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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Florida State president T.K. Wetherell, 63, handed in his letter of resignation and announced his plans to retire as soon as a successor can be found, the school announced today.
"This decision is based in large part on my belief that the next three years are going to be a highly crucial and challenging time for Florida State University," Wetherell said in a prepared statement. "My contract ends in the middle of that period, and I do not believe it would be a good idea for the university to change leadership at that point. I believe the university needs and deserves a strong leader who has the energy to be involved in the initial stages of the university's reorganizational process and the ability and desire to make a long-term commitment and comprehensive management decisions to move Florida State ahead in these challenging times."
Bobby Bowden issued this statement on Wetherell's decision:
"T.K. led Florida State with passion and enthusiasm and that will be hard to match," said Bobby Bowden. "He brought a unique perspective to the table since he played football and had worked in athletics so he knew the value of athletics to the university. Some people felt like he paid too much attention to athletics, but it never bothered me to know that our boss was interested in what we were doing. I think he worked extremely hard for the things he felt were in the best interest of Florida State University. One thing is for sure, Florida State would not have the status it has today without the work of T.K. both as president and in state government."
Wetherell's reasons for retirement -- his health and the upcoming challenges the university will face -- make sense. It will be interesting to see how much involvement his successor will have in athletics. How many other university presidents could you even name?
Wetherell, for obvious reasons, was a very visible figure when it came to the football program. If it weren't for him, FSU's current plan to have Jimbo Fisher succeed Bowden probably wouldn't have happened. (Some might say that's not necessarily a bad thing.) Wetherell also replaced former athletic director Dave Hart with Randy Spetman. And Wetherell has been very vocal during the ongoing appeal process. He also made a tremendous impact on the university as a whole.
He'll be tough to replace, but Florida State already has somebody to watch over the athletic department -- and Wetherell hired him. He can leave knowing he made an impact on both FSU athletics and academics.