Fayetteville State University wrapped up a monumental year in athletics
Fayetteville, N.C. (June 2, 2023) — The Broncos won a record-setting seven Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) championships, by far the most in the conference in the 2022-23 season. Not only did they take home the most titles, the Broncos also captured their second consecutive CIAA Loretta Taylor Award, which goes to the winningest women’s program in the conference.
Todd Bennett, the architect of the Broncos’ successful program, was named CIAA Athletics Director of the Year for the second straight time. FSU has won twelve conference titles in the last two years under his guidance.
“What a time to be a Bronco,” Bennett said. “We have something truly special at Fayetteville State University and I am honored to serve. Success like this is a testament to the hard work, dedication, vision, and leadership of the entire staff, student-athletes, and administration.”
Success at Fayetteville State University has been on a steady climb. The Broncos captured five CIAA Championships during the 2021-22 academic year, four in 2019-20, and before that, two in 2011-12. Over the past seven years, eighteen titles were captured by 10 of the Broncos’ 11 programs.
The 2022-23 year began with the University’s first-ever men’s cross-country championship. Women’s cross-country followed with its fifth consecutive conference title and the women’s track & field program won indoor and outdoor championships to complete a conference sweep.
“We’ll think back on this season in our life, winning both the men’s and women’s cross-country championships and both the women’s indoor and outdoor championships, and know it was a blessing,” said Track & Field Head Coach Inez Turner. “Our track & field program’s primary objective is to develop champions for life. So, success has an immediate impact on the lives and mindsets of our young athletes. They will be prepared to succeed in various undertakings, including those in the classroom, on the track, and in life.”
Turner was named CIAA Coach of the Year for each of the winning programs. She has a total of 11 CIAA Coach of the Year honors in seven years since coaching at Fayetteville State.
In addition to team track & field honors, standout M’Smyra Seward recently finished fourth in the long jump at the 2023 NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships. She joins former football standout and sprinter James Wooten as NCAA track & field All-Americans at FSU. Wooten was a 1974 All-American and Seward is a three-time All-American.
Fayetteville State Football began dominating the CIAA Southern Division in 2017 with berths to the championship game each year. This year, the Broncos returned from Salem, Virginia, with the program’s fourth overall title and first since 2009.
“There is an immediate impact from winning championships,” states Head Football Coach Richard Hayes, Jr. “It has kept us in the hunt in recruiting battles for some top-notch players. Interest in our program has grown tremendously. The University and the success of Athletics have rallied the Fayetteville community back to our campus.”
After participating in the CIAA Bowling Championship match for six straight years, the women’s bowling program claimed the 2023 title with a 4-0 sweep over five-time defending champion Bowie State.
“Our weakness in the past was our unity,” added CIAA Bowling Coach of the Year Robert Henderson. “My challenge this year was to develop team unity and work together for one goal; win a championship.”
Under the leadership of CIAA Golf Coach of the Year John Cole, the Broncos dominated this year’s championship course by ten strokes over the competition. Fayetteville State went on to finish second at the NCAA Super Regional to advance to the team’s second National Championship appearance since 2021.
“To continue this momentum, we have to continually recruit the best players available and then develop them once they get to campus,” adds Coach Cole. “Recruiting is the lifeblood of a team in any sport. We must dedicate ourselves in the offseason to growing. There is always somebody behind you ready to move up and take your spot if you’re not putting in the work.”
Since joining the conference in 1954, Fayetteville State University has claimed a total of 68 championships over the past 68 years. The way the program is rolling, more championships appear to be on the horizon.
Read more at FSUBroncos.com.