FSU asks boosters to increase donations to fund football 'renaissance'
As the Florida State administration enters the third week of its search for a new head football coach, the Seminoles are reaching out to longtime boosters to dig a little deeper into their pockets and help fund what they're describing as, "The Renaissance of Florida State Football."
In a letter dated Nov. 20 and shipped overnight to many members of Seminole Boosters, FSU President John Thrasher calls on boosters to either raise their annual contribution levels or make a one-time increase of 20 percent above their normal donation.
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Thrasher said the additional funds are needed to help the program make the "transition" to a new coaching staff following the firing earlier this month of second-year head coach Willie Taggart.
"As the current football season progressed, our program reached a crossroads," Thrasher wrote. "Athletic director David Coburn and I chose to take decisive action to help restore our status as a national contender. We are currently conducting a comprehensive national search for a new Head Coach, interviewing numerous respected candidates. Director Coburn and I are asking each candidate to share his vision for Florida State football. Our goal is to find the right fit for our student-athletes, the university and all Seminoles.
"I am grateful so many of our donors have reached out to ask how they can help, as the transition to a new coaching staff will take a significant investment. We have received several generous commitments of support to begin the overall effort, but we also need every member of Seminole Boosters to contribute what they can to achieve an even greater result."
Here is a copy of the letter:
For firing Taggart with more than four years remaining on his original $30 million contract, Florida State is on the hook for about $18 million of his remaining salary (85 percent of which was guaranteed).
The Seminoles also could owe an additional several million dollars to assistant coaches if they are not retained by the new head coach, as well as any buyouts needed to bring in a new coaching staff.
Along with the personalized letter from Thrasher, FSU also included a one-page document titled, "The Renaissance of Florida State Football," recounting the program's rise from humble beginnings to a place among college football's elite.
"In 2019, FSU is reaching out to its most loyal donors to ask for their generous support as we embark on the Renaissance of Seminole Football," it states. "They will forever be known in FSU history for taking a stand and providing what was necessary to restore our place at the top of college football."
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