FSU-UF ROTC game ball run to honor 150 years of college football
Florida State University’s and the University of Florida’s Air Force and Army ROTC programs are starting a new tradition this year by partnering up for a Game Ball Run prior to the FSU-UF rivalry football game Saturday, Nov. 30, in Gainesville.
Participants will run a collective 150 miles to commemorate 150 years of college football and highlight both the rivalry between the two football teams and comradery between the FSU and UF ROTC programs.
FSU President John Thrasher will present Saturday’s game ball to 40 participating FSU ROTC cadets and their leadership during a ceremonial handoff Friday in front of the Westcott Building. FSU ROTC will begin its portion of the run at 5 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23.
At the midway point between Tallahassee and Gainesville, FSU ROTC runners will hand the ball off to 35 UF ROTC cadets and their leaders Saturday night. The UF team will carry it the rest of the way Sunday, Nov. 24. The ceremonial handoff will take place:
FRIDAY, NOV. 22
4 P.M. WESTCOTT BUILDING
222 S. COPELAND ST.
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
FSU and UF ROTC cadets and leadership will deliver the game ball to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium just prior to the coin toss on game day.
Between the two schools, there are approximately 500 cadets pursuing commissions to become officers in the United States military.
The USAF Air University Public Affairs Team, FSUPD and the Florida Highway Patrol also will take part in the run.
The FSU Air Force ROTC program was established in 1949 and has commissioned more than 2,000 officers into the Air Force. In 2017, the program was recognized with the prestigious High Flight Award for the best ROTC Detachment in the Southeast Region and was the second-best Air Force program in the nation.
The FSU Army ROTC’s modern era began in 1951, but the program has roots dating back to the West Florida Seminary, which offered courses in military science beginning in 1859. FSU Army ROTC cadets won the 2019 6th Brigade Ranger Challenge Competition and earned top-five finishes at the 2019 West Point Sandhurst Military Skills Competition.