(WSVN) - It’s been a pretty big year for sports in South Florida, and a piece of jewelry took center stage. 7’s Mike DiPasquale is live in the Plex with a look back at the top sports stories of 2017.
The year had everything, from the Canes and the turnover chain that had fans rocking at Hard Rock Stadium, to the Marlins starting to hit rock bottom with many fans and the start of a fire sale to slash the payroll.
In 2017, you had Canes fans believe they were on their way back. Ten wins, ACC Coastal Division title, a first ever to the Conference Championship Games and an Orange Bowl appearance.
But this team may best be remembered for generating national attention with a chain.
Mark Richt, Miami Hurricanes head coach: “It is Miami. It’s Miami, it’s for the ‘U’ and all the gems and sparkles and all that kind of thing. That’s kind of how we roll down here.”
Also in 2017, there was a turnover of coaches with two traditional state powerhouses in college football.
At the University of Florida, Jim McElwain was fired in October. The Gators went on to hire Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen.
After eight seasons at Florida State, Jimbo Fisher left for a tenure $75 million deal to coach at Texas A&M.
FSU’s new head coach is Willie Taggart from Oregon.
The Dolphins, on their second year under head coach Adam Gase, had to overcome hurdles right from the start of training camp. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill re-aggravated a knee injury; he was out for the season.
Veteran quarterback Jay Cutler was signed to a one-year, $10 million deal with the Dolphins.
In October, video was posted on social media of offensive line coach Chris Foerster snorting a white powder in his office at Fins camp. He was fired.
Also in October, running back Jay Ajayi, the team’s leading rusher last year, was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The year also saw players from several NFL teams, including the Dolphins, taking a knee during a playing of the national anthem to protest social injustices.
In 2017, there was plenty of baseball news in Miami.
Marlins Park was the site of the All-Stars Game. All-Star Giancarlo Stanton ended up as the national MVP. He led the majors with 59 home runs.
When the season ended, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria sold the team for $1.2 billion to a group that included former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter.
Within a couple of months, Jeter started to slash the payroll. Stanton, Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna were all traded.
Derek Jeter, Miami Marlins CEO: “I would expect people to be upset at some of the moves that we’ve done, but I’ve said from the opening press conference that we were going to make unpopular decisions at times. Just know that we do have a plan moving forward, and we will stick to that plan.”
Also in 2017, the Florida Panthers hired new head coach Bob Bougher, who had the Cats stringing together wins in the month of December.
We also had four local high school football teams win state championships this year.
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