State Champs. Florida State needed to make a loud statement in Coral Gables against the Hurricanes, and did so thanks to three Jermaine Thomas touchdowns and almost 300 yards rushing on a muggy October evening. Miami fans began filing out of the stands early in the fourth quarter as the Seminole faithful turned Sun Life Stadium into a sea of garnet and gold. What’s better than beating one of your biggest rivals by 28 points on their home turf? Following that up with a 31-7 flattening of the Florida Gators in the home finale of the 2010 season. Senior QB Christian Ponder threw three touchdown passes and the Seminole defense forced five Gator turnovers to bring the crowd to its feet on a late November Saturday.
And it didn’t end there. Thousands of Seminole fans stayed in the stands to see their team hoist the gator head high and begin a celebration that Doak Campbell Stadium hadn’t seen in years. It was six years in the making, and the crowd partied like it was 1999 – which coincidentally was the last time that the Noles defeated both Miami and Florida in the same season, and in dominating fashion nonetheless. Jimbo Fisher’s team played their best football of the season against the Seminoles’ two biggest rivals, and asserted control over college football in the state of Florida. It wasn’t even close. The Noles outscored the Gators and Canes, 76-24. College football in the state belonged to the boys from Tallahassee.
November 13, 2010
After two consecutive conference losses, the Seminole football team was in desperate need of a victory as the Clemson Tigers rolled into Tallahassee. Nearing the end of the fourth quarter it looked like if Florida State wanted a win, they would have to get it in overtime. However, when you have a kicker who has a cannon for a leg, nothing is impossible and as Dustin Hopkins lined up for a 55-yard field goal to win the game, fans knew nothing was impossible. Hopkins had missed a game winner the week before, but thanks to an outpouring of support from teammates and fans, Hopkins didn’t stay down for long. Hopkins booted the ball through Pete’s Posts (the kick would have been good from 65) and the Garnet and Gold were back to their winning ways. Now all Hopkins had to worry about was avoiding being at the bottom of a dog-pile with his teammates.
November 22, 2010
Both the men’s and women’s Florida State cross country teams had a remarkable season as each finished as the national runners-up. For the women, the outcome continued what has been a string of dominance for head coach Karen Harvey’s squad. For the men, the improbable second-place finish – in which a tightly-packed group of Seminoles all finished the race at the same time — was the best finish in program history. It also marked the best finish by any men’s cross country team in the state of Florida ever. For both squads, it was a fitting end after the two swept the conference championships earlier in the season with two ACC titles.
November 23, 2010
The Florida State swimming and diving team had never hosted a night meet at the Morcom Aquatic Center until fourth-ranked Florida came to town in November. In an electrically charged atmosphere, the Seminoles did not disappoint as both the men and the women upset the Gators under the lights. The Garnet and Gold earned momentum early by winning both 200 medley relays as well as the 1000 free. Florida fought back, but could never dig themselves out of that early hole, and when the divers dominated the boards it was all but over. Freshman Tiffany Oliver highlighted the women’s performance by breaking the school record in the 100 free and senior Rob Holderness led the men, dominating the 100 and 200 breaststroke. It was just the second time in program history that the Seminoles had swept the Gators, and with a record crowd in attendance under the night sky it was Florida State’s stars that shined the brightest.
December 31, 2010
Any time you can when 10 games in a football season, that’s more than something to be excited about. Any time you can knock off a team from the big bad SEC to get that 10th win is even more satisfaction. Florida State did just that to cap off its 2010 football campaign, knocking off South Carolina, coached by old FSU nemesis Steve Spurrier, 26-17, to win the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl. Cornerback Greg Reid set the tone, delivering a devastating hit to South Carolina’s All-SEC running back Marcus Lattimore, which caused Lattimore to exit the game in the first quarter. Then, FSU tailback Chris Thompson took over rushing for 147 yards on 25 carries and a TD on his way to Offensive MVP honors.
Quarterback EJ Manuel sealed the win with a fourth-quarter TD toss to Taiwan Easterling, putting an exclamation mark on the Seminoles’ bowl win and a successful first season for head coach Jimbo Fisher. FSU finished the season 10-4 – the first 10-win season since 2003 – adding an ACC Atlantic Division title on the way. In all, it served as a springboard to what has the potential of being another special season on the gridiron for the ‘Noles in 2011.
March 21, 2011
It hadn’t happened since 1993 and many believe it was just the start of something very special for head coach Leonard Hamilton and the men’s basketball team. With a 71-57 victory over No. 5-ranked and second-seeded Notre Dame in a virtual home game for the Fighting Irish in Chicago’s United Center, the Seminoles advanced to the Sweet 16 of the most recognized tournament in all of college athletics – the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament – the biggest of the Big Dances. Florida State took control of the game early and never looked back. Junior Bernard James led the ‘Noles with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds as Notre Dame never found an answer for FSU’s suffocating defense. The Seminoles could not hide their smiles in a jubilant locker room after the game. Even Leonard Hamilton had to smile at this accomplishment as the ‘Noles laid the groundwork for future teams.
