Florida State University President, Dr. T.K. Wetherell, introduced Randy Spetman on Monday as the university's new Director of Athletics, ending a national search that began in December. Spetman, a former Air Force colonel, takes over at FSU after serving as Athletics Director at Utah State since July 1, 2004 and at the United States Air Force Academy from 1996-2003.
"Randy Spetman has a strong record of leadership with honesty and integrity. His experience and organizational and management skills set him apart as one of the best athletics directors in the country," Wetherell said. "We're very pleased that he is joining the Florida State Family."
Spetman, 55, 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 Utah State claimed four conference championships in its first two years. Even more impressive is the fact that USU's student-athletes lead the WAC with a 78 percent graduation rate and have maintained over a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
Under Spetman's leadership, Utah State moved forward with several facility projects, including high profile improvements to the football stadium. He also spearheaded fundraising and building efforts for a $12.5 million facility that will serve to meet the academic and athletic needs of the 16 intercollegiate sports at Utah State. He 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.
"Florida State University is one of the finest college athletics programs in the nation," said Spetman. "To be asked to serve as its athletics director is a great compliment, and I was thrilled to accept. I proudly served my country for many years with honor, commitment and pride. And I now look forward to bringing my skills as an athletics director to this university and serving Florida State University with the same honor, commitment and pride."
Prior to his stint at Utah State, Spetman spent eight successful years (1996-2003) 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, athletics teams at the Academy enjoyed unmatched success as the football team participated in four bowl games, while the men's basketball team advanced to its first-ever NCAA Tournament.
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, Spetman's range of positions took him from assistant football coach at his alma mater to a pilot and from the 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 is currently the second Vice President of the National Association of Collegiate Director's of Athletics (NACDA).
He and his wife, the former Becky Luhring of Des Moines, Iowa, are the parents of two grown children, Brian and Kim.
Spetman was unanimously selected from a large field of candidates that was narrowed to four selected for the on-campus interview process. FSU alumni Wayne Hogan, Associate Athletic Director at Georgia Tech, and Martin Mayhew, Senior Vice President of the NFL's Detroit Lions, joined Don Smiley, President of Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on the list of the final four candidates.
"These were all excellent candidates who interviewed very well," said FSU Vice President Mary Coburn who chaired the search committee. "This was an interesting experience. It allows you to see the campus through the eyes of other people. We look forward to working with a new athletic director who will help get us to a new level."
Spetman is expected to begin his duties at Florida State within the next three weeks.