Florida State University

First time in major bowl game both teams led by black athletic directors

Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh (far right) watches as Florida State Seminoles Nyqwan Murray catches a ball and runs for a touchdown in the first quarter in the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens Friday, Dec. 30, 2016.
Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh (far right) watches as Florida State Seminoles Nyqwan Murray catches a ball and runs for a touchdown in the first quarter in the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

Friday’s Orange Bowl marked the first time both schools in a major bowl game were led by black athletic directors.

FSU athletic director Stan Wilcox was hired in August 2013, the year the Seminoles’ football team won its last national championship, and Warde Manuel became Michigan’s athletic director on Jan. 29.

In addition to the 2013 national title, FSU won its first soccer national title under Wilcox’s tenure and has won 15 ACC championships. Before his hiring at FSU, Wilcox served as Senior Deputy Director of Athletics at Duke University.

Manuel, a Michigan graduate, served as an associate athletic director for the Wolverines prior to accepting his first AD job in 2005 at the University of Buffalo. Manuel spent nearly seven years there until he became the athletic director at the University of Connecticut where he remained until returning to Michigan.

HALL OF FAME

Three 2016 Orange Bowl Hall of Fame inductees were recognized prior to the game. They were University of Wisconsin athletic director and former coach Barry Alvarez, former University of Miami linebacker Jack Fernandez and former University of Alabama wide receiver Ray Perkins.

THIS AND THAT

▪ The 92-yard touchdown pass from DeAndre Francois to sophomore Nyqwan Murray with 2:49 remaining in the first quarter was the longest in Orange Bowl history.

▪ Friday’s game was the third meeting between FSU and Michigan and the first in 25 years. The teams split the first two (both at Michigan) with FSU winning in 1991 and the Wolverines winning in 1986.

▪ FSU’s 10th trip to the Orange Bowl entering Friday’s game (4-5 record) trailed only Oklahoma (18) and Nebraska (17) for most OB appearances. The Atlantic Coast Conference representative had won the game each of the past four seasons. Friday’s game was the 45th bowl game for each school: FSU was 26-16-2 entering the game. Michigan was 21-23.

The Seminoles have now gone to five consecutive BCS/New Year’s Six bowl games.

ATTENDANCE KINGS

The Michigan football team drew 883,741 fans to its eight-game home schedule in 2016, averaging 110,468 fans each of those games. The total is the second-highest in school history, trailing only the 897,431 at eight home games in 2011.

RIGHT AT HOME

The following Michigan players are from the state of Florida: linebacker Devin Bush (Pembroke Pines/Flanagan High); offensive lineman Mason Cole (Tarpon Springs/East Lake); tight end Nick Eubanks (Plantation/American Heritage); linebacker Devin Gil (Pembroke Pines/Flanagan); running back Karan Higdon (Sarasota/Riverview); defensive end Shelton Johnson (Delray Beach/Atlantic); linebacker Reuben Jones (Lakeland/Lake Gibson); wide receiver Eddie McDoom (Winter Garden/West Orange); safety Josh Metellus (Pembroke Pines/Flanagan); linebacker Jameson Offerdahl (Fort Lauderdale/Cardinal Gibbons); quarterback John O’Korn (Fort Lauderdale/St. Thomas Aquinas); linebacker Josh Uche (Miami/Columbus).

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