Jimbo Fisher leaving FSU to become head coach at Texas A&M
He won’t coach in Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Monroe, sources told ESPN. Florida State officials plan to announce his resignation Friday afternoon.
The 52-year-old Fisher had hoped to wait to announce his decision until after Saturday’s regular-season finale in Tallahassee, Florida, which the Seminoles (5-6, 3-5 ACC) need to win to extend their streak of 35 consecutive bowl games. That game was postponed from Sept. 9 and rescheduled to this coming weekend because of Hurricane Irma.
On ESPNU SiriusXM radio Thursday, Fisher said he was not going to talk about potential jobs. Asked for a timetable when he might make a choice, Fisher answered, “I always make decisions at the end of the year after things are finished.”
When Texas A&M fired Sumlin — who went 51-26 in six seasons with the Aggies — on Sunday, athletic director Scott Woodward stated a desire to compete for SEC and national championships. When asked Thursday what he would be looking for in a coach, university chancellor John Sharp said: “Nothing serious, just want him to win a national championship.”
Texas A&M sources indicated to ESPN that the Aggies were prepared to make Fisher one of the sport’s three highest-paid coaches with an annual salary of more than $7 million, which would rank behind only Alabama’s Nick Saban ($11.1 million in total compensation this year, average of $8.27 million over eight years). Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is currently behind Saban ($8.5 million this year, average of $6.75 million over eight years).
ESPN reported last week that several Florida State officials expected Fisher to leave and have been preparing to target his replacement. The Seminoles, sources said, would like to target a minority coach, if possible. Oregon‘s Willie Taggart, former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin and South Florida‘s Charlie Strong are options who might be considered.
Fisher won the BCS National Championship in 2013 with the Seminoles and was 83-23 in eight seasons as their head coach. In December 2016, Fisher signed a contract extension through 2024 that put him among the top six highest-paid coaches in the country.
Texas A&M last won a conference championship in 1998 when the Aggies were members of the Big 12. The school’s lone national championship came in 1939.
Information from ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and Sam Khan and The Associated Press was used in this report.