After myriad twists and turns, the coaching search in Tallahassee appears headed toward its conclusion.
A few hours after one of Florida State’s top targets, James Franklin, agreed to a new contract to remain at Penn State — and a couple of days after another contender, Matt Campbell, inked a new deal with Iowa State — reports began to emerge Friday night that Memphis’ Mike Norvell was favored to be the next head coach at FSU. Saturday morning, it is now being reported that Norvell is expected to be FSU’s next head.
Norvell and Memphis will face Cincinnati in the AAC championship game later on today. An official announcement of Norvell as Willie Taggart‘s permanent replacement is expected either later on today or at some point Sunday.
The 38-year-old Norvell is in the midst of his fourth season at Memphis. In the first three, the Tigers won eight, 10 and eight games as well as two AAC West titles. This season, the Tigers have won a school-record 11 games and claimed a third-straight division title.
The Tigers have also lost all three of its bowl games under Norvell, who is in his first stint as a head coach.
In the days after Taggart was fired, Bob Stoops‘ name was connected to the opening through various levels of speculation. At one point, FSU’s athletic director, David Coburn, publicly stated that the current head coach and general manager of the XFL’s Dallas franchise was a candidate for the job; Stoops subsequently stated that “the rumors/reports of him being a candidate for the Florida State job opening are not accurate.” Stoops is no longer considered a viable candidate.
Of course, Primetime was a fleeting part of the search soap opera as well.
Interim head coach Odell Haggins has also drawn support from current Seminole football players to take over the job permanently. The Seminoles won two of three with Haggins in charge in finishing out the regular season 6-6.