‘It’s one of the most powerful brands in sports’: WCTV sits down with Seminole Boosters CEO Michael Alford - Pt. 1

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 10:30 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - It’s a critical time in Florida State athletics, and for collegiate sports as a whole; with everything from finances to facilities to fan experience at the forefront.

Recently, WCTV was able to sit down with first-year Seminole Booster CEO Michael Alford and hear his vision for the future of the Seminoles.

You can watch part one of Alford’s sit down with Sports Director Ryan Kelly above. A transcript from their conversation can be seen below.

Ryan Kelly: The first thing I’d like to ask a lot of folks whenever we just sit down one-on-one: If you could go back to day one on the job and tell yourself anything non-COVID related about this gig, what would it be?

Michael Alford: When I was looking at Florida State, looking at coming in here, talking to President Thrasher and Chairman Davis and Chairman Burr, you hear the reputation of Florida State, you know what a powerful brand it is. Number one, it’s one of the most powerful brands in sports, but you always hear about the great people and the great leadership and getting here, my wife Lora and I, when we first arrived and we sat down to meet some people and look at FSU, the great community Tallahassee is and really just letting us know that it was true, the people here when we’ve gone on these tours, we’ve been very active in getting out and sharing our vision and talking to our constituencies and the people have just been so authentic.

RK: You’ve come to the Boosters at a very interesting time: Andy Miller served as the president for a very, very long time...

MA: 45 years! The job hasn’t been open in 45 years.

RK: This is a place, as you know, turnover is very very minimal at Florida State. It seems to always be that way: New president, new power structure with FSUAA, what do you really see your role as?

MA: It’s a role that, really, we talked about when I was coming and I can tell you the communication between Chairman Burr, President Thrasher and AD Coburn has been seamless. We communicate daily, we share the vision, we share concepts, they’ve been so supportive of the changes but the experiences I’ve had and talking about different places I’ve been and things that have been successful, things may be a little different. Andy was such an icon in this industry, my charge was to take what he’s done and carry the torch further and they’ve allowed me to lean on my experiences and look at things maybe out of a different lens.

RK: How important is that, to find that balance between keeping up what’s been established and bringing your own stamp to things?

MA: You look at the traditions, you look at the history of this program and the Booster organization and they’ve had so much success, it’s really just using your experiences from college and pro ranks I’ve worked in and I lean on my mentors and some of the people I’ve been able to help guide my philosophies in this industry, like Jerry Jones or Mal More or Ben Sutton, just some icons in this industry. And Joe Castiglione shaped me at Oklahoma and being able to learn from them, form your own philosophies, really work with our fan base and staff and university leadership to say what works at Florida State, and let’s put in the process to be successful.

See more of Ryan’s sitdown with Alford all week long on Eyewitness News at 11.

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