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George Mira

Inducted 2005

Known as “The Matador,” George Mira’s skill as a quarterback took his football career from Key West and the University of Miami to a professional career that spanned three leagues.

Born and raised in Key West, Mira was a three-sport athlete for the Conchs, an all-state player in baseball and football and all-county in basketball. He pitched two no-hitters in the state tournament to lead Key West to the FHSAA Class A state baseball championships, one of two in 1959 and 1960. Mira was captain of the all-state team in football, and ended his high school career with 93 passes for 1,357 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, but chose to accept a football scholarship to the University of Miami.

Mira quickly set the pace for the Hurricanes, leading the team to two bowl games and throwing for 4,633 yards and 28 touchdowns. The Matador was an All-American and a Heisman Trophy finalist in 1962 and 1963.

Mira was taken 12th overall in the NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers in 1964 and spent the next seven years in the league, with stops in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Miami. He was a backup quarterback for the 1970 Baltimore Colts team that won Super Bowl V, and was also a backup on the Miami Dolphins team that played in Super Bowl VI.

After leaving the NFL, Mira played for the Canadian Football League before joining the World Football League in 1984. He led the Birmingham Americans to a 1974 World Bowl title and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. The league folded in 1975, and Mira returned to Toronto and the CFL before retiring in 1978.

Mira is a member of the University of Miami Hall of Fame, Florida Sports Hall of Fame, and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Sports Hall of Champions, as well as the NFL Alumni Association and Players Association. He received the University of Miami Ring of Honor in 1997, and his No. 10 jersey has been retired by both Key West High School and the University of Miami.

Mira lives in Miami and hosts The George Mira Celebrity Golf Classic each year. Over 12 years, the tournament has raised more than $600,000 for youth programs in Miami-Dade County.