Miami announced the hiring of former Hurricane running back Alonzo Highsmith to an important — and new — athletic department role on Thursday morning.

Highsmith will serve as Miami’s general manager of football operations. He’ll work closely with Mario Cristobal on “administrative functions” of the football program, according to a release. “It is an honor to come back to the University of Miami and I am very humbled,” Highsmith said in a release. “The opportunity to work with Mario Cristobal and Dan Radakovich, as well as my passion and love for the city of Miami is what brought me back. I could not pass up this opportunity and this challenge.”

Highsmith played for 4 seasons at Miami from 1983-86. He rushed for 1,873 yards and 18 touchdowns over that span. He was also a threat out of the backfield, catching 92 passes for 977 yards during his career.

Highsmith has spent the last 23 working in the NFL. Most recently, he was in the Seattle Seahawks’ front office.

Bringing Highsmith back to Coral Gables is another example of the heightened investment that Miami’s football program has received in recent months. The Hurricanes also hired away Cristobal and athletic director Dan Radakovich from top programs.

“We are excited to welcome Alonzo back to Coral Gables.” Radakovich said in a release. “His extensive experience as an NFL executive will provide tremendous value to our football operations. In addition, we are looking forward to having him as a member of our senior administrative team.”