July 1, 2010
From the first soccer ball kicked in August to the final at bat in June, the 2009-10 Florida State Seminoles delighted fans in ways never seen before. As one of only two athletic programs in the nation (Texas A&M was the other) to see all of its teams advance to NCAA postseason competition in 2009-10, Florida State put together an athletic season that was nothing short of remarkable. The success the Seminoles enjoyed was further recognized with the announcement of the 2009-10 Division I Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup final standings where Florida State earned a record fifth-place finish, up 10 spots from its previous best finish of 15th place in each of the past three athletic seasons. Florida State earned 1087.50 points and scored in the maximum 10 women’s sports and tallied points in nine men’s sports, including 10 top-10 finishes.
On a national scale, only the Seminoles, fellow-ACC member Clemson and Florida placed their football teams in a bowl game, their men’s basketball team in the NCAA Tournament and their baseball team in the College World Series. FSU would stand alone if women’s basketball was included in the equation as Sue Semrau’s squad advanced further than ever before with an Elite Eight appearance. Neither the Tigers nor Gators even made the NCAA field.
As with the women’s basketball team, “advancing further than ever before” seemed to be a theme for Florida State athletics this year. In all, FSU had five sports advance further or finished higher in the NCAA Championships than ever before. Atop all of FSU’s athletic teams’ postseason finishes was Karen Harvey’s women’s cross country team with a second-place finish at the national meet. Volleyball capped off a stellar 2009 campaign as Chris Poole led the Seminoles to their first-ever regular-season ACC title and the team advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Jennifer Hyde’s women’s tennis team played their way to a historic Sweet Sixteen appearance and Trey Jones led the Seminole men’s golf team within a few strokes of playing for the national title and recorded their highest ever finish of No. 4 nationally.
FSU won ACC titles in baseball, women’s cross country, volleyball, men’s indoor track and field and men’s outdoor track and field. The Seminoles were ACC regular-season co-champions in women’s basketball and soccer. The Florida State football team extended its nation-leading streak to an amazing 28 straight bowl game appearances and defeated West Virginia in the Gator Bowl in what was legends’ Bobby Bowden’s and Mickey Andrews’ final game on the Seminole sideline.
Perhaps even more outstanding is that the unprecedented success in competition came along with a very successful year academically with nearly 53 percent of Florida State student-athletes earning a 3.0 GPA or better. In fact, following the spring semester, the overall GPA for all student-athletes was a 2.978. In addition, four Seminole student-athletes were named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, 10 earned All-District Academic All-American honors and five were named the ACC Scholar Athlete of the Year in their sport.
Florida State was one of just two ACC schools to finish in the Top Five of the Director’s Cup as Virginia placed third overall. The ACC’s North Carolina (7th) and Duke (10th) rounded out the top 10. The Directors’ Cup is presented annually by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), Learfield Sports and USA Today to the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country in NCAA Divisions I, II, and III and the NAIA. The 2009-10 winners were announced and awarded their Directors’ Cups at NACDA’s 45th Annual Convention in Anaheim, California. The winning institutions were Stanford in Division I, Grand Valley State (Mich.) in Division II, Williams (Mass.) in Division III and Azusa Pacific (Calif.) in the NAIA.
A complete listing of the accomplishments of Florida State athletics in 2009-10 can be found in the PDF above.