AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. – David Coburn’s title has changed, but his priorities are the same.
Coburn, named FSU’s athletics director last week after holding that job in an interim role since September, is in the midst of his first tour through the ACC’s spring meetings here at the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island.
In his first public comments since receiving his new designation, Coburn said that he hopes that removing the “interim” tag will provide a sense of stability for FSU’s athletics staff, coaches and community as the department moves forward.
Beyond that, the items on his agenda are more or less the same as they were when he first took his post nine months ago:
“Get to budget stability, repair the relationship with the boosters and, in the immediate future, hire a baseball coach,” Coburn said.
“Those are the main things.”
And when a reporter noted that it sounded like an ambitious checklist, Coburn smiled and said, “It’s been going on for eight months.”
Indeed, in regard to FSU Athletics’ relationship with its fund-raising arm, Seminole Boosters, Inc., Coburn was candid when he said:
“It’s no secret that we’re working on that relationship.”
“We’re working on a restructure,” Coburn elaborated, “and the president (FSU president John Thrasher) has made that clear. As has the Chairman of the Board (Ed Burr).
“We are deep into that with our boosters right now, and it’s going well. I think we’re going to get there in the near future, actually.”
Coburn is also well aware that, as May inches closer to June, baseball season will be winding down and that FSU will have to settle on legendary coach Mike Martin’s replacement.
And although he didn’t tip his hand too much about the search process, Coburn said that both he and Thrasher are “comfortable” with where things stand.
Martin’s Seminoles are entering the last week of the regular season and will play in the ACC tournament next week in Durham, N.C.
“I think this is one of the premier programs,” Coburn said, “and I think that we’ve had a level of interest in that job that reflects it. So, I think we’re going to be able to make a good hire.”
A few other points of interest …
Speaking of those coaches, count Hamilton as one who is happy to see Coburn hold the top job on a permanent basis.
“I think President Thrasher and David, when he was the (chief of staff), they’ve always been extremely supportive,” Hamilton said. “They have a love and respect for Florida State, but also of the athletics department. So, I think it’s an excellent transition for him – going from the administrative side, where he brings that wealth of experience and talent understanding for how the other side works – and then he brings that to the athletics department …
“That can’t do anything but enhance our position as an athletics department.”