Dolphins come home to Miami Gardens | Sports

Table of Contents 2021 training campNat Moore Scholarship Endowment It’s a new day in Miami. The Miami Dolphins franchise has relocated its training complex from Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla., to Miami Gardens – literally walking distance to Hard Rock Stadium where they play on Sundays during football season. […]

It’s a new day in Miami. The Miami Dolphins franchise has relocated its training complex from Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla., to Miami Gardens – literally walking distance to Hard Rock Stadium where they play on Sundays during football season. The move was strategic.

“It’s a dream come true for me. I know when I brought the football team we wanted to do as much for the community as we possibly can, we wanted to be the best of the best in the NFL, and we want to win the Super Bowl. We are about two-thirds of the way, and we hope to win a Super Bowl in a short period of time – with an emphasis on short,” said team owner Stephen Ross during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Baptist Health Training Complex.

City of Miami Gardens elected officials were on hand, among others.

“This is not just a practice facility, this is now a homecoming for the Miami Dolphins back to Miami Gardens,” said Oliver Gilbert III, the city’s former mayor and the current vice chairman of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners.

The Miami Dolphins trained at St. Thomas University (then called Biscayne College) in Miami Gardens in the early 1970s before moving to the Davie location in the early 1990s.

“This on one of the greatest facilities built in Miami Gardens,” said Mayor Rodney Harris. “We are so pleased that the Miami Dolphins and Baptist Health chose Miami Gardens to be the true home of the Miami Dolphins.”

Former NFL player O.J. McDuffie going down the slide in the Baptist Health Training Complex.

Fifteen Miami Dolphins alumni also attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which included fan favorites such as NFL Hall of Famers Dan Marino, Dwight Stephenson and Jason Taylor, as well as Nat Moore and O.J. McDuffie.

“I love the facility. It’s amazing to see the progress from training at St. Thomas to Davie and to now be here in Miami Gardens,” said McDuffie. “This is where it’s supposed to be, this is home for the Miami Dolphins and this facility says it’s nothing but home.”

“I think other teams will be jealous and try to emulate,” said Stephenson.

The $135 million facility includes a 125,000-square-foot training facility and 92,200-square-foot indoor field. It also features an outdoor practice area with two full natural grass fields; a two-story weight room with a cardio deck; a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy area; a dedicated recovery area including cryotherapy and isolation tanks; lush landscaping; and shaded spectator seating for up to 2,200 people.

2021 training camp

“Big Papa Pump”

“Big Papa Pump” and other Miami Dolphins fans at training camp in Miami Gardens, Fla.

The Miami Dolphins have now opened its facility to the public for fans to attend practice sessions. On July 31, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa welcomed spectators before the morning practice session. This will be Tagovailoa’s first career training camp since last year’s was canceled due to the pandemic. Several fans were thrilled to put on the aqua and orange again, but none more than Miami Dolphins’ biggest fan, Thomas “Big Papa Pump” Phillips.

“I’ve been waiting for this training complex a while, and I remember when they were at Biscayne College. Having the practice facility at the grounds of the stadium will help the team,” Phillips said. “My expectations this year for the team is for them to be a lot better than last year, and we will take it one step at a time.”

This year’s training camp will feature theme days for each practice with special programming, alumni appearances, food trucks, team store shopping, a DJ and giveaways on select days. The parking gates open at 9 a.m. with seating 45 minutes later. Practice hours are 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. For a detailed training camp schedule and to secure free tickets, visit

Nat Moore Scholarship Endowment

Nat Moore

Nat Moore (second from left) with three of the latest recipients of his namesake scholarship program, Amanda Pellach, Tanaé Price and Chiyle Briggins (L-R).

During training camp Aug. 2, the Miami Dolphins announced its Nat Moore Endowment Scholarship and Vocational Grant recipients. The program is a continuation of the Nat Moore Foundation, which started in 1998 to serve South Florida youth. In its fourth year under the Miami Dolphins Foundation, its mission is to provide local youth with the financial resources needed to pursue avenues of education and training for employment readiness.

The scholarships are primarily distributed directly to recipient colleges, which helps ensure awarded students remain in school. The maximum award amount is $10,000 and is disbursed in increments of $2,500 per year for four years. Both the scholarship and the grant are expressly designed to bolster efforts to bridge a gap between receiving financial assistance and obtaining a degree or vocational diploma.

The 2021 Nat Moore Endowment Scholarship and Vocational Grant recipients are:

  •  Stracey Aurelien (Lake Worth Community High School) will attend the University of Miami to study health science.
  •  Chiyle Briggins (Doctors Charter School of Miami Shores) will attend Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) to study computer science and software engineering.
  •  Alyssa Huott (Boca Raton Community High School) will attend the University of Florida to study anthropology.
  •  Amanda Pellach (Boca Raton Community High School) will attend Penn State University to study veterinarian and biomedical sciences.
  •  Tanaé Price (Miami Norland Senior High School) will attend FAMU to study business administration.
  • Jada Ray (Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School) will attend Georgia State University to study music management.

“The world is in a good place as long as we help and train the young people that will be the future decisionmakers,” said retired Dolphins great Moore. “And if we don’t do that and things go awry then it is our fault.”

“I look forward to obtaining the HBCU experience as both my parents attended HBCUs,” said Price. “I believe that I will be able to thrive by being around people that see a future in myself and push me to be successful.”

“As a kid I always loved technology,” said fellow award recipient Briggins. “This scholarship will help me immensely. It will help me focus more on what I need to do in the classroom instead of outside to support being in the classroom.”

Lashell Coykendall

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