Fit as a fiddle at 63 and on Saint Patty's day, Miami Hurricane coach Jim Larranaga , who looks like an Irishman but is of Cuban descent made history today with his team , bringing Miami Hurricane basketball their first ever ACC title.
Below are coach Larranaga's little known Cuban connections via Greg Stoda The Palm Beach Post
"Larranaga had met Miami businessman Jorge Mas while working at a Michael Jordan fantasy camp. It was Mas who called Larranaga when the Miami job opened upon Frank Haith’s departure for Missouri, and it was Mas who asked him to send UM his résumé.
Larranaga, though, happened to be in Erie, Pa., at the time, watching his son, Jay, coach a game in the NBA’s Developmental League. “I don’t travel with my résumé,” Larranaga told Mas.
Jay had an idea. He told his father to cut-and-paste his online Wikipedia biography and submit it as an introduction. Larranaga, who was 14 years into a gig as head coach at George Mason and had taken the Patriots on a Cinderella run to the Final Four in 2006, did exactly that.
Mas saw to it that the document got to the necessary sets of eyes – from Board of Trustees members to athletic director to university president – and soon enough Larranaga was invited to Boston for an interview he didn’t think went particularly well.
He was wrong. Not long thereafter, the hire was made.
Sitting on a black sectional sofa in his BankUnited Center office amid pictures describing his personal and professional lives, Larranaga recalled thinking about the UM process as it began to unfold.
“Our university president at George Mason, Dr. Allen Merton, was retiring,” Larranaga said. “I was very close to him, and I remember considering that maybe it was a sign for me.”
There were other factors.
“We own a home in Sarasota,” Larranaga said. “My father was born and raised in Key West, and my grandfather is from Cuba.”