July 1, 2013
Seminoles.com Managing Editor
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Highlighted by on-field and in-classroom triumphs, the Florida State Athletics Department experienced another banner year in 2012-13.
Florida State finished 11th in the annual Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup that measures the overall success of each institution’s athletic programs. Florida State has finished in the Top 15 of the Director’s Cup standings in each of the last seven years, and joins Stanford, Florida, UCLA, Texas and fellow ACC school North Carolina as the only athletic departments to place in the Top 12 over the last three years.
Over the last five years beginning with the 2008-09 academic year, the Seminole Athletic Department has averaged a ninth-place finish in the annual standings (15th in 2008-09, fifth in 2009-10, ninth in 2010-11, fifth in 2011-12 and 11th in 2012-13).
As one of only six schools in the nation to finish in the top 15 of the Directors’ Cup the last seven years, all 20 of FSU’s sports — its coaches and student-athletes, included — are used to yearly success. And this past season was certainly no different.
No program in the country can claim the same wide-spread success as the ‘Noles. WIth at least 19 of the 20 teams punching tickets for NCAA play for the fourth year in a row in 2012-13, FSU is the only athletics program that can say it has reached the post-season in 74 out of 76 opportunities the past four years.
Included in those post-season trips was a women’s soccer squad that advanced all the way to the College Cup in late November. A short time later, the women’s indoor volleyball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in December and the football team captured its first BCS Bowl victory since the 1999 national championship team beat Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. The end of the fall semester also saw the women’s and men’s cross country teams finish fourth and fifth nationally, respectively.
In the spring, the women’s sand volleyball team advanced to its sport’s final four and the softball and baseball teams both made it to NCAA Super Regional play. The women’s basketball team advanced to the second round, too, and in track and field, the men’s and women’s outdoor teams finished ninth and tied for 29th at the national championships, respectively.
The ‘Noles also made some noise in the Atlantic Coast Conference, too. In 2012-13, Florida State won a combined six ACC regular-season or tournament championships with league titles going to the football, women’s soccer, women’s cross country, women’s indoor volleyball and men’s outdoor track and field teams.
The year also featured a program-best three tournament victories for the men’s golf team.
On an individual level, women’s soccer coach Mark Krikorian, softball coach Lonni Alameda, women’s cross country coach Karen Harvey and men’s and women’s track and field coach Bob Braman were all named ACC Coach of the Year in their sports. Men’s tennis coach Dwayne Hultquist also achieved ITA Southeast Region Coach of the Year honors.
A host of FSU student-athletes also obtained their own accolades.
Football’s Bjoern Werner earned consensus All-American honors and was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and Ronald Darby was named the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year. Kicker Dustin Hopkins also etched his name in the record books as he became the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer among kickers. The football team also had 11 players selected in the 2013 NFL Draft — an FSU school record for most picks in one year.
The women’s basketball team produced a league-high and school-record three All-ACC First Team selections and Chasity Clayton took home the conference’s sixth player of the year award. Softball’s Lacey Waldrop became the program’s first All-American since Sarah Hamilton in 2009.
On the volleyball court, Ashley Neff was named the ACC’s player of the year and Violah Lagat was also recognized as the league’s top performer in women’s cross country. Sprinter Dentarius Locke was named the ACC Men’s Outdoor Track Performer of the Year.
Baseball’s DJ Stewart was also recognized as a freshman All-American and men’s golf’s Hank Lebioda was named ACC Freshman of the Year. Same Watson claimed ACC Freshman of the Year for women’s outdoor track and field. Pavel Sankovich was named the ACC’s Men’s Swimming Championships Most Valuable Swimmer.
In total, 31 different FSU student-athletes were named All-Americans in their sport and 52 received All-ACC honors.
The ‘Noles also dominated in the classroom as five student-athletes — Jakub Zivec (men’s cross country), Gage Smith (baseball), Kelly Hensley (softball), Amanda Winslow (women’s indoor and outdoor track) and Michael Fout (men’s outdoor track) — were each named ACC Scholar Athletes of the Year. Women’s soccer’s Tiana Brockway, men’s tennis’ Andres Bucaro and women’s swimming and diving’s Kristine Polley each earned an ACC postgraduate scholarship.
Florida State produced a total of 85 All-ACC Academic honorees.