Miami football just got richer.
As if pro bowl linebacker Jonathan Vilma didn't help the Hurricanes enough during his playing days (one national title and an appearance in another), he is giving $450,000 to his alma mater, the school announced on Tuesday.
In honor of the generous gift, the new football lounge at the Theodore G. Schwartz and Todd G. Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence will be named the Jonathan Vilma Football Players’ Lounge.
“On behalf of the University of Miami, I’d like to thank Jonathan for his support and generosity,” Miami AD Shawn Eichorst said in a prepared statement. “He left his mark on the field as one of the very best to wear a Hurricane uniform and his commitment to this project will only elevate his legend and legacy.”
Vilma led the Canes in tackles three straight seasons from 2001-03, including a career-best 133 tackles in 2002. During Miami’s 2001 national championship season, Vilma started 11 of 12 games at middle linebacker and finished with 87 tackles. He recorded nine tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble in Miami’s 37-14 Rose Bowl win over Nebraska that season. In seven NFL seasons, Vilma has recorded 779 tackles, 9.5 sacks and 11 interceptions. He has recorded more than 100 tackles in six of his seven professional seasons and was a starter on the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV championship team in 2009.