Not that there was much doubt, but now it’s officially official.
Earlier this afternoon, myriad reports surfaced that Jimbo Fisher had decided to leave as Florida State’s head coach and assume the same position at Texas A&M. Not long after, FSU president John Thrasher confirmed that Fisher had informed him he’s accepted A&M’s offer.
Fisher will not coach FSU’s regular-season finale, it was also confirmed, with longtime defensive line coach Odell Haggins serving as interim head coach for Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Monroe. FSU needs to win that game to avoid going bowl-less for the first time since 1981.
Fisher spent the past 11 seasons with the Seminoles, the last eight as head coach. In that span, FSU went 83-23 overall and 48-17 in ACC play. The ‘Noles won three conference titles, four Atlantic Division crowns and the 2013 national championship. Their last conference title came in 2014, with the season bottoming out at 5-6 heading into this weekend’s rescheduled game.
Reports out of College Station have Fisher arriving in the area Sunday and being officially introduced as the Aggies’ new head football coach at a Monday press conference.
Below are the statements from both Thrasher and athletic director Stan Wilcox addressing Fisher’s departure for the SEC:
STATEMENT FROM FSU PRESIDENT JOHN THRASHER
Florida State University has one of the premier programs in college football and has had only two head football coaches in the past 40 years.
Today, Jimbo Fisher informed me he has accepted an offer to become the next head football coach at Texas A&M University. Coach Fisher did an exceptional job as both an assistant coach at FSU and in the challenging role of successor to the legendary Bobby Bowden. I believe Texas A&M is getting one of the best coaches in college football. We appreciate all he has done for our program and wish him and his family great success moving forward.
From the moment media reports began to circulate about our position, it became evident the job would attract great interest from a number of elite coaches, and we will move quickly to evaluate candidates from across the nation.
Our fans are the best in the country, loyal and passionate about developing student-athletes who are champions on and off the field. They’ve made Doak Campbell Stadium one of the most thrilling venues in all of college sports along with its storied traditions that represent the spirit and excellence of our distinguished university, athletically and academically. The excitement around Florida State is indisputable, and a tremendous opportunity awaits whoever is chosen as our new head football coach.
STATEMENT FROM FSU VICE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS STAN WILCOX
President Thrasher and I have worked together through this challenging period while Coach Fisher was making a decision, and I appreciate the cooperation, support and leadership he has provided.
In the interim, I have appointed associate head coach and defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins to serve as our head coach versus ULM.
As the president alluded to, we are extremely pleased by the quality of individuals who have already expressed interest in being the head coach at Florida State University. I am confident we will fill the position very soon.
I would tell our supporters and fans the same thing that I told our team: we will hire a head coach that will lead Florida State to ACC and National Championships; one who will maintain our commitment to academic excellence; and one who will make you proud to be a Seminole.