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FSU announces nine members of 2023 Hall of Fame class

Florida State University’s Athletics Hall of Fame will induct nine new members on Friday, September 8th

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 31 Women’s Miami at Florida State Photo by David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Florida State has announced its 2023 Hall of Fame class, with nine new members set to be inducted.

The honorees include: Ricardo Chambers (Track & Field, 2005-2007), Pedro Grifol (Baseball, 1989-91), Rodney Hudson (Football, 2007-10), Leslie Malerich (Softball, 1999-02), Tiffany McCarty (Soccer, 2008-12), Eduardo Perez (Baseball, 1989-91), Kelly Rowland (Soccer, 2003-06), Sue Semrau (Coaches and Admin, 1998-2020) and Dr. Frances Cannon (Moore-Stone Award).

The full release, per FSU Sports Info:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State University’s Athletics Hall of Fame will induct nine new members on Friday, September 8th, including a pair of standouts from major league baseball and legendary women’s basketball coach Sue Semrau.

Current Chicago White Sox manager Pedro Grifol and ESPN baseball announcer Eduardo Perez will be inducted with the 2023 Hall of Fame class for their careers as stars on Seminole baseball teams along with Semrau, the winningest coach in FSU women’s basketball history, and a former national coach of the year award winner. The class will include: Seminole Track and Field star Ricardo Chambers who still holds school records 17 years after his last race, All-American Rodney Hudson who was a four-year star on the offensive line and one of the NFL all-time greats as well, star softball pitcher Leslie Malerich and soccer legends Tiffany McCarty and Kelly Rowland. Longtime FSU professor and women’s athletics supporter Dr. Frances Cannon will be presented the Moore-Stone Award, posthumously.

The induction ceremony will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Dunlap Champions Club at Doak Campbell Stadium before the football home game against Southern Miss on Saturday. A limited number of tickets for the dinner and induction ceremony are available for $75.00 at this link.

2023 HALL OF FAME CLASS

Ricardo Chambers - Track & Field - 2005-2007

Pedro Grifol - Baseball - 1989-91

Rodney Hudson - Football - 2007-10

Leslie Malerich - Softball - 1999-02

Tiffany McCarty - Soccer - 2008-12

Eduardo Perez - Baseball - 1989-91

Kelly Rowland - Soccer - 2003-06

Sue Semrau - Coaches and Admin. - 1998-2020

Dr. Frances Cannon - Moore-Stone Award

Ricardo Chambers

Track & Field

2005-2008

Florida State Hall of Fame track star Ricardo Chambers was highly recruited as one of the nation’s top high school prospects out of Dwyer High School in Palm Beach, Fla, although born in Trelawny Parish in Jamaica

Chambers wasted no time in proving he would be one of FSU’s all-time greats earning All-ACC honors both indoors and outdoors as a freshman in 2005. In addition, he won his first two ACC Championships as a member of the Seminoles’ conference champion indoor and outdoor 4x400 relay teams. He also won both the indoor and outdoor 400 meters and finished fifth nationally at the NCAA indoors and fourth in the outdoors.

As a sophomore in 2006, Chambers was named Most Valuable Performer at the ACC indoor championships after winning the 400 meters and breaking a 14-year-old conference record in the process as well as the 200 meters. He also won the outdoor 400 meter conference championship and earned All-America honors after finishing second at the NCAA finals.

Chambers was the NCAA National Champion in both the indoor and outdoor 400 meters in his final season setting the FSU record in both the indoor (45.64) and outdoor (44.62) 400 meters in 2007. Remarkably, his times in those events are still the best in school history 16 years later. Earlier that season, he won the 400 meter ACC Championship both indoor and outdoors.

All told Chambers was a six-time All-American and nine-time ACC champion over his storied career before going pro following his junior year. He went on to compete for Jamaica in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.

Pedro Grifol

Baseball

1989-91

Pedro Grifol signed with Florida State out of Columbus High School in Miami, where he was Florida’s 1988 4A High School Player of the Year.

Grifol was a three-year letterman and starter behind the plate, earning second-team Freshman All-America honors after hitting .256 with 20 extra-base hits in his freshman campaign. Florida State reached the College World Series and finished third nationally in 1989.

After hitting .279 with 25 doubles, a triple and five home runs his sophomore season, Grifol was named to the All-Metro Conference Team.

Grifol was again named to the All-Metro Team and was a first-team All-American by Baseball America and the American Baseball Coaches Association as a junior in 1991. He started all 71 games at catcher his junior year, hitting .344 with 16 home runs, 18 doubles and 80 RBI. Behind the plate, he committed just one error in 653 chances for a .998 fielding percentage. FSU was again in the College World Series in 1991.

