Will to win marked by careful preparation
By Charlie Barnes, Executive Director - Seminole Boosters
It’s time to start talking about the Dynasty again. No, not the one that lasted fourteen years. Not the Dynasty of Top Four finishes and ten-eleven-twelvewin seasons. That Dynasty and Doak Campbell both rose to glory together. It’s the next Dynasty that deserves our attention now. Some who follow these things closely share the feeling that by 2009 we will have climbed back out of this current unhappy stretch of inconsistent seasons.
Seminole Booster President and CEO Andy Miller always said his job is to take advantage of Seminoles’ success. We were prepared to take advantage of Bobby Bowden’s first Dynasty. And, as the Coach whose win-record Coach Bowden surpassed to become the all-time leader said, the willingness to prepare is even more important than the will to win.
Our Dynasty of legend began with the 1987 season. More precisely, it began on January 1st, 1988 when we defeated Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl to record our program’s first “major” bowl win and cap an eleven-win season and a #2 national ranking.
Seminole Boosters and the Department of Athletics were prepared to take advantage of the last Dynasty. Now, we’re investing money to prepare for success again.
The hiring of Jimbo Fisher and other hand-picked coaching lieutenants represents an extraordinary financial investment by Seminole Boosters. With Coach Bowden’s approval a succession plan is now in place, and Jimbo Fisher has assembled an offensive staff of proven professional position coaches. A year ago the old weight training & strength program was completely replaced top to bottom; likewise the old recruiting program. The results in each arena have been immediate and dramatic.
A top priority for Coach Bowden and Coach Fisher is construction of an enclosed practice facility. Tallahassee is very nearly the lightning capital of the world; too many precious practice days are lost to the whims of weather, and our competitors are busy building protections of their own. Our Athletic Department has engaged consultants to price and site an appropriate building for the Seminoles.
New game day enhancements will fire the enthusiasm of Seminole fans. The big video screen on the main scoreboard has been quadrupled in size and Doak Campbell now features a video board in the south endzone. Five hundred feet of sparkling new ribbon boards ring the stadium’s inside walls. And Director of Athletics Randy Spetman has hired a producer/director to orchestrate the entire game day experience including video and audio cues for the fans. “We’re in show business,” says Spetman. “Everything about Seminole football should be like a Broadway production.”
When the football team moved into Burt Reynolds Hall in 1987 it was a showcase, the envy of rivals across the south. Times have changed and the NCAA has changed the rules for athletic housing. Seminole Boosters is looking into enhanced housing for our student-athletes, always with an eye toward competitive recruiting.
Other innovations have been added as well with Seminole fans’ convenience and budget in mind.
We have engaged online partner Gameday Travel to help you make all your room reservations, home and away, for all Seminole sporting events and graduations. Gameday will help you locate hotels with convenient locations, and identify hotels with discounted rates and favorable occupancy rules. You can easily access Gameday now via the Seminole Boosters Web site.
As a Booster you are able to access the new Digital Ticket Exchange through the Boosters Web site. You can go online, buy and sell unused game tickets with other Seminoles for market rates. It prevents fans from other schools from buying our tickets and gives our fans the chance to deal direct with fellow Seminoles. There’s no mailing fuss or will-call window hassle; the tickets are bar-coded so all transactions are instantaneous. All Seminole sports should be on line this fall.
This new magazine, Unconquered, is also a part of the preparation. The old tabloid-format Report to Boosters served Seminole fans well for a generation, but the Internet changed everything. Unconquered is a high quality magazine you’ll be proud to display in your home. It chronicles a program inspired by fresh ambition.
The upcoming 2008 football season is more of a mystery than any in recent memory. It might be a pretty good year. On the other hand…well, it might not be pretty good year. But the overhaul that began late in 2006 is taking hold now. Give it one more season, and then expect the Seminoles to impress. 10 September 2008