Alford named FSU’s athletics director

Michael Alford’s new job will take him just steps away toward the Moore Athletic Center: Florida State’s athletics director.

Alford had been president and CEO fo Seminole Boosters, Inc., since Sept. 2020. He has spearheaded fundraising for the last 15 months, helping to shape a vision for the future of FSU’s 20 programs.

“Michael Alford’s experience and passion for Florida State University make him an outstanding choice to lead the Athletics Department,” FSU president Richard McCullough said in a statement on Thursday afternoon. “Since arriving at FSU, he has made a tremendous impact and has garnered the overwhelming support of the Florida State community. Most importantly, his commitment to education and preparing student-athletes for lifelong success reflects the mission and values of Florida State University.”

On Wednesday, all signs pointed towards Louisville AD Vince Tyra taking the job in Tallahassee. But reports out of Louisville on Thursday morning had Tyra passing up the FSU job.

Alford will begin his new role on Jan. 3. He will succeed David Coburn, who is retiring. It’s not clear how much Coburn will work as an advisor in the coming weeks or after Jan. 3, but he is under contract with FSU through June 30, 2022.

McCullough said a national search will be launched to find a new boosters CEO and president. One internal candidate to watch: Boosters’ Executive VP Stephen Ponder, who has a background at Ole Miss and NC State.

In his time at FSU, Alford has continued the push for an extensive fundraising effort for football, basketball, baseball, soccer, softball and golf. Among the top items on his list are fundraising for a football-only building as well as a club seat project for Doak Campbell Stadium. Relatively smaller projects are also on the table, such as fundraising for video scoreboards at the Seminole Soccer Complex and JoAnne Graf Field.

Alford has also been deeply involved with a name, image and likeness (NIL) working group dating back to his time at Central Michigan.

“Laura and I love Florida State University and the people who make this such a special place,” Alford said in a statement. “Everyone has been so welcoming, and we’re excited about this opportunity to lead Seminole Athletics. I’ve enjoyed building strong relationships throughout the community, including with President McCullough. I look forward to working closely with him to enhance the overall mission of the university.”

Alford has notable experience at Oklahoma (2012-17), Southern Cal, Alabama and the University of Cincinnati as well as being Central Michigan’s athletics director from 2017-20. He has also worked for the Dallas Cowboys (2008-12).

He also was a student-athlete, having played baseball at Mississippi State.

Alford is married to Laura, a former collegiate volleyball student-athlete at the University of Hawaii. They have three daughters Audrey, Ashley and Anna Leigh.

Michael Alford and his wife, Laura, have three daughters. (photo via Seminole Boosters)