COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Florida State AD Wilcox leaving for executive role at NCAA

INDIANAPOLIS — Florida State athletic director Stan Wilcox is leaving for the NCAA, filling the job vacated when Oliver Luck left to run the new XFL.

The NCAA announced Monday that Wilcox will serves as executive vice president of regulatory affairs. Luck, the former West Virginia athletic director, filled that role for four years before stepping down in June.

"Stan is a highly respected, visionary leader in intercollegiate athletics, and I'm excited to have him join our senior leadership team at the national office," NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. "Stan's nearly three decades of experience working in athletics administration at Notre Dame, Duke and Florida State, among others, have clearly demonstrated his commitment to providing student-athletes with the opportunity to excel in both academics and athletics while being successful in life."

Wilcox has been AD at Florida State since 2013. Before that he did stints at Duke and Notre Dame, his alma mater, as a deputy athletic director.

The former Notre Dame basketball player began his career in college athletic at the NCAA as a legislative assistant from 1989-94. Wilcox spent 11 years working at the Big East, including six as the conference's representative to the NCAA Management Council.

Florida State President John Thrasher said in a phone interview that Wilcox's last day as athletic director will be Sept. 30.

"I am so grateful for the opportunities and experiences that have led me to this point," Wilcox said in a statement. "I am excited to return to the NCAA, where my intercollegiate athletics career began."

Thrasher said that he met with Wilcox late Sunday night and that the opportunity to return to the NCAA was something they were unable to match.

"Stan has worked for the NCAA before and Mark thinks the world of him. I think it's a good match," Thrasher said. "You never want to lose someone that is highly qualified but in this case you have to be very happy for him."

Florida State won national championships in football (2013), women's soccer (2014) and softball (2018) under Wilcox's tenure as well as renovating nearly all of their athletic facilities. Wilcox's biggest hire was Willie Taggart as football coach after Jimbo Fisher's departure for Texas A&M.

Wilcox's last major act at Florida State will be on Sept. 2, when the university is expected to unveil its plans for a football operations facility. One night later, the 19th-ranked Seminoles open the Taggart era against No. 20 Virginia Tech.

Florida State was only the second Power Five school where its athletic director, football and men's basketball coach were all black. Two of the three recent athletic director hires in the Atlantic Coast Conference have been women — Carla Williams (Virginia) and Heather Lyke (Pittsburgh).

Thrasher said that ACC Commissioner John Swofford gave him some names on Monday and that he will be looking at other search firms.

"We are going to be deliberate and make sure we have the right person. I am confident we can keep things moving in the right direction," Thrasher said.

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