John D. Bridgers
As Florida State’s Athletic Director from 1973 to 1979, John Bridgers achieved many things for the Seminole Athletic Department, but perhaps none more important than his hiring of Bobby Bowden in 1976. Bridgers engineered the retirement of significant debt at FSU and was primarily responsible for FSU’s admission to the Metro Conference and for improving the football schedule. The football program went from an 0-11 record in 1973 to an 11-1 1979 mark. In the 1977-78 season, the football, basketball, and baseball teams all received post-season invitations, a feat claimed by only one other school that year and few in college athletic history. Bridgers was the unquestioned leader during a period of Florida State’s greatest leap in college athletic stature nationwide.