LAKELAND, FL – After more than a decade at the helm of Florida Southern College's intercollegiate athletic programs, Director of Athletics Pete Meyer is retiring in February. Meyer will pursue an opportunity in private business with his wife, Julie. His last official day will be Feb. 24.
During the 10-plus years of his leadership, Florida Southern has won four NCAA Division II National Championships, 12 individual NCAA National Championships, and 33 Sunshine State Conference titles, making it one of the most successful Division II programs in the country.
"In 2008, Dr. Anne Kerr took a chance on a baseball coach and hired him as her Director of Athletics," said Meyer. "I could never have dreamed of the success we have had not only on the fields, courts, courses and in the pool, but also in the classroom and in the community."
"The opportunity to work with Dr. Kerr and the rest of the administration has been amazing. Florida Southern is one of the finest colleges in the nation and continues to excel in every area. I want to personally thank Dr. Kerr for the opportunity, as well as Terry Dennis, Vice President of Finance and Administration, the Board of Trustees, led by Dr. Bob Fryer, the cabinet, the countless boosters, and community members who have made my job easy and tremendously rewarding."
During his tenure as Director of Athletics, the Mocs have made 97 NCAA postseason appearances and captured six national runner-up finishes. Florida Southern has won the SSC Mayor's Cup four times on the men's side and twice on the women's side during Meyer's tenure, including a sweep during the 2017-18 academic year. A total of 139 different student-athletes have earned all-America honors for their athletic prowess during his tenure.
Under his direction, Florida Southern finished in the top 25 of the Learfield Director's Cup seven times, including a fifth-place finish in 2017-18, and has captured eight SSC Athlete of the Year honors.
In addition to the Moccasins' success on the field, Meyer has also overseen the department's success in the classroom. The Moccasins have won three SSC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards in the last decade, produced seven NCAA Elite 90 winners, and posted a department-wide cumulative grade-point average of 3.42 at the conclusion of the 2017-18 academic year.
The Mocs have also had more than 40 student-athletes earn CoSIDA/Google Cloud Academic all-America honors since Meyer began his time as the head of the department.
"During Pete Meyer's tenure as Director of Athletics, our nationally renowned NCAA Division II athletic program has experienced notable growth in the number of student-athletes as well as the quality of our facilities," said FSC President Dr. Anne Kerr. "Under his direction, our campus Wellness Programs have continued to expand to meet the needs of our students, faculty, and staff. Coach Meyer's outstanding leadership has helped set the stage for the continued success of our championship athletic program."
In Meyer's 11 years as the Director of Athletics, Florida Southern added seven new sports (beach volleyball, eSports, equestrian, men's/women's lacrosse, men's/women's track), expanding the size of the athletics program to more than 450 student-athletes in 20 NCAA sponsored sports.
He was also involved in facilities upgrades during his time at Florida Southern, including the brand-new Barnett Athletic Complex, the Judy and Joe P. Ruthven Beach Volleyball Courts, the Wynee Warden Tennis Center, the procurement of historic Henley Field, the remodel of Jenkins Field House, the addition of the "Moc Dock" on Lake Hollingsworth, and the Jenkins Clubhouse at Henley Field.
He has served on several committees during his career, which includes the NCAA Baseball South Region Advisory Committee and the board of directors for Special Olympics Florida. He has served as the chair of the Sunshine State Conference Athletic Directors' Committee and taught several courses as an adjunct faculty member at the College.
Prior to his time as the director of athletics, Meyer served as an assistant athletic director and the Mocs' head baseball coach. He led Florida Southern to a national championship in 2005 and produced more than 40 future Major League Baseball draftees. He was inducted into the Florida Southern College Athletics Hall of Fame last year.
"All the success in athletics is the direct result of a highly-skilled staff, along with hardworking coaches and gifted student-athletes," said Meyer. "All the credit goes to the coaches and student-athletes for the victories and awards. I feel very lucky to have been a part of such an amazing group of individuals. I will miss the relationships and the success, but when I leave I will always be a Moc! Thank you for the memories! Go Mocs!!"
Drew Howard, the Senior Associate Athletic Director, will take over for Meyer on an interim basis beginning Feb. 1. Florida Southern College will conduct a national search for its next Athletic Director.