March 8, 2011
By Scott Kotick, Seminoles.com
Could you imagine what Doak Campbell Stadium would look like without any fans during a Saturday in late November?
Or if no one high fived the players as they ran through the tunnel?
It’s the fans the make Florida State special.
So for the past few weeks, the Seminole Boosters and the Athletics Department have been hosting town hall meetings to reconnect with the fans, listen to their concerns, and welcome them back with open arms as part of the Florida State family.
“We’re trying to reach out to our loyal fans and supporters who have been with us for years,” Florida State Director of Athletics Randy Spetman said. “Some of the people today have been gone for awhile, and we need to understand why. We’re really excited they came.”
“It means a lot, it means they’re invested in the program,” Seminole booster Jeff Doxsee said. “With ten wins now, we’re back and we feel really good about the program.”
From a question and answer session inside the Seminole football locker room, to a photo opportunity on Bobby Bowden field, fans who have spent a few years away from the program were welcomed back to their alma mater and given the opportunity to be heard.
“I think any smart university does, you should always listen to your customer,” said Jerry Kutz, vice president for marketing and communications of the Seminole Boosters. “We felt good about doing this, and Randy Spetman and Andy Miller were great to support the idea.”
“We’re trying to show them where the program is, where it’s going, and give them an inside view,” Spetman said. “There are many people here today that have never been in the locker room, and they’ve been supporting the program for 20 years. So to show them what their dollars do, what it means to our program, and how it supports our student-athletes.”
“It was tremendous, it’s the first time I’ve ever been in the locker room and I’ve been coming to the games for over 40 years now,” Seminole booster Jack Davidson said. “Being an alumni of Florida State, it was really special to see the inner workings.”
And that’s what makes Florida State special. The fans are cared for and they are part of the family in Tallahassee.
It’s not just coming to the game, it’s being part of everything that Florida State has to offer.
“It’s an opportunity to regenerate interest, and it gives them the feeling that they are cared for,” former football assistant coach Jim Gladden said. “We as a university, the football and basketball teams and all of our sports program, we need them.”
“In general, I think they’re addressing the concerns, the economy, and of course they can’t do anything about the economy, but at least they’re trying to look for alternatives,” Doxsee said. “They’re looking for solutions and feedback, which is important.”
So with a ten win season, a number one recruiting class, and enthusiasm wherever you look, Florida State is back and we need the fans now more than ever.
“The sky is the limit, I really believe that the coaches have done an outstanding job, they’ve recruited well, they’re young and energetic,” Gladden said. “They’re enthusiastic guys who know their business and really know their football.”
“We did really well and I was very impressed with the number of people who showed up,” Spetman said. “We’re doing another one in March, and we hope we get a great crowd then. We’ll continue on as long as people keep coming.”
“We’re just going to reach out and try to get everybody back in the fold,” Kutz said. “We want to fill Doak Campbell for the players and coaches, and for each other. It’s a lot more fun to go to the game when it’s a packed stadium.”
Saturday inside Doak. Why would you miss out? Tickets for the 2011 season are on sale now. Be part of the team and remember what it means to be a Seminole.