relations Coordinator
Jonathan Gombinski is in his first year as the Donor Relations Coordinator where he helps oversee the day-to-day operations of the Hurricane Club. The previous year, he worked for the Hurricane ticket office as a ticketing assistant.
Emily Boone - Donor Relations Manager
Emily joined the Hurricane Club in 2012, after working in various capacities with the University of North Carolina Athletic Department since 2003. Emily oversees Annual Fund operations and external communications for the Hurricane Club.
Prior to working for the Hurricane Club, Emily was the Associate Director of Membership at The Rams Club at UNC. She was responsible for the management and coordination of tickets and parking assignments for Rams Club members, and the solicitation and cultivation of Annual Fund donors. While with The Rams Club, Emily was a part of an annual fund campaign that raised $11.5 million, and boasted a 94% donor retention rate. Emily also played a key role in the development and implementation of the Kenan Stadium Equity Seating Plan, and assisted in raising funds and selling premium seats that benefited the Kenan Stadium Expansion capital campaign.
A native of Brevard, NC, Emily currently lives in Coral Gables with her husband, Josh.
Hurricane Club | Hecht Athletic Center, 5821 San Amaro Drive, Coral Gables, Florida 33146 | Ph. 305.284.6699 | Fax 305.284.3838 | email@example.com