January 22, 2009 - by
My Favorite Things With Coach Sue

Jan. 22, 2009

Florida State has a history of attracting the nation’s best coaches – and keeping them. Coaches like Bobby Bowden and Mike Martin have spent most of their careers building and guiding the Seminoles and Coach Sue Semrau is no different. After inheriting a 5-22 women’s basketball team in 1997, Coach Sue has transformed Florida State women’s basketball into one of the nation’s most talented and most respected programs. In the midst of her 12th season with the Seminoles, Coach Sue took some time to reflect on the highlights of her career so far and some of her expectations for the future.

Favorite opponent: “I would have to say the rivalry between us and the University of Florida is always great; a fun game to play every year. A lot of in-state rivalry games are fun, we get a chance to play Miami twice a year, but we only play Florida once a year. I don’t think I have any favorite opponents in our conference. Our conference is so tough. Year in and year out every single team is tremendous so it’s never fun and never easy to play in the ACC.”
Opponents she hasn’t competed against but would like to: “There are a lot of teams I’d like to face. I’d probably have to coach the rest of my life to coach against all of them. There are a lot of really nice perennial powers out there that we haven’t seen yet. We tried to schedule Oklahoma. I have a lot of respect for their coach. We’ve never seen Tennessee, obviously a team most people would recognize. We’re looking at possibly scheduling a series with Rutgers.”
Favorite road trip: “Italy was my favorite trip that we took. It was four summers ago and we were able to see so many different parts of the country and experience so many things. And really the thing that makes it my favorite is the joy I saw in players’ faces and being able to experience that for the first time and to know that we got to be a part of an educational process.”
Favorite NCAA Tournament host city: “Of course I’m going to say Stanford (Palo Alto, Calif.). That was the one where we left a winner. It was a tremendous experience for our players to be in another time zone and be successful in that time zone. We were there for quite some time and they treated us extremely well.”
Favorite victory: “I’m going to have to go back to the Stanford win because it was a difficult opponent in their home environment. We were in a difficult situation and I loved the way my team responded. I’d definitely have to put that up there.”
Favorite community service project: “Anything that has dealt with the underprivileged has been my favorite. We have so much at Florida State and we are so blessed with the things we are given. I think where much is given, much is required and we talk about that a lot with our team. To be able to go out and give to those who don’t have as much we do and provide opportunities for young kids that don’t have those privileges otherwise, I think that’s been my favorite in that area.”
Favorite team-building activity: “We’ve done a lot of different things with team-building but I think that team building really comes during hard times. Some of the things that we do to stick together during hard times have been the things that I will remember the most in my career.”
Her favorite marketing promotion over the years: “A basketball coach really likes to focus on the players and the game, but part of my job as the head coach is to make our program visible and I am willing, because of the passion I have for our program, to do anything it takes for that to happen. I have to say that seeing my name all over town was a hard thing for me in Project 3000, but I’m not sure that could overtake sleeping out in the elements for our “Tents for Tickets” campaign because I’m not a “great outdoors” woman.”
Favorite thing to do in the off-season: “I’m a big beach person. I absolutely love the beaches of the Gulf Coast. There isn’t a prettier place in all of the world than what we have right here.”
Favorite thing about Tallahassee: “The canopy roads, I think they’re so unique to this area. I’ve never seen anything like it. I drive to and from work on a canopy road. When I have a convertible and can drop the top down and look up, it’s just one of the coolest things there is.”
Favorite thing about Florida State: “It’s the “family” at Florida State that I love the most. The weather’s nice, but the weather without good people around wouldn’t be anything. It’s just such a tremendous environment. Not just the athletics department, but the entire university is such a family and such a community. I enjoy being a part of it.”
Biggest inspiration: “Honestly, the biggest inspiration I’ve had has been our 2004 team. The year we lost Ronalda Pierce, to Marfan sydrome. The way that my team responded, to come together and to lock arms and walk straight into tragedy and through the tragedy to triumph in the end, and have one of the best years we’ve had in school history. Those players and that team inspire me to do hard things on a daily basis.”
On the impact of Texas A&M win this season: “I don’t know if it’s a milestone as much as it is a springboard for this group of players. We’ve had big wins like that before but not with this group of players. We need to look at that on a yearly basis as something that we do – not only playing and beating the top ranked teams, but becoming one.”

Interview conducted by Britney Wright, FSU Sports Information

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