Florida State Seminoles hire Michael Alford as AD after courting now-ex-Louisville AD Vince Tyra for the job

Florida State named Michael Alford as its new athletic director Thursday, with the Seminoles changing course after targeting Louisville AD Vince Tyra for the job.

Alford, who will start his new role on Jan. 3, has served as president and CEO of Seminole Boosters since 2020, accepting that job after spending time as athletic director at Central Michigan from 2017 to 2020. When Alford took the job with Seminole Boosters, it was widely anticipated he would succeed David Coburn as athletic director.

However, when Coburn announced his retirement last week, new FSU president Richard McCullough targeted Tyra as the school's top candidate. On Sunday, a source with knowledge of the search told ESPN that Tyra was offered the job and that the expectation was that he would become the next AD.

On Wednesday, the Louisville board of trustees waived the noncompete clause and 30-day termination notice from Tyra's contract. Louisville spokesman John Karman confirmed Tyra had offered his resignation, effective Wednesday, and that the university accepted it.

Louisville president Neeli Bendapudi also resigned Thursday to become president at Penn State University.

Uncertainty about what Tyra would do began to surface Wednesday evening, and it is unclear what events took place concerning the FSU offer. He did not return a message seeking comment.

On Thursday, Florida State went in a different direction -- albeit the one many anticipated all along. During his time at Seminole Boosters, Alford has helped stabilize the relationship between that organization and the athletic department, with a renewed focus on fundraising and facility development specifically for football.

Alford and coach Mike Norvell have developed a strong relationship, and the two have worked closely on a new design plan for a standalone football facility.

Florida State has a 20-sport program with a $106 million budget.

"Michael Alford's experience and passion for Florida State University make him an outstanding choice to lead the athletics department," McCullough said in a statement. "Since arriving at FSU, he has made a tremendous impact and has garnered the overwhelming support of the Florida State community. Most importantly, his commitment to education and preparing student-athletes for lifelong success reflects the mission and values of Florida State University."