June 10, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
The Florida State Department of Athletics announced the hiring of Bob Braman as its new track and field coach Tuesday. Braman, who just completed his third season as FSU’s cross country coach, takes over for Terry Long who is retiring after 19 seasons as the program’s head coach. Braman brings 18 years of head coaching experience to his new post and is a 14-time coach of the year. Longtime FSU throws coach Harlis Meaders will be promoted to the position of associate head coach at FSU.
“Our search process produced three outstanding finalists, which put us in an enviable position,” said Dave Hart, FSU Athletics Director. “We’re pleased that Bob (Braman) is our head coach and that he will keep an excellent staff together as we continue to strive to excel in track and field.”
“It’s quite an honor to be selected to succeed a legend like Terry Long here at FSU. My goal is to continue on the path of excellence that he has set for us, and I’m pleased that we will be able to keep our entire staff together in that quest,” said Braman. “I want to thank coach Long for bringing me here three years ago and I want to thank Charlie Carr and Dave Hart for putting their faith in me to lead this prestigious program.”
Braman is coming off his most successful season at Florida State. He led the women’s cross country team to its first-ever NCAA championship appearance after a second place showing at the NCAA South Region Championship. Florida State completed the regional just two points behind champion Tennessee.
Last season Braman helped four Seminole distance runners become national qualifiers. All-American Natalie Hughes recorded the fastest time in the 1500m by any collegiate freshman in the U.S. Under Braman, Vicki Gill became the first ever Florida State women’s cross country member to achieve All-America status en route to a 15th place finish at nationals in Greenville, S.C.
“My immediate goal for the program is to defend our ACC Men’s Track Championship and to try and raise the women’s program one spot to that ACC Championship podium,” said Braman. “My goal for the Cross Country program is to compete for ACC championships for both Men’s and Women’s teams and to be an annual NCAA Top 20 finisher.”
Braman takes over an FSU track & field program that has captured the last two men’s ACC titles and a men’s team that swept all three major conference awards in April. The women’s team finished second in the ACC outdoor championships for the second straight year and overall, FSU qualified in 23 athletes in 19 events for this weekend’s NCAA Track & Field Championships.
“I want to take yet another opportunity, as we transition to new leadership, to salute Terry Long for his many years of service and guidance,” said Hart. “He certainly leaves a very healthy and successful program as he retires on the heels of much success, particularly these past few years. I am happy for him in that regard.”
Braman began coaching in 1983 as a men’s cross country assistant. He was promoted to head coach in 1985 and initiated the women’s cross country program in 1987. When South Florida began its track program in 1991, Braman assumed head coaching duties for that sport as well. Under Braman’s guidance the USF men’s cross country team won the last three Conference USA titles while the women’s team is the two time defending Conference USA champion. Braman coached the men’s and women’s cross country teams to a top 30 finish in 1999.
His men’s cross country teams also won six-straight conference titles between 1988 and 1993, three were in the Sun Belt Conference and three were in the Metro Conference. During his tenure at South Florida, Braman was honored as Coach-of-the-Year 14 times. His men’s cross country teams earned national rankings ten of the last 12 years, including a No. 5 national ranking in 1991, while the women’s teams were ranked four of the last six years. Braman has coached 41 national qualifiers in cross country, and 28 national qualifiers on the track, including two-time NCAA champion Jon Dennis (5000m 1992 and 1993).
Braman, 44, is married to the former Debbie Turner and has two sons, Steven (14) and Tyler (12). Braman graduated from the University of Florida in1980 with a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting. He was the captain of the Gator’s cross country team for three seasons and garnered All-SEC honors in cross country (1979 and 1980) and indoor track (1979). He was also the University of Florida’s record holder in the indoor three-mile run.