Florida State Director of Athletics Randy Spetman can rightfully look at his first five years at the helm of the Seminole program with great pride. This past year, FSU athletics was the only Division I department in the NCAA to have all of its 19 sports participate in the NCAA postseason. Florida State has now sent every one of its sports into postseason competition for the second consecutive year, once again something no other school can match. In addition, this past athletic year the FSU's men's basketball program played in the Sweet 16 for the first time since the 1992-93 season, while both the men's and women's cross country teams finished second in the nation as did the men's outdoor track and field 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. This past year FSU was in the top 10 once again finishing ninth in the nation. These are the first top 10 finishes in school history and in each of the last six 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 was accomplished during a time when budgets are as constrained at Florida's universities as they have ever been in the modern era.
In 2010-11, Florida State had a banner athletic year under Spetman's guidance. 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. This comes 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.
"We are blessed with a great staff, quality student-athletes and the best coaches in the nation and that is evident by all of the honors and successes we've celebrated over the past two years," said Spetman. "I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish and excited about the fact that we can achieve even more. Our goal is to perform at the very top level both academically and athletically and we have been able to do that in a very challenging economic environment. Finishing in the top 10 in the Director's Cup the last two years and producing over 130 All-ACC Academic Team honorees in that span is proof of our progress towards those goals."
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 just his second full academic year, Spetman's vision of performing among the nation's best academically and athletically continued in 2010-11. Florida State finished with three national runner-up team finishes, four ACC Team Championships, three ACC Coach of the Year honors, more than 60 All-America honors, three CoSIDA first team Academic All-Americans, four ACC Scholar-Athletes of the Year and 69 All-ACC Academic team selections.
Football's Christian Ponder was named the ACC James Tatum Award winner as the top scholar athlete among all ACC football players. Jennifer Dunn (Cross Country), James Ramsey (Baseball) and Ciaran O'Lionaird (Outdoor Track & Field) were also named the top scholar athletes in their individual sports by the ACC last year. Three Seminoles earned CoSIDA Academic All-America first team honors and seven other FSU athletes were named academic all-district by CoSIDA.
This past year FSU added two exciting facilities with the completion of a multi-purpose teaching facility and six indoor courts for the tennis programs and a women's softball hitting complex. In 2011-12 the football practice fields, which underwent a major renovation during the summer, will open 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, 58, 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, Co. 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.