Coaching Candidate First Look: Jimbo Fisher

We take a look at some of the coaches who could be in the mix for the Auburn Tigers as they look to replace Coach Gene Chizik. Next up is Jimbo Fisher.

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In his sixth year at Florida State and third as the head coach after succeeding legendary Bobby Bowden, Jimbo Fisher has the Seminoles on the verge of the ACC Championship after going 10-2 in the regular season in 2012. Currently 29-10 in his three years, Fisher has won at least nine games each year at the helm in Tallahassee.

Fisher's coaching career began at Samford where he transferred as a senior from Salem College in West Virginia. First as a student assistant and later as offensive coordinator, Fisher coached with Terry Bowden at Samford for five seasons before making the move to Auburn in 1993.

Coaching the quarterbacks for the Tigers for six seasons, Fisher helped Auburn to a perfect 11-0 season in his first year, nine wins the following year, and a 10-win season and a berth in the SEC Championship Game in 1997.

Following a disappointing season in 1998, Fisher made the move to Cincinnati as the quarterback coach and offensive coordinator before returning to the SEC. In 2000 he was hired by Nick Saban to be the offensive coordinator at LSU and held the title for seven seasons. During his time in Baton Rouge LSU was 70-20 with three Sugar Bowl appearances.

One of those seasons culminated in winning the BCS National Championship thanks to a dynamic offensive attack. Averaging 33.9 points per game, LSU averaged 418.4 yards of total offense per game and had both a 1,000-yard rusher (Justin Vincent) and a 1,000-yard receiver (Michael Clayton). Vincent, Clayton and receiver Devery Henderson all scored at least 10 touchdowns that season for a balanced offense.

Jimbo Fisher, whose wife is an Auburn graduate, was a respected assistant coach during his time at AU.

Moving to Florida State in 2007 as the coach-in-waiting, Fisher's first three seasons at the end of the Bowden Era were a struggle for the Seminoles. With a record of 23-14 during that span, Fisher had some work to do in order to get the Seminoles back to national prominence.

Taking over as head coach in 2010, Fisher guided FSU to a 10-4 record and a win over South Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. That season the Seminoles swept Miami and Florida and won the Atlantic Division for the first time since 2003.

Following the 2010 season quarterback Christian Ponder was selected with the 12th overall selection in the NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He was the 11th quarterback coached by Fisher to be selected in the NFL draft in his 23 seasons as a coach.

Pros

Fisher has worked under Nick Saban and Bobby Bowden and has taken parts of their style and ingrained it into his system at Florida State. Winning on the field and on the recruiting trail, Fisher has former Auburn standout quarterback Dameyune Craig on his coaching staff as well as former Auburn offensive line coach Rick Trickett. Craig would be an especially popular part of a staff should he return to the Plains as an assistant. With Craig on board it could helpful to in-state recruiting for the Tigers, particularly in the Mobile area.

Cons

Florida State has a chance to win its first ACC title since 2005, but one of the favorites to challenge for the national championship this year, the Seminoles are only 2-2 against teams with winning records this season. One of those came last week to Florida while the other came against North Carolina State, a team that fired its coach after the season.

In 2011 Fisher's talented team lost three in a row during the season against Oklahoma, Clemson and Wake Forest, and later added a loss to Virginia at home. That's the same Virginia team that Auburn ran out of the building just over a month later in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta. For all his success and wins, Fisher's teams have had problems beating quality football teams the last three years.


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