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Athletics Department “Town Hall”

8:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 8 — 3rd Floor Varsity Club

Thank you, Stan. I’m so excited to be here with you today to celebrate your success! I want to tell you how proud I am of the work that you do everyday to bring positive attention to Florida State University.

And what a fantastic season we are having!

Our trip to the Rose Bowl this fall was sensational and the exposure for Florida State was phenomenal. We won the National Championship in women’s soccer and had a remarkable volleyball season.

We just watched our women’s basketball team set a school record with 32 wins and come within a couple of buckets of the Final Four. I’d like to add my congratulations to Coach Sue for being named AP Coach of the Year.

Our baseball, softball and sand volleyball teams are either in the Top 10 or right on the cusp. So, congratulations to Coach Martin, Coach Alameda and Coach Corso and their staffs.

Coach Trey Jones should be wearing a big smile out there as our men’s golf team is No. 1 after winning three straight tournaments.

I saw that we are No. 6 in the most recent Director’s Cup standings. I look at our results and wonder how in the world five schools are doing better than us at this point … good grief.

I recognize that all of you in this room — no matter if you are a coach, a trainer or a member of the staff — you all played a part in this success.

Starting at the top, I believe we have an excellent athletic director in Stan. We have an administrative team that is determined to do things the right way.

I know that the entire department takes its responsibility very seriously to provide our student-athletes and coaches with the very best support.

Perhaps most important of all, our athletics department administrators are as concerned about a student’s academic and social experience as they are the win-loss record he or she might produce.

Florida State places a strong emphasis on the “student” in “student-athlete.” This is an elite university. As we pursue our goal to rise in national stature until we are recognized among the Top 25 universities in the country, we will continue to expect a lot from our students — all of our students.

We want them to have the most meaningful college experience they possibly can at all levels, on and off the field.

We have a rich history of academic excellence here, and our student-athletes certainly are part of that tradition.

Last year:

  • nine of our teams achieved GPAs of 3.0 or higher.
  • 72 student-athletes were named to the Dean’s List and 14 were on the President’s List.
  • 70 Seminoles made the All-ACC Academic Lists.
  • AND Gage Smith in baseball, Colleen Quiggley in track and field and cross country, and Kassey Kallman in soccer were named the Top ACC Scholars in their respective sports — remarkable!

Our coaches demand a lot from their teams and players in order to compete at a national level. But they also are committed to following the rules and helping our student-athletes grow as people and citizens.

Make no mistake, I realize that we keep score for a reason. It’s important that we are successful on the fields, on the courts, on the tracks and in the pools.

But breaking the rules or allowing a lapse in judgment is a serious problem than can result in sanctions and reflects poorly on the entire institution.

I’m a Seminole, and I know what athletics means to this institution and this state. But it doesn’t mean everything. And it doesn’t mean anything if wins come at a cost later on in terms of reputation.

I want you all to know that I realize that none of the success we are achieving is a given. We are well positioned nationally, and we do it with budgets that trail some other institutions. That does not go unnoticed at Westcott.

In fact, if I’ve learned nothing else since becoming president, it’s that nothing in athletics goes unnoticed by anyone — particularly the media!

Thank you for all you do for Florida State University, and Go Noles!