The Daily Nole

Hot Take Tuesday: FSU Has Multiple Active Coaches Worthy of Having a Facility Named in Their Honor

Ross Obley/FSU athletics

Throughout its athletic history, Florida State has had plenty of quality coaches.

The most well-known is of course, Bobby Bowden, who led the football program for 34 years. The field at Doak Campbell Stadium was named in his honor in 2004.

The same was true for the recently retired Mike Martin with Dick Howser Stadium. Martin led FSU baseball to 17 College World Series appearances and won more games than any coach in any Division I sport.

The list of deserving coaches however, does not stop there. In fact, the Seminoles have a number of coaches currently on campus who could make a pretty good case to have a facility named in their honor when all is said and done.

Both the FSU men’s and women’s basketball programs are currently led by the school’s all-time winningest coaches.

Heading the men’s program is Leonard Hamilton, who has more than 350 career wins to his name. Hamilton has not reached a Final Four, but he has advanced to the Sweet 16 three times and Elite Eight once. Prior to Hamilton’s tenure, the Seminoles had reached the Sweet 16 just three times in their entire history.

Hamilton is also the only coach in program history to reach the ACC Championship, doing so three times and winning the program’s only ACC crown in 2012. Last season, Hamilton led the Seminoles to program records for wins (29) and ACC wins (13). Hamilton is also the only minority coach in conference history to win multiple ACC Coach of the Year awards, which he claimed in 2009 and 2012.

Perhaps even more deserving is the women’s coach, Sue Semrau. In 22 seasons, Semrau has taken FSU to the NCAA Tournament 15 times, including in 14 of the last 15 years.

Semrau’s Seminoles have advanced in each of the last seven seasons. During her tenure, FSU has reached the Sweet 16 five times and the Elite Eight on three occasions. A native of Seattle, Semrau is a 3-time ACC Coach of the Year and was the AP National Coach of the Year for the 2014-15 season when she led FSU to a program-record 32 wins.

During her tenure, FSU has been ACC regular season co-champions on two occasions. With 451 wins to her name, Semrau has 58 percent of the Seminoles’ total wins as a program.

When it comes to men’s sports, the active coach with the best case for having a facility named in his honor may be track and field coach Bob Braman. Although the 2007 title was vacated, Braman led the Seminoles to three straight men’s outdoor national titles from 2006 to 2008.

Braman has led the FSU men to nine ACC outdoor titles, 10 ACC indoor titles and the ACC men’s cross country title in 2010. Under Braman, the FSU women’s program has won four ACC outdoor titles and three indoor titles.

The track is currently named in honor of former coach Mike Long, so finding a facility to name in his honor may be difficult. Perhaps FSU could go the same direction of the football and baseball legends and name the field in his honor.

The only other active head coach for Florida State with multiple national championships to their name is FSU soccer’s Mark Krikorian. With two national championships in the last five years, Krikorian is entering his 15th season with the program.

Under Krikorian, FSU has made the NCAA Tournament every season, which includes 13 trips to the Sweet 16 and nine College Cup appearances — the second most all-time. During his tenure, the Seminoles have won six ACC championships.

The only other active FSU coach with a national championship is softball’s Lonni Alameda. A 5-time ACC Coach of the Year, Alameda has led the Seminoles to ACC championships in each of the last six seasons and in 2018, coached the Seminoles to their first title as a fastpitch program.

At FSU, Alameda is just shy of 500 career wins. Her Seminoles have won at least 49 games in each of the last five seasons and more than 55 in four of those. During her tenure, the Seminoles have reached the Women’s College World Series three times.

FSU head softball coach Lonni Alameda coached the Seminoles to the 2018 national championship. (Maury Neipris/FSU athletics)

Finding a facility to name in Alameda’s honor may be difficult given that the field where the Seminoles play is named in honor of former coach JoAnne Graf. Graf coached FSU to AIAW national titles as a slowpitch program in 1981 and 1982. Finding a way to honor Alameda may be quite the worthwhile endeavor.

A few other FSU coaches who could be candidates on this list in time include beach volleyball’s Brooke Niles, men’s tennis’ Dwayne Hultquist and women’s tennis’ Jennifer Hyde. Both tennis coaches are the winningest in program history.

With more than 300 wins to his name, Hultquist has coached FSU to 19 straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Hyde has led the FSU women to 12 NCAA Tournament appearances in 15 seasons. In 2018, the Seminoles reached the Elite Eight for the first time in program history. They followed that up with a program-record 11 ACC victories in 2019.

Since beach volleyball became an NCAA-sanctioned sport in 2016, the Seminoles are one of just four programs to reach the NCAA Championships every year, which includes two national runners-up. Niles has coached FSU to a CCSA title each season.

For FSU’s big three men’s sports — football, basketball and baseball — what the future holds remains in question. Willie Taggart and Mike Martin Jr. are both very early in their tenures while Hamilton turns 71 next month and probably has his coaching days numbers. Overall however, FSU may be enjoying something of a “golden era” when it comes to having accomplished coaches across the spectrum. It’s not hard to make the case that many are deserving of one day having a field, stadium, playing surface or other facility named in their honor.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To pitch an idea, author a post or to learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at

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