With 2008 coming to a close, Seminoles.com wanted to recap the stories that made headlines from the past year. Here is your chance to vote for what you believe to be the Top Story from 2008. Voting closes December 19th so vote now and vote often. Results will be displayed the week of December 22nd.
Randy Spetman Named Director of Athletics At Florida State
February 4, 2008
Florida State University President, Dr. T.K. Wetherell, introduced Randy as the university’s new Director of Athletics on February 4, ending a national search that began in December. Spetman, a former Air Force colonel, takes over at FSU after serving as Athletics Director at Utah State since July 1, 2004 and at the United States Air Force Academy from 1996-2003.
“Randy Spetman has a strong record of leadership with honesty and integrity. His experience and organizational and management skills set him apart as one of the best athletics directors in the country,” Wetherell said. “We’re very pleased that he is joining the Florida State Family.”
Spetman, 55, was lauded over his tenure at Utah State for the success of the Aggies’ athletic programs both on the field or court and in the classroom. Utah State joined the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 2005 and Utah State claimed four conference championships in its first two years. Even more impressive is the fact that USU’s student-athletes lead the WAC with a 78 percent graduation rate and have maintained over a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
Seminoles’ Westrup Earns All-America Honors In Women’s Golf
May 24, 2008
Florida State University junior golfer Caroline Westrup earned All-America Second-Team Honors as announced by the National Golf Coaches’ Association at its annual banquet following the final round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Tournament. It marks the third consecutive season Westrup has earned All-America honors making her the first three-time All-American in Seminole women’s golf history. She earned All-America First-Team Honors in both 2006 and 2007 and All-America Second-Team honors this season.
In addition to earning All-America honors for the third consecutive season, Westrup was also named to the All-ACC team earlier this season. She is the only player in school history to be a three-time All-America and a three-time All-ACC honoree.
“I am very honored to be named an All-American for the third time in my career,” said Westrup. “To be the first three-time All-American in school history is something that I am very proud of knowing the tremendous history of this program and the great players who have played their collegiate careers at Florida State. To be the first three-time All-American at Florida State is very humbling because of the success of this program, the great success of the players who have played at Florida State and the success those players have earned during their professional careers.”
OMAHA BOUND! Seminoles Headed To 19th College World Series
June 8, 2008
Senior Ryan Strauss pitched six innings of scoreless relief and seniors Buster Posey and Jack Rye hit long home runs to lead Florida State to an 11-4 victory over Wichita State and into the College World Series for the first time since 2000. The Seminoles won the best two-out-of-three games series by a 2-1 margin after losing the first game. The Seminoles outscored the Shockers 25-8 in their two victories after losing the first game 10-7.
It marks the 19th trip to the CWS for Florida State and the 13th under head coach Mike Martin. It marks the third time the Seminoles have advanced to the CWS out of the Super Regional format which was instituted in 1999.
The Seminoles scored six runs in their first at bat in the top of the first inning. A three-run home run by Rye scored shortstop Jason Stidham and Posey to make the score 3-0. After three consecutive walks to first basman Dennis Guinn, left fielder Mike McGee and designated hitter Stephen Cardullo, the bases were cleared for the second time in the inning on a three-run double to left center field by second baseman Tommy Oravetz to make the score 6-0.
Three-Peat – Men’s Track and Field Wins Third Straight National Title
June 14, 2008
With the team’s third national championship on the line, there was no one else the Florida State men’s track & field team would have wanted in the blocks than senior All-American Walter Dix.
Ten points shy of a guaranteed tie and 11 points out of their third-consecutive national victory, the Seminoles needed two things to happen in the men’s 200m dash: sophomore Charles Clark needed to finish the race, and Dix needed to win it all.
They got both.
Dix flew around the north bend of the track at Drake Stadium and crossed the line in 20.40, four-hundredths of a second ahead of his nearest competition, giving him his third consecutive outdoor victory in the 200m. The win also gave Dix, the most decorated runner in Florida State history, his 18th All-American honor and his eighth national championship.
Seminoles’ Posey Wins Dick Howser Award As Top Collegiate Baseball Player
June 14, 2008
Buster Posey, Florida State’s slugging catcher and Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year as well as 2008 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine’s Academic Baseball Player of the Year, is the 22nd annual recipient of the Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Whitney Bank.
The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) selected Posey in a vote of over 300 members of the NCBWA and Dick Howser Trophy Committee from an initial field of more than 700 nominees in 2008.
