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Football facility coming ‘sooner rather than later’

The vision for a football-only facility is one that is shared by the key stakeholders at Florida State from Mike Norvell to David Coburn to Michael Alford.

There is an obvious necessity: FSU has outgrown the Moore Athletic Center and simply needs more space for administration and athletes. But there’s also an opportunity to take care of the day-to-day needs of athletes at a higher level.

While the pandemic forced FSU to scramble to cut the budget dramatically, fundraising has gone well for the football-only facility and there is optimism construction isn’t far off.

“We’re definitely going to get the football facility going sooner rather than later,” FSU Board of Trustees chairman Peter Collins said after the press conference naming former Seminole Booster President and CEO Michael Alford as FSU’s new athletic director. “Sooner than a lot of people think. That’s a big goal that’s going to be one of the components of his (Alford’s) contract.”

There is no timeline to begin construction but fundraising for the project has gone well. The Seminoles’ resurgence in 2021, putting an 0-4 start behind them and finishing 5-7, has also fueled expectations for the future of the program under Norvell.

The proposed facility would include meeting rooms for each position group, a locker room, a dedicated recruiting lounge, offices for the football staff, a training room and various therapy pools to help players recover among other services for the football players.

“As you look forward we want to be on the cutting edge when it comes to the day-to-day interactions and the resources that we can provide and helping them in our development,” FSU coach Mike Norvell said.

Norvell said he was excited to learn that Alford had been elevated to the athletic director’s job as the two share more than a common vision.

“It’s a great day for Florida State Athletics, Michael is an incredible leader. Great passion. Great vision,” Norvell said. “People can present a vision but what I love about him is the execution of the vision. Tireless worker.”

Norvell and Alford travelled to multiple events during the offseason, where Norvell saw him in action, presenting a case for the football operations facility.

“When you see him around people, the sincerity. He is such a genuine person. He truly cares about individuals and cares about the purpose,” Norvell said. “The work he has done in a short period of time has already made incredible impact for our student-athletes, for the experience of all Seminoles.”

Norvell is optimistic about fundraising for the project.

“I’m excited to work side by side with him, continuing to push that vision and be able to go execute the vision he is going to have and we all have for this department and this university,” Norvell said. “It goes back to vision. As a former student-athlete, he understands the necessity of those resources, to be able to provide student-athletes with the best experience you can. To be able to explain that, to be able to present that to supporters, and the opportunities that they get to engage in to help make that happen, is special. And it is a necessity. He is fully supportive in all of the steps we need to take to be able to make this unique opportunity for our football program and student-athletes, current and future.”

Osceola publisher Jerry Kutz contributed