Everyone knows Ben Roethlisberger went to Miami University. When Big Ben makes the playoffs, most people at Miami will know he is in the playoffs.
Former Miami athletes not named Ben Roethlisberger are also having extraordinary professional careers. Some are in their first few years and some have been in the pros a while, but all of them are making RedHawk fans proud.
Former Miami ice hockey players abound in the National Hockey League.
Former standout Dan Boyle has had a monstrous career since leaving Miami in 1998. Boyle is in his third year playing for the San Jose Sharks. Boyle has also played for the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers. In the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, Boyle represented Team Canada on the national team and came away with a gold medal.
Boyle is joined on the Sharks roster by Tommy Wingels. Wingels flew away from the RedHawks nest in 2010 after his junior season. The Sharks are in second place in the Western Conference and a legitimate threat to bring home a Stanley Cup.
Recent NHL signee Andy Miele is a member of the sixth-seeded Phoenix Coyotes. Miele has yet to see NHL action but could potentially be part of a deep playoff run.
Ryan Jones left Miami in 2008 and joined the NHL. Jones has bounced back and forth between AHL (the NHL’s development league) and the NHL. This season he played 81 games for the Edmonton Oilers, notching 18 goals and 7 assists.
Andy Greene has played his entire NHL career with the New Jersey Devils organization since leaving Miami in 2006. This season, Greene notched 23 points for the Devils in 82 games played.
Shifting from the rink to the diamond, former Miami baseball standout Adam Eaton has had a prolific spring so far. Eaton played for the Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training and hit a home run in a March game against the Cincinnati Reds. Eaton was also awarded the Aurelio Rodriguez Award. The award is given by the Diamondbacks to the “Diamondbacks minor league player who best exemplifies character on and off the field, who is a good teammate and who comes to the ballpark every day ready to play.” The award is given in honor of former gold glove winner Aurelio Rodriguez, who died in 2000.
Eaton will likely spend the season playing with the Visala (Calif.) Rawhide, an advanced Class-A team.
In football, there are two players who aren’t quarterbacks for the Pittsburgh Steelers having strong professional careers.
Tom Crabtree, a wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers and 2009 Miami graduate, earned his first Super Bowl ring this year. Crabtree caught four passes for 61 yards and had 10 tackles during the 2010 season.
Jacob Bell is an offensive lineman for the St. Louis Rams and started all 16 games for the Rams in 2010.
Whatever the future might hold for Miami athletes, they definitely have some large shoes, cleats and skates to step into in the professional ranks.