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FSU women’s basketball head coach Sue Semrau to retire

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Florida State Seminoles women’s hoops will have a new head coach for the first time in over two decades

Florida State Seminoles vs Missouri State Lady Bears Photo by Andrew Wevers/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Florida State Seminoles women’s basketball will, for the first time in over two decades, have a new head coach.

Longtime leader Sue Semrau, who began coaching at Florida State in 1997, announced her retirement on Monday, ending an illustrious run at the university that included 16 NCAA Tournament appearances and a National Coach of the Year honor in 2015.

Semrau has been a fixture of the program and university over her 24-year career, with her resignation ending a tenure long enough that she was the longest-employed head coach in the athletics program. She was vital in establishing FSU’s “Paint It Pink” campaign, in which several FSU women’s teams don pink jerseys, later auctioned to help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for breast cancer awareness, research, and treatment.

“It’s been a joy and a privilege to be the head coach at Florida State University,” Semrau said. “Thank you to the amazing players and the talented and diligent members of our staff, you have given me millions of moments to cherish, and friendships for a lifetime. The countless supportive and hard-working administrators, faculty and staff have enriched my life.

“Our precious fans embrace us, fight with us and represent this great university with passion. The excellent camaraderie of the coaches I worked with at FSU shaped me. I still remember on my interview Coach Bowden sitting with me and telling me that we could do this; and that he would help me. And he did. More than I could have imagined.

“I walk away eternally blessed by the life I lived while being the head coach of Florida State. I am Nole Blooded and am proud to be a Seminole forever.”

A sampling of her accomplishments, via her Seminoles.com bio:

• CAREER RECORD: 470-271 (.634)

• Associated Press, WBCA and ESPNW National Coach of the Year (2015)

• Four-Time ACC Coach of the Year (2001, 2005, 2009, 2015)

• Women’s Basketball Coaches Association President (2013-15)

• Guided FSU to 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, including 15 in her previous 16 years (Does not include shortened season in 2020 due to COVID-19)

• Five NCAA Sweet 16s, three NCAA Elite Eights and two ACC co-regular season titles

• 52 AP Top 25 victories at Florida State

• All-Time Winningest Coach in FSU History

• 2013 Kay Yow Heart of a Coach Award Recipient• 2018 Barefoot Coach of the Year

• 8 consecutive 20-win seasons from 2012-20; 14 total 20-win seasons at Florida State

She missed the 2020-2021 season, taking a leave of absence to care for her mother, and was replaced in the interim by former Seminoles hooper Brooke Wyckoff, who led FSU to a 10-9 record and NCAA Tournament in a COVID-altered season.