Florida State didn't wait long to find their next athletic director. Just a couple months after Randy Spetman stepped down and Vanessa Fuchs took over in an interim capacity, President Eric J. Barron found his man in former Duke Senior Deputy of Athletics Stan Wilcox.
Once a basketball player at Notre Dame, Wilcox earned a law degree from Brooklyn Law School and went to work at the NCAA league offices for a time before becoming an associate commissioner in the Big East Conference.
Prior to Wilcox's most recent position at Duke, he was the deputy athletic director at Notre Dame from 2005-2008.
“I am thrilled and very thankful to President Barron for affording me this great honor. I have followed Florida State athletics from afar and through the ACC Conference and have always been a big fan of FSU’s student athletes on the field and in the classroom,” said Wilcox via a Florida State press release.
“I look forward to continuing in the great tradition of previous Florida State athletic directors as well as addressing the challenges and opportunities that this outstanding athletics program will hold.”
FSU announced Wilcox officially this evening at 5:15. He spoke at length about the needs facing Florida State University in his opening remarks, highlighting economics and facilities specifically as places that the Seminoles needed to remain competitive.
President Barron spearheaded the search for Spetman's replacement. After narrowing the search down to four candidates, Barron and the search committee travelled to Atlanta to conduct interviews with the finalists.
Wilcox wowed them.
“I am excited about the future of Florida State’s athletics program under the direction of Stan. His exceptional portfolio of strategic planning and fundraising experience and his reputation as a motivator, effective communicator and facilitator, as well as a commitment to the education of our student athletes made Stan a clear choice,” said Barron.
That choice wasn't made known until this morning though. FSU contacted Wilcox early this morning with the news he was the guy and the rest of his day was a blur, he had to hurry, find a flight, make it to Tallahassee and within 12 hours of the call he was standing in front of media and his new colleagues shaking Dr. Barron's hand.
"I was in Durham, sitting at my desk, getting ready to go on a staff retreat," joked Wilcox.
Tonight he finds himself in Tallahasseee as the head of one of the biggest Athletic Departments in the country.
Barron becomes the first African-American AD in the history of Florida State University and one of just a handful minorities serving in that capacity anywhere in the country.
Quotes on FSU's new Athletic Director:
"Stan is a quality person and an excellent administrator with a wealth of experiences in college sports. In my opinion, Florida State has made an outstanding choice. It will be great to have him join the ranks of ACC Athletic Directors and lead FSU athletics."
– John Swofford, Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner
“I’m looking forward to meeting Stan and welcoming him to the Seminole family, said head football coach Jimbo Fisher. “I’m looking forward to us working together and continuing to build the great tradition of Florida State football.”
– Jimbo Fisher, Florida State University Head Football Coach
“I have watched Stan Wilcox perform at such an efficient level during his career and I knew that at some point he would have his own program to run.
I saw him grow as associate commissioner for football in the Big East when I was at Miami and then watched him excel as an associate athletics director at Duke since I have been at Florida State. I can’t think of a more qualified person to take over our program at this important time for both Florida State and the new ACC. With the growth of the ACC, it has the potential to become the greatest conference in the history of college athletics. We are very fortunate to have a person of Stan Wilcox’s character and experience taking over our program.”
– Leonard Hamilton, Florida State University Head Men’s Basketball Coach
“Florida State is gaining a highly seasoned professional in Stan Wilcox, who has an outstanding track record, ‘moving the needle’ at every turn. A truly gifted and well-respected leader, Stan has the distinct ability, relationship skills, and industry knowledge to be the ‘clubhouse leader’ within all of college athletics. Personally speaking, I could not be more euphoric for Stan, Ramona, and their very special family, for this is a magical moment for both the Wilcox family and Florida State University.”
– Kevin M. White, Duke University Vice President and Director of Athletics
“Over the past five and half years Stan and I have worked through many issues concerning intercollegiate athletics. I have a great deal of respect for his insight,
wisdom and demeanor which makes him an excellent decision maker. The staff and student athletes at FSU will truly benefit in the coming years under Stan's leadership.”
– Jacki Silar, Duke University Senior Associate Director of Athletics/Student-Athlete Welfare/Senior Woman Administrator
“Stan is an excellent addition to the Florida State family. He is highly respected – at all levels – within Duke University and beyond. From a coach’s perspective, he will be an athletics director who will provide the support, leadership and passion to create a culture of excellence. In all instances in which Stan and I collaborated, he handled them professionally, ethically and responsibly. Most importantly, all generated terrific outcomes. Florida State is gaining a tremendous asset by adding the Wilcox family to their own.”
– Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University and USA National Team Men’s Basketball Head Coach
“We could not be more excited for Stan to take his next step professionally at Florida State University. In my 30-plus years in college athletics, I have never been associated with a person with more integrity or reliability; he will be a terrific ambassador for Florida State and the Tallahassee community. We certainly thank him for his time and effort spent in helping our football program reach new heights both academically and athletically, and wish him, Ramona and their family the best of luck going forward.”
– David Cutcliffe, Duke University Head Football Coach
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