Fisher Says He Likes Auburn, But...

Jimbo Fisher discussed the Auburn coaching vacancy and other subjects on a visit to Montgomery.

Montgomery, Ala.--Florida State offensive coordinator and head-coach-in-waiting, Jimbo Fisher, said Monday night that "Auburn is a great place," but adds that FSU is where he wants to be and plans to be.

"I have always had such respect for it (Auburn) and I loved my time there," Fisher said in an interview prior to speaking to the Montgomery Quarterback Club's year-end awards banquet. "There has never been any contact from my aspect to Auburn or from Auburn's aspect to me, or with my agent. It's a moot point.

"I have a lot of respect for them and all of that, but there is nothing...everyone kept asking me down in Tallahassee why won't you make a statement. You don't make a statement when there is nothing there. There is no statement to make so I wish them the best on their endeavors of where they are going with their head coach because it is an outstanding program. There are a lot of people there I care about and a lot of good friends I have there. They will make a good choice, I know."

Fisher worked as quarterback coach for the Tigers beginning in 1993 on Terry Bowden's staff. He finished his career as QB coach and offensive coordinator for interim head coach Bill Oliver in 1998.

After his speech at the Embassy Suites in Montgomery, he took questions from the audience. Not surprisingly, it didn't take long for an audience member to ask about his interest in the Auburn job.

"You never say never," Fisher answered. "I am very happy where I am at being at Florida State, but this business is a strange business so you never say never. There is no telling what is going to happen from day to day.

"The guy across the state (Alabama coach Nick Saban) the one blunder I heard him make to the press was, 'I am not going to Alabama.' I am very happy where I am at.

Fisher added, "I loved Auburn. My time at Auburn was great. My wife is an Auburn grad. She is from Alabama and she has a lot of friends. It was a great time for me. It was the first big college job I ever had and we had a lot of success. We had one of those special seasons--we had 11-0 season in 1993. It was special...It was a great place to coach and a great town."

Commenting on being in Tallahassee, when asked if he would consider an offer to be head coach at Auburn, he said, "I am locked in at Florida State. I have got a job at Florida State."

Fisher said he isn't sure how long it will be before the title head-coach-in-waiting at FSU is changed to head coach when Bobby Bowden retires. "I think it could be one to two years. When Coach Bowden wants to. You never know. Coach Bowden feels well. He is very spry. He is as sharp as he ever was when you talk to him."

Asked if they have discussed how much longer Bowden plans to coach, Fisher said, "We haven't really sat down and had that conversation and I don't think it is appropriate for me to have that conversation with him really."

Coach Jimbo Fisher has coached at Auburn and LSU in the SEC and is not in the ACC coaching for the Seminoles.

Fisher said he has heard from his Auburn friends asking him what is happening. "A lot of people because they hear the same reports that everybody else does. I say it is flattering, it mean it really is to have a program that is as outstanding as Auburn's that people think that of you and your friends say they wish you would come back, but it is always that way. Like I say, there have been a lot of very good friends of mine that still live in Auburn or are connected to Auburn. Like I say, it was always a great seven years I was able to be there."

Fisher laughed at the timing of his visit to Montgomery, noting that when the speaking engagement was booked around a year ago he had no idea his name would be in the news like it has been the past week with Auburn looking for a replacement for Tommy Tuberville.

"It's very ironic that the timing of this thing worked out like it did," he said.

Commenting on his reaction to Tuberville not coaching at Auburn, Fisher said, "Sad because I thought he did a really good job there. They have been very successful there, but you know that change is always inevitable. In today's times, it is very much like kids--we all want the quick fix. and we want things to be all right. We want change for change sometimes. It is our society and that is what we have to deal with.

"When you get into coaching, now there are large sums of money and different things have changed, you are not going to have the patience.

"People ask me, the Bobby Bowdens and Joe Paternos--you probably will never see them again to the extent that we see them now because of how much money and the way things have gone in this business, and the way sports is going. And it sad because I say Tommy did a good job. I have never known Tommy and his staff, but they did a good job. And, obviously, they were very good for Auburn, but Auburn people thought it was time for a change, and that's the way this business goes."

FSU's president has been outspoken in saying that Fisher is not leaving Tallahassee for Auburn or any other job. "That is very good because you would rather be wanted than wanting you out of here."

Fisher added, "One thing that I have always tried to do in this business is to be able to look people in the eye and tell them the truth whether it is good or bad. You know when I say something, that is what it means and right now I am very happy at Florida State, and that's the way it is. It is very flattering to have your president and your head coach there to say you don't want him to go anywhere."


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