Sports Outside the Beltway

Jimbo Fisher FSU’s New Offensive Coordinator

Much-sought-after LSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher has finally signed with Florida State.

Less than 48 hours after ending negotiations with Louisiana State offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden changed his mind Monday and, apparently, Fisher’s too.

Bowden named Fisher, 41, as his offensive coordinator at Florida State, which had suffered decreasing production on offense in recent years under the directions of Bowden’s youngest son, Jeff Bowden.

“His ability to put in an offense and adjust as the season goes along is second to none,” Bobby Bowden said about Fisher. “He brings the experience and attitude that I was looking for in a coordinator.”

ESPN’s Jim Donnan first reported the hiring earlier Monday.

A West Virginia native, Fisher spent the past seven seasons at LSU, where the offense set 13 school records under his direction. He will also take over as quarterback coach for Daryl Dickey, whose contract was not renewed.

“The opportunity to coach at Florida State and to grow as a coach under coach Bowden was one that I could not pass up,” said Fisher, who signed a three-year agreement with a starting base salary of $215,000.

However, on Saturday it appeared Florida State had given up on landing Fisher, a protege of Bowden’s son, Terry Bowden. “Florida State will move forward to pursue other options among a number of outstanding coaches who want to share in FSU’s traditions and values,” coach Bobby Bowden said, adding that Fisher would “be a benefit to whatever organization he ends up with.”

What’s interesting is that there are indeed going to be several head coach openings as the end-of-season NFL-college carousel continues to turn. While the presumption is that Fisher will ultimately succeed Bobby Bowden once he finally retires, you’d think he’d want to keep his options open.

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Fisher had become a puzzle to me. He could have had the job at Mississippi State (admittedly, not a plum, but still an SEC job) and reportedly wasn’t very interested. He also was mentioned at Ole Miss a couple of years ago, and in fact for a while was mentioned for almost every open SEC head coaching job, but never seemed to be actively pursuing anything. I had wondered if his reluctance to go after a head coach job had damaged his reputation – that maybe people thought he didn’t have the “fire in the belly”, to quote Walter Mondale. This FSU move may have been what he was waiting for all along.

Posted by Harry | January 9, 2007 | 12:52 pm | Permalink

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