Richard Corcoran headlines list of 9 candidates to become next Florida State University president

Florida's education commissioner, others to interview for job
Richard Corcoran, Florida State University presidential candidate
Posted at 10:04 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 22:04:14-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Richard Corcoran is among nine candidates in contention to become the next president of Florida State University.

The university's presidential search committee Tuesday released its list of applicants who have been selected to interview for the position, soon to be vacated by outgoing President John Thrasher.

Arguably the most notable name on the list is Corcoran, Florida's current education commissioner and a former state House speaker.

If selected, Corcoran would become the third former House speaker to lead FSU, following Thrasher and the late T.K. Wetherell. Unlike Thrasher and Wetherell, though, Corcoran is not an alumnus of FSU.

Florida State University President John Thrasher at Mike Norvell's introductory news conference
Florida State University President John Thrasher speaks prior to head football coach Mike Norvell being introduced at a news conference Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla.

Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte, who served as president prior to Wetherell, was also a former state lawmaker.

Should Corcoran advance, he would be the first president not to have graduated from FSU since D'Alemberte stepped down in 2003.

Another familiar name on the list is FSU athletic director David Coburn, who previously served as chief of staff for Thrasher and Eric Barron before him. Barron left his alma mater in 2014 to serve in the same capacity at Pennsylvania State University.

Other applicants to receive interviews are Robert Blouin, provost of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Randy Hanna, dean of FSU's Panama City campus and a former chancellor of the Florida College System; Richard D. McCullough, vice provost for research at Harvard University; Giovanni Piedimonte, vice president for research at Tulane University; Sean Pittman, founder and chief executive officer of the Florida-based Pittman Law Group; Mary Ann Rankin, former provost at the University of Maryland; and Michael Young, former president of Texas A&M University.