One of the best defensive catchers in college history, Grifol threw out more than 40 per cent of runners attempting to steal, and his quick release and accurate arm prime reasons he was a sixth-round draft pick by the Minnesota Twins in the 1991 MLB Draft.

Grifol spent 10 seasons as a coach in the Kansas City Royals organization and won a World Series in 2015, the Royals’ first since FSU alumnus Dick Howser was managing Kansas City in 1985. In 2023, Grifol was named the 42nd manager of the Chicago White Sox.

Rodney Hudson

Football

2007-10

Rodney Hudson signed with Florida State in 2007 out of Rain High School in Mobile, Alabama, and immediately took over FSU’s left guard position, a stranglehold he would keep for all four years in the Garnet and Gold.

Hudson was one of the most decorated offensive linemen in FSU and ACC history, beginning his career with first-team Freshman All-America honors and then becoming a first-team All-American in 2009 before a Unanimous All-America season in 2010. He was the conference’s first offensive lineman to earn first-team All-ACC honors three times. He was a back-to-back Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner, taking the conference’s best offensive lineman recognition in 2009 and 2010, and his nine career ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors also were the most in conference history.

Hudson started 46 of the 47 games he played at FSU and helped lead the Seminoles to the 2010 ACC Championship game. The Seminoles won three bowl games in his career, including the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl over South Carolina to wrap up a 10-win season.

He was selected in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs and recently retired after a 12-year career that also included time with the Raiders and Cardinals. During his time in the NFL, Hudson played in 159 games with 143 starts, was voted to three Pro Bowls, made the playoffs three times and twice signed contracts making him the highest-paid center in the league.

Leslie Malerich

Softball

1999-2002

Leslie Malerich signed with Florida State after winning the state championship in Indiana and became one of FSU softball’s all-time greatest pitchers.

Malerich was an immediate contributor as a freshman in 1999 posting an 11-8 record and 2.03 era with four shutouts and 145 innings pitched. She emerged as the ace on the staff as a sophomore and had a 35-15 record with a 1.21 ERA. She set the school record that still stands today with 58 appearances that season and was MVP of the ACC Championships after leading FSU to the title. She was also named to the All-Tournament team at the NCAA Los Angeles Regional.

Malerich’s junior season was no less impressive and was highlighted by her selection as the 2001 ACC Player of the Year. She also earned second team All-America honors, was voted to the NCAA All-Region Team and All-ACC. She posted an impressive 26-3 record with a .72 ERA while only allowing 21 earned runs over 205.1 innings.

Her senior year, she led FSU to the 2002 Women’s College World Series while becoming FSU’s all-time leader in appearances with 179, innings pitched at 988.2 and wins 107 becoming just the 24th pitcher in NCAA history with more than 100 wins. Her appearances and innings pitched are still records today.

Malerich went on to play for the Italian national team from 2002-2009, highlighted by an appearance in the 2004 Olympics and three European titles.

Tiffany McCarty

Soccer

2008-12

Tiffany McCarty came to Florida State from Laurel, Maryland in 2008, and left as one of the most decorated players in the history of the Seminole women’s soccer program.

McCarty was a star for the Seminoles from the day she walked on campus and became a starter in the first match of her career. She scored 11 goals and added six assists for 28 total points as a freshman and it only got better from there. McCarty scored her single-season career-high of 18 goals as a junior and scored 11 goals or more in each of her four seasons as a Seminole. She averaged nearly 16 goals scored per season and totaled 14 career game-winning goals.

McCarty was named the 2008 ACC Freshman of the Year making her the first in school history as well as Freshman All-American. She earned First Team All-American honors in two of her final three seasons and finished her career as a three-time All-ACC performer. She led the Seminoles to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances – to the Elite 8 in 2008 and 2009 and the National Semifinals in 2011 and 2012. She is Florida State’s all-time leader in goals scored (63) and total points (150), third all-time for game-winning goals and is tied for 10th in assists (24).

McCarty has represented the U.S.A. at several different levels and was a member of the U.S. Under-23 national team in 2013. She was selected in the first round of the 2013 NWSL Draft by the Washington Spirit and is currently a professional player in Iceland.

Eduardo Perez

Baseball

1989-91

Eduardo Perez entered Florida State after signing with the Seminoles before the 1989 season out of Robinson High School in Santurce, Puerto Rico, where he was a three-time team MVP and hit .456 for his prep career.

A three-year letterman at Florida State, Perez was primarily a first baseman for the Seminoles, hitting .328 for his career with 30 doubles, four triples and 15 home runs. After hitting .261 over 66 games as a freshman in 1989, helping lead FSU to the College World Series, Perez improved to a .316 hitter as a sophomore in 1990, when he was named to the All-Metro Conference Tournament Team.

