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The Hurricane nation is in mourning after the sudden passing last night of Paul Dee, who who served as Director of Athletics at the University from 1993 to 2008. He was 65 years old.
"The entire University of Miami community is saddened by the loss of Paul Dee," said University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala. "A proud alumnus, he will be remembered for his distinguished career and service to the University as Vice President and General Counsel, Director of Hurricane Athletics and a member of the School of Education faculty."
Dee, who earned his master's degree in education in 1973 and juris doctorate degree in 1977, was currently a member of the School of Education faculty after having served the University in several roles. He served as Director of Athletics from 1993-2008. Prior to that, he was Vice President and General Counsel since 1981. He was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame and was a member of the Iron Arrow Society, UM's most prestigious honor.
During Dee's tenure as Athletic Director, UM won three national championships-two in baseball (1999 and 2001) and one in football (2001). He led the successful efforts to raise University of Miami student-athletes' academic performance, and today every sports team surpasses the NCAA's Academic Progress Report's minimum standards. Dee helped spearhead UM's move from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference. Under his leadership, the University significantly improved its athletic facilities, including building the BankUnited Center and renovations to Mark Light Field at Alex Rodriguez Park. Dee was active in the NCAA and the BIG EAST Conference, serving on several NCAA Committees and was Chair of the BIG EAST Football Conference for two years.
"We lost a teacher, leader, friend and a truly loyal man today. Paul Dee devoted every ounce of energy and passion to the University of Miami over many, many years. The Hurricane family sends its condolences and grieves along with his family and friends," said Shawn Eichorst, Director of Athletics at UM.
Before joining the University of Miami, Dee was with the Miami law firm of Mershon, Sawyer, Johnston, Dunwoody & Cole and was a law clerk for Chief U.S. District Judge Charles Fulton in Miami. Dee leaves behind his wife Cathy, and son Terrance, who practices law in Miami.
Funeral services are pending. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Paul T. Dee Fund for The University of Miami Athletics Department and the School of Law. Please send donations to the University of Miami, Advancement Division, P.O. Box 248073, Coral Gables, FL 33124.
Women's Basketball Head Coach Katie Meier:
"Paul Dee was as generous, kind and patient as anyone I've ever met in athletics. His vision for intercollegiate athletics was based on integrity and equality. I will miss my mentor, advisor and friend."
Women's Tennis Coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews:
"Paul Dee touched my life both personally and professionally. Without Paul believing in me I would never be in the position I am today. The University of Miami family has a lost a great man and a true Hurricane."
Baseball Coach Jim Morris:
"I'm very sad and shocked to hear the news. I heard about it 10 minutes before game time. He was a guy who gave me a chance to go to Miami, and he was very good to me."