Q&A with Sue Semrau


Q: As you began experiencing success as a coach, what other current or former coaches did you learn the most from?

A: “Bobby Bowden, John Wooden, Jane Albright, and Kay Yow.”

Q: What are the keys to getting players to buy into your system?

A: “I think building relationships is a key - I’ve always believed that players won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” 

Q: In your years of coaching, what memory stands out the most?

A: “Last season, we had a player Gabby Bevillard, who had suffered and overcome multiple knee injuries all while caring for her mother who was dying from cancer.  In February, Gabby was able to play in our annual Pink Game and hit a 3 in honor of her late mother.  That might have been one of the more moving experiences I have had as a coach.  The courage that Gabby showed through it all was truly an inspiration to her teammates and coaches.”

Q: We have several Upward Stars’ teams with girls looking to one day play college ball. What do you as a coach look for in a player you want to recruit to FSU?

A: “Besides the necessary skill and athleticism to play on a Top 10 team, we look for players who have outstanding character, a positive attitude, strong work ethic, and a desire to excel as people, students and athletes.”

Q: You’ve involved your teams in various charities and service projects over the years. What kind of impact do you hope those moments have on your players?

A: “I firmly believe that “To whom much is given, much is required”.  We like to use an analogy about HOW the Dead Sea IS called “DEAD” because nothing lives in it.  It has no life because tributaries flow into it but not out of it.  It only takes in, doesn’t give back.  We want our players full of life.  I hope our players leave our program as servant leaders, understanding the importance of giving back to all those around them.” 

Q: What Bible verse has impacted you the most in your coaching career?

A: “Honestly, whichever verse I read that morning in my daily devotion time, is the one that I hope impacts me the most.  I believe that the Bible speaks to me in so many ways at different times and so many verses have helped me through whatever I am dealing with on that particular day.”

In 18 seasons as the Head Coach for Florida State’s Women’s Basketball Team, Sue Semrau has compiled a 339-216 record. She has led the Seminoles to the NCAA tournament in 10 of the last 11 seasons, advancing all the way to the Elite 8 in 2014-15. Semrau has been named ACC Coach of the Year three different times. Following the 2013-14 season, Coach Semrau won the distinguished Kay Yow Award, given annually to the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Head Coach that displays excellent character on and off the court. You can follow Coach Semrau on Twitter: @CoachSueFSU