During his final season at Florida State, in 1991, Perez started all 71 games and hit .370 with 105 hits, 87 runs scored, 58 RBI, 19 doubles, two triples and 11 home runs, slugging .567 and reaching base at a .448 clip. Perez stole 30 bases as a junior and was named a second team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association and a third team All-American by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. FSU again reached the College World Series in 1991.

Perez was drafted in the first round of the 1991 MLB Draft by the California Angels, and he made his Major League debut for the club in 1993. The son of MLB Hall of Famer Tony Perez, Eduardo Perez played 13 seasons in the MLB with six teams before beginning his broadcasting career with ESPN in 2006.

Kelly Rowland

Soccer

(2003-06)

When Kelly Rowland signed with Florida State in 2003 out of Wallingford, Pa., she could not have known what was in store for her during her four-year career as a Seminole.

Rowland joined FSU, then one of the nation’s up-and-coming programs, as they were coming off a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament. She made her debut as a starter as a freshman in 2003 and, while defender, scored six goals with four assists. Rowland was named a First-Team Freshman All-American, was an ACC All-Tournament selection, and led the Seminoles to the College Cup for the first time in school history that same season. As a sophomore, she earned Second-Team All-America honors in 2004 and was a first team All-American as a senior in 2006. She is still the most prolific scoring defender in school history with double-digit points in each of her four seasons.

Rowland’s dominance on the field was a big factor in FSU’s growth into a national powerhouse with the first three College Cup appearances in school history coming during her career. The two-time All-ACC and three-time All-ACC Tournament team selection started each of the 96 games she played in as a Seminole and ranks in the top-25 for career goals, assists and points while totaling eight game-winning goals. Rowland led the Seminoles to 67 wins with more than half coming by shutout. She received the ultimate testament of respect from her teammates when she was voted team captain in her junior and senior seasons.

Sue Semrau

Women’s Basketball Coach

1997-2022

Sue Semrau was named head women’s basketball coach at Florida State in the summer of 1997 with the goal of turning around a program that had fallen on tough times.

Through her 24 seasons leading the Seminoles, she emerged as one of the nation’s top coaches who not only rebuilt the program but elevated it to a national power. Semrau guided her teams to five NCAA Sweet 16s, three NCAA Elite Eights and two ACC co-regular season titles. With “Coach Sue” at the helm, FSU recorded 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, including 15 in her last 16 seasons of coaching.

The Seattle, Washington, native created a new home for herself in Tallahassee – carrying a larger-than-life persona that made her a beloved figure in the Big Bend Community. Her personality is only matched by her coaching accolades, racking up eight consecutive 20-win seasons while in the rugged ACC from 2012-20 and 52 AP Top 25 victories. She was crowned the 2015 National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, WBCA and ESPNW, and was a four-time ACC Coach of the Year (2001, 2005, 2009 and 2015).

Semrau cared even more for molding her players in the classroom, with 43 All-ACC Academic honors recorded by her student-athletes under her watch. Two of her most prized awards for her community efforts included being named the 2013 Kay Yow Heart of a Coach Award recipient as well as the Samaritan’s Feet 2018 Barefoot Coach of the Year.

Semrau finished her career as FSU’s all-time leader in wins with 492 victories.

Dr. Frances C. Cannon

Moore-Stone Award Winner 2023

Dr. Frances C. Cannon was not only an academic pioneer over her teaching career at Florida State University but also one of the most influential leaders and biggest supporters of Seminole athletics, particularly the women’s athletic programs.Born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 1926, Dr. Cannon was an impressive athlete at Ft. Lauderdale High School and went on to graduate from Florida State College for Women in 1948. In 1967, she received her Doctorate from Columbia University.

Dr. Cannon served Florida State University for some 40 years: the first 10 years as an Assistant Professor and Recreation Specialist for Agricultural Extension Services and the next 30 years as an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor of Leisure Services and Studies. Her support for the FSU Alumni Association, the FSU Foundation and FSU Athletics was unwavering. In 1998, Dr. Cannon became heavily involved with the Seminole Boosters through the Committee of 30, which helped enhance FSU’s women’s sports programs, including funding several scholarships. In addition, she served as a member of the FSU Athletics Hall of Fame Committee.

Dr. Cannon, who was honored as a Professor Emeritus in 1990, was a pillar of support and faith for all who crossed her path. While her death in 2019 left a deep void in the thousands of hearts who knew her, her legacy of love and compassion will live on in those very same hearts.