Randy Spetman, who served as the Air Force Academy director of athletics from 1996-2003, was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Hall of Fame in the class of 2017. The induction ceremony was today at NACDA's 52nd Annual Convention at the Learfield Directors' Cup Luncheon at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Florida. Other inductees include: Mike Alden, University of Missouri; Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Columbia University; C.M. Newton, University of Kentucky; Tim Selgo, Grand Valley State University; and Max Urick, Kansas State University.
“I am very humbled,” Spetman said. “Being selected by your peers really means a lot to me. I feel very fortunate to have worked with some incredible people that have made this possible. Air Force was my first AD job and my time there was great. The coaches and the staff were tremendous and I loved every minute of it. Being able to work with the student-athletes every day was the best part of the job.”
“We are so proud of Randy Spetman,” Air Force Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said. “He has been a premier leader in collegiate sports over many years and is truly deserving of this incredible honor.”
A 1976 graduate of the Academy, Spetman's competitive spirit and warrior-like attitude earned him three letters in football. The team co-captain as a senior, he also captured the heavyweight Wing Open Boxing Championship twice. After receiving his commission, he served as an assistant football coach at the Academy in 1977 under legendary coach Ben Martin. He is the first athletic director in school history to be an athlete and coach at the Academy.
No stranger to being a leader, Spetman's 28-year military career took him around the world and in a variety of positions. A command pilot with over 3,000 hours in the T-37, T-38, KC-135A, UV-18 and the B-52 G/H aircraft, Spetman's range of positions included Chief of Bomber Planning in Desert Shield and Desert Storm to serving as Chief, Command and Control Division, Operations Directorate at the U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
A distinguished graduate from Squadron Officer School, he attended the National War College and earned a master's degree in National Security Strategy. Spetman also holds a master's in management and supervision from Central Michigan University.
Spetman retired as a colonel and spent his last eight years on active duty as director of athletics at the Academy. Under his command, athletics teams at the Academy enjoyed unmatched success as the football team participated in four bowl games, while men’s basketball advanced to its first NCAA Tournament in over 40 years.
Spetman was at the helm when the Academy left the Western Athletic Conference to join the Mountain West Conference for the 1999-2000 academic year. A move that improved the program's national exposure and kept traditional conference rivals like Wyoming and Colorado State on the schedule annually. Spetman was an active member of the MW, serving as a member of the championship committee, handbook committee and television committee.
The Air Force athletic department enjoyed unparalleled success in all areas due to Spetman's vision. The athletic department just moved into the new Falcon Athletic Center, which was on par with the finest athletic facilities in the country when built. The state of the art complex was the first major addition completed for the athletic department in 30 years and included a new weight room, training room, locker rooms and administrative offices. Several improvements to Falcon Stadium also occurred during Spetman's tenure, including a new scoreboard, a new playing surface and permanent lights.
Under Spetman’s leadership, the Academy had 26 nationally-ranked teams, four bowl teams, 224 all-conference athletes, 466 academic all-conference honorees, 108 athletes earn All-America honors and 32 earn academic All-America status.
Following his stint at Air Force, Spetman spent three and a half years at Utah State as the director of athletics from 2004-2007. He was lauded over his tenure at Utah State for the success of the Aggies' athletic programs both on the field or court and in the classroom. Utah State joined the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 2005 and Utah State claimed four conference championships in its first two years. Even more impressive is the fact that USU's student-athletes lead the WAC with a 78 percent graduation rate and maintained over a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
Under Spetman's leadership, Utah State moved forward with several facility projects, including high profile improvements to the football stadium. He also spearheaded fundraising and building efforts for a $12.5 million facility that served to meet the academic and athletics needs of the 16 intercollegiate sports at Utah State. He crafted a unique business partnership for medical health coverage that improved the overall coverage of USU student-athletes and reduced medical costs. In addition, he negotiated a lucrative new marketing agreement for Aggie Athletics with Learfield Sports Properties.
Spetman became the director of athletics at Florida State in February 2008 and served there until 2013. During his time at FSU, the athletics program achieved its highest-ever Learfield Directors’ Cup finishes of fifth in his second year, and ninth in his third year. These were the first top-10 finishes in school history. In 2009-10 and 2010-11, Florida State was the only Division I athletics department in the NCAA to have all of its 19 sports participate in the NCAA postseason.
Spetman served as NACDA President in 2009-10. In his years as director of athletics at FSU, Spetman saw more than 250 All-American honors earned by Seminole student-athletes, 18 ACC Coach of the Year awards, 18 ACC team championships and out of a possible 76 NCAA Tournament appearances, the Seminoles advanced to NCAA postseason play 69 times.
Spetman is married to the former Rebecca Luhring of Des Moines, Iowa. They have two children, Brian and Kim.
Air Force Athletic Accomplishments during Randy Spetman tenur, 1996-2003
1996 – Air Force women enter Division I status. The Academy celebrates 20 years of women attending the Academy. Eric Mack of the track team attends the U.S. Olympic Trails.
1997 – Dan Pempel finishes second in the air rifle at the NCAA Championships, qualifying for the national developmental team. Eric Mack of the track team takes 12th place in the USA Championships in the 5,000-meter run.
1998 – Capt. Dirk Bouma (class of 1990) competed in the CISM Triathlete Championships in Brussels, Belgium and finished 14th. The football team wins its first out-right conference championship and third ever, beating BYU in the WAC championship game. The team goes to a bowl game, finishes ranked 10th nationally in the final polls and has a 12-1 record. The men’s cross country team finished second in the conference while the women’s team placed fourth.
1999 – Air Force moves to the Mountain West Conference. The women’s cross country team finished third in the conference championships, the highest ever for any women’s team at AFA. The first female athlete (cross country) earns the school’s first first-team all-conference honor for women. Former football All-American Chad Hennings is inducted into the Academic All-American Hall of Fame. The boxing team wins its 13th national boxing title.
2000 – The football team finishes 9-3 overall and qualifies for a bowl game. The cross country team earns an at-large berth to the NCAA’s. The track and baseball teams finish second in the conference. Football player Scott Becker wins a National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame scholarship, becoming the first Falcon since 1991 to win one. Football assistant coach Richard Bell is named national assistant coach of the year.
2001 – The men’s cross country team qualifies for another NCAA championship. The women’s cross country team has an athlete qualify for the NCAA championships, becoming the program’s first to do so. The Academy breaks ground on its new athletic facility. Callie Calhoun, class of 1991, was inducted into the NCAA Division II Track and Field Hall of Fame. The boxing team wins its 15th national title.
2002 – Former track and field star Alonza Babers was inducted into the USOC Hall of Fame. The women’s gymnastics team wins its second consecutive USAG national championship. Assistant coach Holly Sanders is named national assistant coach of the year. Diver Sarah Law is named MWC Diver of the Year.
2003 – Former athletic director John Clune is honored as the John L. Toner Award recipient by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. Chris Howard, class of 1991, is inducted into the Academic All-American Hall of Fame. The Academy hosts the NCAA Fencing Championships. Air Force’s Seth Kelsey wins the epee national championship, becoming just the fifth player in AFA history to win a national title. Wrestler Kevin Hoy earns national runner up honors.