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    Committed To Excellence

    Jan. 3, 2013

    By Scott Kotick (@Scott Kotick),

    As construction begins on Florida State's newest facility, it is the latest in a commitment to comprehensive excellence for Seminole athletics.

    From the Morcom Aquatics Center to the McIntosh Track Building and the Scott Speicher Tennis Center, Florida State has continued to build the premier facilities in all of college athletics.

    "What we're all about is comprehensive excellence in all of our sports," director of athletics Randy Spetman said. "We're not picking one sport here and not the other ones, and I think that's something our coaches and student-athletes appreciate. And our alumni and fans appreciate that we want to be comprehensively excellent in academics, in the community, and athletics. And that's what gives us the most pride and we build off of each other in that way."

    "I think that's been a commitment here over the past 15 years or so, for not only the facilities but the quality of our coaches, strength and conditioning, and academics," associate athletics director Bernie Waxman said. "In every area, the concern has been what we can do to make our student-athletes great student and great athletes."

    And that's been the focus for the athletics department and Seminole boosters: building facilities that give every opportunity for Florida State student-athletes to succeed.

    Whether it's been the world-class batting cages at the softball complex, a new scoreboard at the Morcom Aquatics Center, or the all-new indoor tennis facility, Florida State's commitment to premier facilities has never been greater.

    And the most recent addition is the Dunlap indoor practice facility. Scheduled to be completed this fall for the beginning of football practice, it will help continue the Seminoles championship-level success for years to come.

    "It's huge because it changes the way they'll be able to do things," Waxman said. "When you have a lightning storm and it changes practice, that doesn't just effect practice. It effects study hall, it effects when they're going to eat dinner, it has a ripple effect. We'll have the ability to practice rain or shine, lightning or no lightning, hot or cold. It will be a huge advantage, and you'll never step in a hole, it's going to be a perfect field."

    "We couldn't do any of this without the Seminole Boosters who are funding this," Spetman said. "We're not being given state dollars to build these, this is the Seminole Boosters who reach down in their wallet and their good generosity to make sure that we can be successful and that our student-athletes can be the leaders in the nation."

    From football, to track and field, softball, tennis, swimming, Florida State develops the best in college athletics because of their commitment to excellence.

    And the best is yet to come. As a new strategic plan is in the works, Florida State looks to the future to see where they can improve and continue to cement themselves among the nation's elite.

    "Part of that plan is a five year facilities plan and what we need to look at to renovate," Spetman said. "Where do we need to keep it fresh? Where is the next place we need to look? We need to look at the football locker room again, it's been a number of years since we've done that. How do we dress that up? We now have the civic center which is huge for our basketball programs, and there's a huge enterprise in that with an art deco firm looking at how we bring that to state of the art. I think that's where we continue to look and look for our investments to be involved with that."

    "We keep a list, and our list is long of things we can do to improve our facilities," Waxman said. "Our greatest ambassadors of what we should do are our coaches because they're the ones that see it, feel it, touch it, play on it, and they know what works and what doesn't work. We may see something that looks pretty and I bring it to the coaches, and they said 'no, that's not what we need, what we need is this.' So yes, we have a master plan and part of that plan is to stay ahead of the curve in terms of what is the next thing that we want."

    So as Florida State looks ahead to future projects, one thing is certain. It will be excellent and will set the standard in college athletics.

    For generations to come, Seminole student-athletes will have the very best at their fingertips.

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