TALLAHASSEE -- One year after Florida State inducted perhaps its most recognized face and personality into its athletics Hall of Fame, the school will be placing a beloved place kicker and current major leaguer in there, as well.
Sebastian Janikowski and Matt Diaz headline FSU's seven-person 2013 Hall of Fame class that was announced Wednesday afternoon. Each will go into the Hall on Sept. 13, the same weekend as FSU's football season opener.
The Seminoles host Nevada at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 at Doak Campbell Stadium. The group will be formally inducted at a ceremony the day before the game, but it will be publicly recognized during the contest.
Last season, former FSU coach Bobby Bowden was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame. He went in after a 34-year career that ended in 2009 with two national championships. Before he stepped into retirement, Bowden had already been inducted into the college football Hall of Fame.
Along with Janikowski and Diaz will be 2000 Lombardi winner Jamal Reynolds, former FSU soccer standout Cindy Schofield, former softball coach JoAnne Graf, Central Florida native and former running back Sammie Smith and Moore-Stone Award winner Douglas Mannheimer.
Janikowski will be starting his 14th NFL season later this year. The longtime Oakland Raider was a two-time Lou Groza Award winner when he played at FSU. Diaz currently is an outfielder for the Miami Marlins. After an All-America career at FSU, he was drafted in 1999 by the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He also has played for the Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals.
A limited number of tickets to the Friday-night banquet are available to the public. Those interested should email email@example.com, or call (850) 556-0433.
Below are blurbs on each of the inductees from FSU's sports information and media relations departments.
Lakeland’s Matt Diaz came to Florida State with high expectations and over just two seasons forged a career worthy of hall of fame honors.
Diaz burst on the college baseball seen virtually from his first at-bat in 1998 and finished his freshman
season as The Sporting News Freshman of the Year. He earned first team Freshman All-America honors and was a third team outright All-American as a rookie. He earned a spot on both the AFCA and NCBWA first team All-America squads as a sophomore in 1999.
FSU’s star outfielder posted impressive career numbers over just two seasons including finishing sixth in
both batting average (.384) and all-time slugging percentage (.700). His 43 career home runs ranked him among FSU’s all-time leader (t-11th), while he finished 23rd in RBIs (178) and 24th in total bases (399). Diaz also appears on a number of FSU’s single-season Top 25 lists including home runs with 22 in 1998 that ranked 11th all-time and 21 in 1999 which ranked 13th. His 94 RBIs driven in as a sophomore ranked eighth all-time and his .390 batting average in 1998 was 21st best in Seminole history.
Diaz was selected with the 505th overall pick in the 17th round of the 1999 MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay
Coaches and Administration
Softball coach JoAnne Graf finished her legendary career coaching on the field at Florida State that had
has been named in her honor. Over the span of her 30 year career with Seminole softball, Graf managed the unique accomplishment of building FSU into a national power in slow pitch softball and adjusting to the adoption of the fast-pitch format and continuing the program’s domination.
Coach Graf’s slow pitch teams won back-to-back AIAW (now NCAA) National Championships in 1981 and 1982 and she became the first collegiate softball coach in the country to earn 1400 victories before retiring in 2008. Florida State advanced to the Women’s College World Series seven times under Coach Graf and made 21 NCAA Regional appearances. She led the Seminoles to 10 Atlantic Coast Conference
titles and was named ACC Coach of the Year six times.
Graf won over 75 percent of her games as a head coach (1437-478-6) and her Seminoles posted three season with 60 or more wins, 15 50-win seasons and 25 seasons with 40 or more victories.
Graf’s players earned 25 All-America honors, 98 All-Region awards and 74 of her players were named
All-ACC. In celebration of its 50th Anniversary, the ACC named the top 50 athletes in each sport and 23 of her FSU players made the 50-member roster.