Greatness comes in many forms. Sometimes, it’s a legendary leader who carries others around him— or in most cases, her — to reach unthinkable heights. Other times, greatness comes from always being true to yourself and making some damn good music along the way. No matter how it is measured or where it is rooted, greatness deserves to be honored.
At Florida State University, where the Seminoles’ athletic programs have captured 17 national championships in men’s gymnastics, men’s volleyball, women’s golf, men’s and women’s track & field, women’s soccer, softball and football, greatness is found at every corner. From Fred Biletnikoff (HOF Class of 1977) to JoAnne Graf (HOF Class of 2013) to the great Bobby Bowden (HOF Class of 2012), it’d be tough to find better examples of greatness than in Tallahassee.
On September 6, six more FSU icons will be inducted into the prestigious FSU Hall of Fame Class of 2019. You can buy tickets to the annual induction ceremony held at FSU’s Center Club by following this link.
Trust me, you won’t want to miss these Hall of Fame inductees.
Mike Martin, Baseball
He’s the winningest coach (2,029 wins) in not just college baseball, but in NCAA athletics history. After playing for the ‘Noles baseball team from 1965-66, Martin launched into one of the most prolific careers of any head coach in American sports. Over 40 seasons as baseball coach, Martin’s program reached the College World Series a record 17 times. Not only that, but there were 94 All-Americans and 144 All-ACC players who thrived under No. 11’s tutelage. He may have just retired after Florida State’s run during the 2019 season, but it feels long overdue that Martin receives this honor.
Mickey Dillard, Basketball
Sports records are supposed to fall as the game gets bigger and faster, and the past is usually forgotten. In Dillard’s case, he’s still one of the most decorated scores in Florida State Seminoles basketball history despite his final season being in 1981. The two-time All-Metro Conference honoree still ranks fourth in FSU history in points (1,734), third in both field goals made (643) and free throws made (448), and his 165 career steals ranks ninth. The 6-foot-3 point guard was the 55th overall pick in the 1981 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Susan Kuijken, Track & Field
Remember what I said about greatness? My Dutch isn’t what it used to be (I don’t speak Dutch), but I believe Kuijken translates to “you can’t catch me.” She’s the only four-time cross country All-American and five-time track and field All-American in FSU history. She won two national titles — the Indoor 3000-meter (2008) and Outdoor 1500-Meter (2009) — and is the school record holder in both events. Plus, Florida State won five ACC titles while Kuijken was wearing garnet and gold. She also represented her country at the 2016 Summer Olympics and recently won a silver medal at the 2018 European Athletics Championship.
Dick Nichols, Baseball
Nichols starred on the FSU baseball team that finished as the national runner-up in the 1970 College World Series. A career .336 hitter, Nichols played both second base and outfield for the Seminoles from 1968 to 1970 and was the leadoff hitter on that national runner-up team. The three-year letter winner and First-Team All-American went on to be drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1970, and his legacy in Tallahassee remains.
Rick Stockstill, Football
Before Bobby Bowden’s arrival in 1976, FSU football teams had never posted double-digit wins, nor had they finished in the college football AP Top 10 to end the season. When quarterback Rick Stockstill arrived in 1979, everything changed, and a dynasty was born. In his two seasons as starting quarterback, Stockstill’s leadership carried the ‘Noles to a 10-2 record and the No. 5 national ranking to end the 1980 season. After he graduated following the 1981 season, Florida State went on to reach 36-straight bowl games, an all-time, untouchable record. Today, he’s the head football coach at Middle Tennessee State University.
Caroline Westrup, Golf
From 2006-09, the only four-time All-American in FSU golf history led her team to the NCAA Tournament every season and won the ACC team title four times. Five times she shot a score of 66, which is one shot off the school record. The Swedish-born former FSU standout joined the Ladies European Tour in 2011, then LPGA Tour in 2014, and won the 2015 Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge. She retired from professional golf in 2018, and she’s now a coach at the prestigious IMG Academy in Florida.