Florida State University names Michael Alford as new athletics director

Michael Alford, president and CEO of Seminole Boosters, will be the next Athletics Director of Florida State University.
Michael Alford, president and CEO of Seminole Boosters, will be the next Athletics Director of Florida State University.

Florida State University President Richard McCullough announced today the selection of Michael Alford as the university’s next Vice President and Director of Athletics.

Alford, who has served as president and CEO of Seminole Boosters, Inc. since 2020, is an accomplished leader with a wealth of experience in collegiate and professional athletics and a proven track record of fundraising, hiring successful coaches and managing elite athletics programs.

“Michael Alford’s experience and passion for Florida State University make him an outstanding choice to lead the Athletics Department,” McCullough said. “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.”

In his new role, Alford will plan and direct the overall administrative and operational activities of intercollegiate athletics for Florida State. The nationally acclaimed 20-sport athletics program has a budget of $106 million.

Alford’s term will begin Jan. 3. He succeeds David Coburn, who is retiring. A national search will be launched for a new president and CEO of Seminole Boosters.

“Laura and I love Florida State University and the people who make this such a special place,” Alford said. “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.”

Under Alford’s leadership, the Seminole Boosters have increased the annual fund and membership numbers, completed a successful $100 million capital campaign that includes funding for a new Football Operations Building, initiated a redevelopment plan of Doak Campbell Stadium, and entered a new contract with Legends, the premium experiences company, to operate the Dunlap Champions Club.

“As the college athletics environment continues to rapidly evolve and becomes increasingly competitive and complex, Michael Alford’s demonstrated professional success here at Florida State and beyond makes him an ideal fit for athletics director,” FSU Board of Trustees Chair Peter Collins said. “I couldn’t be more excited about the future of Seminole Athletics.”

Prior to his arrival at Florida State, Alford served as Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics at Central Michigan University from 2017-2020. He is credited with leading Central Michigan during the most successful fundraising period in its athletics history. Notably, Alford hired eight coaches at Central Michigan, four of whom went on to win conference coach of the year honors in their first two seasons. Alford also guided the renegotiation of CMU Athletics’ apparel contract which resulted in a 600 percent increase in revenue, spearheaded an all-time high in Chippewa Athletic Fund memberships and oversaw the department’s all-time fundraising record in 2018-2019 that eclipsed the mark set in 2017-2018 by 50 percent.

From 2012 to 2017, Alford was the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development and Administration at the University of Oklahoma where he oversaw the Sooner Club, the principal fund-raising arm of OU Athletics. The Sooner Club set annual giving records and increased membership to an all-time high under his leadership. He also played an integral role in the $160 million capital campaign for the renovation of the Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium and the university’s football facility. In addition, Alford oversaw the men’s basketball program, which advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 2016.

Alford served as senior director of corporate partnerships and sales for the Dallas Cowboys from 2008-2012 and as general manager of Crimson Tide Sports Marketing from 2004-2008. He worked in various roles at ESPN, the University of Southern California, the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Alford played baseball at Mississippi State before transferring to UAB, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication in 1993. He received a master’s degree in athletics administration from the University of Arkansas in 1995.

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.