The presentation was made prior to the Seminoles’ first game of the 2008 NCAA College World Series against Stanford at Rosenblatt Stadium.
Terry Horner Wins One-Meter At U.S. National Championships
July 24, 2008
Florida State diver Terry Horner is adding to his list of accomplishments by winning the one-meter springboard championship at the Kaiser Permanente U.S. National Championships in Pasadena, Calif.
“It’s awesome, I started out slow during the competition and wasn’t diving the best that I could,” Horner said. “I just tried to stay focused and consistent while I was diving and it all paid off for me in the end. I’m pretty happy.”
“Terry did a really good job of not missing any dives,” FSU diving coach Patrick Jeffrey said. “He stayed consistent and he did some really great dives. I was very proud of him and especially proud of the way he has been training out here.”
Garnet & Bronze! FSU Sprinter Walter Dix Wins Olympic Bronze In The 100m
Aug. 16, 2008
Never doubt Walter Dix.
Questioned countless times for not turning professional after his phenomenal junior year or after he injured his hamstring in the spring, the Florida State sprinter proved his merit against the best runners in the world on Saturday (August 16). Using his world-class closing speed, Dix passed the majority of the field in the final 40 meters of the finals of the 100m at the Summer Olympics to bring home the bronze medal with a personal-best time of 9.91.
“We’re just so unbelievable happy for Walt,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “He’s the last of a breed of collegiate athletes that have done it the right way and this is his reward. He didn’t get off to the greatest of starts, but as the whole world now knows, very few people can close a race like Walt.”
Seminoles’ Kittleson Finishes Second At US Amateur
Aug. 24, 2008
Florida State University golfer Drew Kittleson, who begins his sophomore year of classes on Monday morning, was defeated by Danny Lee by a 5 and 4 score in the championship finals of the 108th U.S. Amateur Championship on Pinehurst No. 2. Kittleson won five consecutive matches to get to the 36-hole championship match but was unable to stop Lee who is currently ranked as the No. 1 amateur player in the world.
With his finish as a finalist in the event, Kittleson will most likely receive an invitation to play in the 2009 Master’s Championship at Augusta and earned an automatic exemption into the 2009 U.S. Open and the 2009 U.S. Amateur Championships.
“If there was one tournament you would want to get second this is definitely it,” said Kittleson after the match. “It’s got the most benefits, that’s for sure. So definitely not a total loss, because I had an unbelievable time this week with everybody, the volunteers, USGA, it was a blast. I couldn’t have asked for anything else. I lived the dream for the whole week.”
Florida State Takes Top Honors At ACC Championships
Nov. 1, 2008
Florida State women’s cross country took top honors this morning as they were named the 2008 ACC Champions in the 6K conference run. The Seminoles grabbed five out of the top ten spots while also having two runners set personal records. The men’s team came in at fourth with one Seminole coming in the top ten.
Leading the women was junior Susan Kuijken who crossed the finish line at 20:11.0. Coming in shortly after was senior Lesley Van Miert who placed fourth with 20:32.0 and just three seconds shy of repeating her personal best record was sophomore Pilar McShine at sixth with 20:43.0. Linzi Snow came dashing in at seventh with 20:57.0 and finishing off the top ten for the Seminoles was senior Lydia Willemse at ninth with 20:59.9-a personal best. All five ladies earned All-ACC for their times in today’s race.
“We are really happy with the win,” said women’s head coach Karen Harvey. “I have been saying all week long we can not just focus on the outcome and they took that seriously today. I challenged them last night to really pack up as a group and they did it.”
The Florida State University’s Myron Rolle Named Rhodes Scholar
Nov. 22, 2008
High academic achievement? Check. Integrity of character? Check. A spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor? Check, check, check and check.
Florida State University student-athlete Myron Rolle, 22, is seemingly the living embodiment of the criteria established more than 100 years ago for the Rhodes Scholarship – one of the oldest and most prestigious awards for international study. The Rhodes Trust agreed, and today named Rolle one of 32 U.S. Rhodes Scholars for 2009 – the first time in nearly 25 years it has awarded the scholarship to a prominent college football player.
“I feel very fortunate to have been selected as a Rhodes Scholar,” Rolle said. “I’ve learned so much just by going through the process of application and interviews, and I am a better person for it. The interview process requires candidates to evaluate their long-term goals and plans, and it has made me think about how I can make the most impact in terms of service to society. The whole experience has been inspiring, and I appreciate the assistance of so many faculty and staff at Florida State as well as the encouragement and support of my football coaches.”