Randy Spetman is out as Florida State Athletics Director, ending a run that began in February of 2008. Florida State athletics performed well under Spetman, but many believed he was in over his head at a place like Florida State.
Florida State Statement
Effective today, Florida State University Athletics Director Randy Spetman will take on a new role as senior advisor to the Athletics Department.
During his five-year tenure, Randy established an enviable record for Florida State Athletics and has done so with the highest level of integrity and commitment.
I am pleased, therefore, that through mutual agreement, Randy will continue to advance the Athletics Department's Strategic Plan by working with a full range of stakeholders to gather additional information that will help shape the future of Florida State athletics.
He has agreed to take on this position through the length of his current contract, which ends in February (2014).
Randy is a person of incredible character and impressive dedication to athletics. He is truly appreciated by our student athletes, because they know he genuinely cares about their success.
The overall performance of our athletic activities under his leadership, as reflected by our stellar standing in the Director's Cup, has been the highest during the past three years in the history of the institution despite an athletics budget that is considerably smaller than athletics programs of peer universities.
What's more, Randy oversaw those accomplishments while always ensuring compliance with NCAA rules and regulations.
I have appointed Senior Associate Athletic Director Vanessa Fuchs as the Interim Athletics Director, and the university will soon begin a search for a new director.
Spetman's school bio:
Florida State Director of Athletics Randy Spetman can rightfully look at his four years at the helm of the Seminole athletic program with great pride. In his three full seasons as the Seminoles AD, FSU qualified for NCAA postseason play in every sport every year with just one exception. This past athletic year FSU equaled its highest-ever Director's Cup finish placing fifth for the second time in three years. The Seminoles were also just one of two schools to finish ranked among the Top 25 in football, men's basketball and baseball. Six Seminole teams made it to the final four in their respective sports and the ACC named six of FSU's student-athletes the top scholar-athlete of the year in their sport.
In 2010-11 Florida State athletics was the only Division I department in the NCAA to have all of its 19 sports participate in the NCAA postseason. It marked the second consecutive year that FSU sent every one of its athletic programs into NCAA postseason play. In addition, this past athletic year the FSU's men's basketball program won the ACC Tournament Title for the first time in school history, as did the Seminole women's soccer team.
After being ranked 15th nationally in the Director's Cup following his first year, FSU earned its highest ever ranking in 2009-10 when the school finished fifth overall. In 2010-11 FSU was in the top 10 once again finishing ninth in the nation. These were the first top 10 finishes in school history and in each of the last seven years the Seminole athletic program has finished higher in the standings than at any other point in program history. The first ever top 10 finishes under Spetman are so impressive as this has been accomplished during a time when budgets are as constrained at Florida's universities as they have ever been in the modern era.
In 2011-12 Florida State had a banner athletic year under Spetman's guidance both on the field and in the classroom. There were more than 50 All-America honors earned by Seminole student-athletes this past year, a number that was surpassed only by the amount of athletes selected to All-ACC Academic Teams.
"This was a wonderful athletic year on so many levels. Finishing in the top 5 for the second time in three years, something only four programs with three straight top 10 finishes have done, speaks to the commitment and excellence of this entire department, our coaches and especially our student-athletes," said Spetman. "To finish in the top 5 for a second time in three years and inside the top 15 every year I have been at Florida State is an amazing accomplishment. We are very proud to be amongst this select group of athletic programs and I know our fans appreciate the success we have had across the board."
In 2011-12 Florida State was one of only two schools to have football play in a bowl game, the men's team make the NCAA Basketball tournament and the baseball team play in the College World Series. That blend of rare success has been the norm the last three years at Florida State under Spetman. FSU was one of only eight schools to have its football team play in a bowl game, its men's basketball team selected to the NCAA Tournament and its baseball team selected for the NCAA Championships in 2010-11. That came on the heels of 2009-10 when the Seminoles were one of only three universities in the country to appear in a bowl game, a NCAA men's basketball tournament and advance to the baseball College World Series.
The success Spetman has experienced at Florida State begins with excellence in the classroom. In November of 2008, football's Myron Rolle highlighted the academic year when he became the second Seminole student-athlete since 2006 to earn a Rhodes Scholarship - one of the oldest and most prestigious awards for international study. It was the first time in nearly 25 years a Rhodes Scholar was awarded to a prominent college football player. Rolle is the fourth Florida State student ever to be named a Rhodes Scholar.
In the last three years alone there have been 18 Seminoles named the ACC's top student-athlete in their sport, 13 student-athletes have been named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, 25 have been named CoSIDA Academic All-District first team selections and well over 200 All-ACC Academic honors have been bestowed on FSU student-athletes.
The success FSU's student-athletes and coaches have achieved since Spetman's first full year on the job in 2009 is a credit to his leadership and direction for the department. In just four years, there have been more than 250 All-America honors earned by Seminole student-athletes, 18 ACC Coach of the Year awards, 18 ACC team championships and out of a possible 76 NCAA Tournament appearances, the Seminoles have advanced to NCAA postseason play 69 times.
Over the last two years FSU added three exciting facilities with the completion of a multi-purpose teaching facility and six indoor courts for the tennis programs, a softball hitting complex, and a new sand volleyball complex as well. In 2011-12 the football practice fields, which underwent a major renovation during the summer, opened for fall practice.
Spetman was introduced as Director of Athletics at FSU on February 4, 2008 following a national search. A former pilot and retired Air Force colonel, he took over after serving as Director of Athletics at Utah State from 2004-2008 and in the same position at the United States Air Force Academy from 1996-2003.
Spetman, 59, was lauded over his tenure at Utah State for the success of the Aggies' athletic programs both on the field or court and in the classroom. Utah State joined the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 2005 and claimed four conference championships in its first two years. USU's student-athletes led the WAC with a 78 percent graduation rate and maintained over a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
Under Spetman's leadership, Utah State made high profile improvements to the football stadium. He also spearheaded fundraising and building efforts for a $12.5 million facility and crafted a unique business partnership for medical health coverage that improved the overall coverage of USU student-athletes and reduced medical costs. In addition, he negotiated a lucrative new marketing agreement for Aggie Athletics with Learfield Sports Properties.
Spetman spent eight successful years as Director of Athletics at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. During his tenure, he administered the school's 27-sport intercollegiate program as well as the physical education and intramural programs. Under his command, the football team participated in four bowl games.
Born and raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Spetman graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1976. He earned three letters as a defensive end for the Falcons and was a team captain as a senior. He also won a pair of heavyweight Wing Open Boxing Championships. Spetman's 28-year military career took him around the world in a variety of positions. A command pilot with more than 3,000 hours of flight time, his range of positions took him from assistant football coach at his alma mater to Chief of Bomber Planning in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm to serving as Chief, Command and Control Division, Operations Directorate of the U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
A graduate from Squadron Officer School, he attended the National War College and earned a master's degree in National Security Strategy. Spetman also holds a master's in management and supervision from Central Michigan University.
He served as President of the National Association of Collegiate Director's of Athletics (NACDA) in 2009-10.
He and his wife, the former Becky Luhring of Des Moines, Iowa, are the parents of two grown children, Brian and Kim.