Three-peat, back-to-back-to-back, third time's a charm ... any way you phrase it, a third straight National Championship for Florida State's Men's Outdoor Track and Field team is truly remarkable and certainly something to celebrate. Now add in a third consecutive Soccer College Cup appearance, including reaching the national championship game for the first time in program history, a trip to the College World Series and numerous other stellar accomplishments by Seminole athletic teams, and it's clear that FSU, with a No. 15 ranking in the final 2007-08 United States Sports Academy Directors' Cup standings, is among the elite programs in the country. FSU (971.50) and North Carolina (978.50), who finished No. 14 and just seven points higher than the Seminoles, are the only two ACC schools among the Top 15. FSU finished No. 15 in last year's standings as well.
From start to finish, the 2007-2008 athletic season provided Seminole fans with a great deal of excitement and along the way, Florida State enjoyed a national championship, two regional championships, four ACC team championships, including the first in program history for women's cross country and men's golf, seven NCAA individual national champions, 17 ACC individual champions, 73 All-America selections, 74 All-ACC honors and seven end of the year ACC awards.
Seminole student-athletes garnered numerous awards, headlined by All-American catcher Buster Posey, who was named the recipient of the prestigious Dick Howser Trophy, Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year, ACC Player of the Year and was drafted fifth overall in the First Year Player Draft by the San Francisco Giants--the highest selection for a Seminole since 1994. Posey was also Baseball America and Rivals.com Player of the Year and captured the ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award at catcher. He is a finalist for the Golden Spikes (July 16) and Brooks Wallace (July 3) awards presented to the top player in the country and Johnny Bench Award (June 27) presented to the nation's top collegiate catcher. He earned consensus first team All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, Rivals.com, NCBWA and ABCA/Rawlings and was named NCBWA District III Player of the Year. Posey dazzled the nation by playing all nine positions in a single game and capped off his glorious season by leading the Seminoles back to the College World Series for the first time since 2000.
Midfielder Mami Yamaguchi became the first athlete in Florida State history to receive the MAC Hermann trophy as the top women's soccer player in the nation. She was also named the 2007 ACC Offensive Player of the Year. On the links, Jonas Blixt became the first male Seminole golfer since 1995 to record back-to-back All-America honors while on the women's side, golfer Caroline Westrup earned her third consecutive All-America selection.
The track and field program had yet another outstanding year highlighted by standout sprinter Walter Dix who concluded his stellar collegiate career by winning an individual national championship in the 200m--the eighth individual national championship of his career. The team's future talent shone brightly as well with freshman Ngoni Makusha contributing a national championship in the long jump and Kim Williams earning the 2008 ACC Track and Field Freshman of the Year honor. Distance runner Hannah England won her first national championship and recorded the fastest time in NCAA meet history in the 1500m. She led the women's team to a second place finish at both the indoor and outdoor ACC Championships. The men also recorded their sixth consecutive ACC indoor title and fourth consecutive outdoor title. All told, the Seminole track and field team touted seven individual national champions, five individual regional champions and a regional champion relay team this season.
Many of Florida State's teams enjoyed continued success including women's basketball with a school-record fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. The men's and women's tennis teams earned their highest national rankings in school history at No. 7 and No. 12, respectively, and both hosted NCAA Tournament first and second round action at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center with the men advancing to the round of 16 for the second time in school history. School records were also broken as Summer Weissing set the Seminole volleyball record with 1,859 career digs and point guard Shante Williams became Florida State's all-time assists leader, finishing her career with 451 assists.
FSU's student-athletes were guided by tremendous coaches, many of whom were recognized for their efforts. Bob Braman was named NCAA Division I National Men's Track and Field Coach of the Year for a record third straight time. Trey Jones was named ACC Coach of the Year as he led his men's golf team to its first ACC title in school history. On the women's side, Dr. JoAnne Graf became the first college softball coach to earn 1,400 wins and retired after 30 years of coaching as the winningest coach in college softball history with 1,437 wins. Karen Harvey was named the NCAA South Region and ACC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year and South Region Track Assistant Coach of the Year. She led the Seminole women's cross country team to its first ACC title in school history, the South Region championship and a third-place finish at the NCAA Meet.
The Seminoles were just as successful in the classroom in 2007-08. A school record 27 student-athletes were named to All-ACC Academic teams while 170 Seminoles achieved ACC Academic Honor Roll status as six of Florida State's athletic teams had a 3.0 or better cumulative grade point average in 2007-08.
Posey was named the CoSIDA Baseball Academic All-American of the Year, 13 Seminoles were voted CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District honorees and soccer's Kristen van de Ven and Katrin Schmidt were recognized as first team Scholar All-Americans as announced by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and adidas. Kandia Batchelor (track & field), Whitney Brummett (golf) and Abbie King (swimming & diving) were three of 41 Atlantic Coast Conference scholar-athletes named 2008 ACC Weaver-James-Corrigan Postgraduate Scholarship Award recipients.
In the spring 2008 semester alone, 197 Seminoles achieved a 3.0 GPA or better and eight athletic teams had a 3.0 or better GPA. Eleven student-athletes made the spring 2008 President's List with a perfect 4.0 GPA while 60 student-athletes earned Dean's List status with a GPA of 3.5 or better.
All of FSU's athletic teams scored above the required score of 925 in the Academic Progress Rate data based on the last four years (2003-04 through 2006-07). Two Florida State athletic teams - softball and men's golf - earned Public Recognition Awards for earning high scores in the latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) compilation, posting multi-year APR scores in the top 10 percent of all squads in their respective sports.