Semrau retires after lengthy career at FSU

Sue Semrau leaves FSU as the all-time winningest coach.
Photo courtesy FSU

By Stephen Stone

Sue Semrau, the longest-tenured head coach in the ACC and Florida State’s all-time winningest coach, announced Monday that she is retiring.

The Associated Press, WBCA and ESPNW National Coach of the Year in 2015, Semrau guided the Seminoles to 16 NCAA Tournaments, Elite Eight appearances in 2010, 2015 and 2017, and was voted ACC Coach of the Year four times over her 24 seasons.

“It’s been a joy and a privilege to be the head coach at Florida State University,” Semrau said. “Thank you to the amazing players and the talented and diligent members of our staff, you have given me millions of moments to cherish, and friendships for a lifetime. The countless supportive and hard-working administrators, faculty and staff have enriched my life.

“Our precious fans embrace us, fight with us and represent this great university with passion. The excellent camaraderie of the coaches I worked with at FSU shaped me. I still remember on my interview coach (Bobby) Bowden sitting with me and telling me that we could do this; and that he would help me. And he did. More than I could have imagined.

“I walk away eternally blessed by the life I lived while being the head coach of Florida State. I am Nole blooded and am proud to be a Seminole forever.”

Over her last 10 years of coaching alone, FSU averaged nearly 25 wins per season and 10 players were selected in the WNBA draft and another 12 played professionally overseas. Under Semrau, 20 players have been drafted, signed or have played for a WNBA team since the league began in 1997.

Semrau’s record at FSU was 470-271 and she led the Noles to 14 seasons of at least 20 wins, including a string of eight straight from 2012 to 2020. She was elected president of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association in 2013 and served until 2015.

“It is hard to put into a few words just what Sue Semrau has meant to our athletics program, our university and the women she has inspired over her career,” said FSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Michael Alford. “I know I speak for the FSU athletic directors who had the opportunity to work with her over her long career in saying that you couldn’t find a better representative of Seminole athletics or women’s basketball than Sue.

“She instilled in her student-athletes the qualities that allowed them to be successful on the court, in the classroom and in life. She was also a tremendous mentor not only to the assistant coaches who served under her but to both head and assistant coaches in our other sports.

“Sue has represented Florida State masterfully for the last 25 years and we will always be grateful.”

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