FSU athletic director David Coburn to retire, university exploring replacements

Coburn will stay on until Spring 2022, or until a replacement is found.

Florida State University Athletic Director David Coburn will be retiring as soon as the university finds his replacement, according to a statement from FSU President Richard McCullough Wednesday.

Coburn informed McCullough earlier this year he would be stepping down, according to the statement. He was promoted to athletics director in May 2019 by former FSU President John Thrasher after serving as the interim athletic director for the previous eight months. He became FSU’s Vice President and Director of Athletics in 2021.

Prior to his athletics positions, Coburn worked as the Chief of Staff for Thrasher and another former FSU President, Eric Barron. Coburn was a candidate to replace his former boss as FSU President, but was passed over for McCullough.

A three-time FSU alumnus, Coburn had no prior experience managing athletics before his tenure at FSU. Under his leadership, coaching at FSU underwent significant changes.

He fired former Head Football Coach Willie Taggart in 2019 following low game attendance and poor team performance. Some FSU teams have found success during Coburn’s time in the role, including a women’s soccer ACC championship and a men’s basketball ACC runner-up finish in 2021.

Outside his experience at FSU, Coburn spent 34 years involved in Florida’s legislative process.

He was House Chief of Staff under two different Speakers and Senate chief of staff under former Senate President Ken Pruitt. Prior to joining FSU, he was the staff director of the Florida Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

Coburn will stay on as Athletic Director until the end of Spring 2022 or as soon as a replacement is found, according to a statement provided to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Tristan Wood

Tristan Wood graduated from the University of Florida in 2021 with a degree in Journalism. A South Florida native, he has a passion for political and accountability reporting. He previously reported for Fresh Take Florida, a news service that covers the Florida Legislature and state political stories operating out of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. You can reach Tristan at [email protected], or on Twitter @TristanDWood


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