April 15-23, 2011
In a nine-day span in April the Florida State women’s tennis team proved they belonged among the elite programs in the nation. The Seminoles began their run on April 15 with a 4-2 victory against No. 4 North Carolina. Sophomore Noemi Scharle clinched the big win for the ‘Noles, but little did she know a bigger win was coming just two days later. On senior day at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center, the Garnet and Gold upset third-ranked Duke 4-2. After losing doubles, Florida State won four of six singles matches, capped by a clinching win from sophomore Amy Sargeant. After topping Wake Forest and No. 11 Virginia to begin the ACC Tournament, the Seminoles once again found themselves face-to-face with the Blue Devils. Yet once again FSU proved they could play with the best, topping Duke 4-3 as Scharle clinched another big match for the Seminoles. While Florida State would fall one point short of an ACC Championship, the team served notice that they are a force to be reckoned with in the ACC.
April 22, 2011
If there were any doubts about Sean Gilmartin’s great start to 2011, they were put to rest at Dick Howser Stadium against Duke. The junior was brilliant on the mound, allowing just three hits in eight innings, striking out a career-high 13 batters. Gilmartin literally made quick work of the Blue Devils as the Seminoles won 2-1 in just two hours and 20 minutes. Gilmartin finished the season 12-2 with a 2.09 ERA and was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft. All-American honors continue to pour in for the lefty and in a season filled with great moments it was a Friday night in mid-April that stands above them all.
May 15, 2011
For all the success the Florida State softball program has attained even within the last decade, the Seminoles entered the 2011 ACC Championship with a seven-year conference title drought. FSU made appearances in the title game in 2006, 2009 and 2010, but had fallen short against the likes of North Carolina State (2006) and Georgia Tech (2009-10).
However, at this year’s championship in Atlanta, FSU’s recent postseason fate changed. The fourth-seeded Seminoles were dominant in their opening-round matchup against fifth-seeded Virginia Tech, winning 9-2 behind the effective pitching of senior Sarah Hamilton. FSU then defeated eighth-seeded Virginia, 12-5, to set up its championship game against No. 2 seed North Carolina.
Pitting two of the top pitchers in the ACC in Hamilton and freshman Lori Spingola, FSU used three crucial RBIs from freshman Courtney Senas, including a game-breaking two-run home run in the sixth inning, as the Seminoles went on to win 4-1 over the Tar Heels. ACC All-Tournament Team MVP Sarah Hamilton paved the way by going 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA in the conference championship, while Senas, senior first baseman Jen Lapicki and freshman catcher Celeste Gomez joined Hamilton on the all-tournament team.
June 10, 2011
The Florida State men’s outdoor track team finished as the national runner-up by just one point in June after a memorable and record-breaking performance. Junior Ngoni Makusha was the star of the entire meet, capturing three total National Championships. He started off by breaking the Drake University Stadium record in the men’s long jump with a personal-best leap of 8.40 meters. The next day, his 100m dash broke the sound barrier as he unleashed a 9.89 time in the race. That mark was not only his career best and an NCAA Championships record, but it was also the fastest – yes, the fastest – 100m dash in the history of collegiate track.
By winning the 100m dash and the long jump, he joined track royalty’s Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis as one of the few to ever win both. Makusha then capped off the meet by running the second leg of the National Champion men’s 4x100m relay. His unforgettable save on the first handoff proved to be the difference between fifth and second place for the Seminoles. Not to be forgotten, junior Maurice Mitchell won the men’s 200m dash with the fastest wind-aided time in the world in 2011, 19.99. The strong performance in Des Moines, Iowa propelled FSU men’s program to its first John NcDonnell Award, an annual honor given to the top track & field/cross country squad in the entire country.
|Sport||Record (ACC)||Current Ranking||Final Ranking|
|Baseball||46-19 (21-13)||#7 B. America||—|
|Basketball (M)||23-11 (11-6)||—||#19 ESPN/USA Today|
|Basketball (W)||24-8 (11-4)||—||#20 ESPN/USA Today|
|Cross Country (M)||—||—||#2 USTFCCCA|
|Cross Country (W)||—||—||#2 USTFCCCA|
|Football||10-4 (6-3)||—||#17 AP, #16 USA Today|
|Soccer||16-6-1 (6-2-1)||—||#7 NSCAA|
|Swimming (M)||8-1 (2-0)||—||#22 CSCAA|
|Swimming (W)||9-2 (3-0)||—||—|
|Tennis (M)||9-15 (4-8)||#44 ITA||#47 ITA|
|Tennis (W)||16-9 (10-5)||#12 ITA||#15 ITA|
|Track (M)||—||#3 USTFCCCA||—|