Coaching Carousel

This is the time of year when coaching changes across the country begin to occur. There expects to be plenty of movement, beginning at Florida, of course. <b>Ron Zook</b> and his staff were fired last month. There's plenty of speculation concerning his assistants, namely offensive coordinator <b>Larry Fedora,</b> whose play-calling helped the Gators upend Florida State 20-13 last Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium. FSU, meanwhile, is looking to pick up the pieces following that defeat.

Speculation is hot and rampant concerning football coaching moves at Florida State.

While Seminole coaches are busy in staff meetings today, chatter continues on message boards, radio stations and around work water coolers concerning coach Bobby Bowden and his staff.

Will there be changes?

All indications point to yes.

FSU concluded its regular-season with a disappointing 20-13 home defeat against rival Florida on Saturday.

Following the game, Sunshine Network television announcer Keith Jones, former player with the Seminoles, told viewers to expect the expected -- a coaching shakeup this offseason.

The Seminoles finished 8-3 overall and 6-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Interestingly, FSU still has a chance to share the ACC title. However, it's not a secret people are disappointed in Seminoles' season, including coach Bobby Bowden.

Bowden, however, said he wouldn't discuss coaching changes when broached about the subject during his weekly meeting with the media on Sunday.

Bowden, the all-time winningest coach in Division I history, pointed out that other 8-3 teams across the country are probably sharing the same frustrations at this moment.

"If I make changes, I won't be telling y'all," Bowden said.

Still, problems must be addressed.

The Seminoles' offense again struggled in its regular-season finale, failing to score a first-half offensive touchdown for the sixth game this season. FSU also converted just 1 of 15 third-down conversions to continue an alarming trend. The quarterback situation, once again, remains unsettled heading into the team's bowl game.

"This team's characteristic was different from any I can remember," Bowden said.

"We couldn't get anything going in the first half. After Miami, we had UAB, Clemson, North Carolina and Virginia – and it was like every other year. Typical. Then all of a sudden, we couldn't do anything in the first half. We'd come back in the second half and either win it or lose close. That seemed to be a characteristic of this football team and I can't remember it being like that.

"I don't like it, but I don't think it's anything that can't be fixed. I don't think I've ever had one like this that can't move it in the first half."

Much of the fans' disappointment has been focused on Jeff Bowden, who is in his fourth season as the Seminoles' offensive coordinator.

Jeff Bowden also has coached wide receivers for eight years, retaining those duties when elevated to take over the offense for Mark Richt, who was hired at Georgia in 2000.

While mamy believe Jeff Bowden will retain his duties as offensive coordinator, what if a move is made? What if he resigns, is demoted or shares play-calling duties?

That's where Florida offensive coordinator Larry Fedora comes in. Fedora is looking for a job after Ron Zook and staff were fired last month.

The talked to a source that's close to the Fedora camp and he says Fedora already has three coaching offers but is holding out for Florida State. Fedora is hearing rumors that FSU has interest in him but he's yet to be contacted.

While Fedora is obviously going to be a solid hire somewhere, shuffling is expected at FSU in some capacity.

In what capacity remains to be seen -- that's the $1 millon question -- but names that continue to be mentioned include quarterbacks coach Daryl Dickey and offensive line coach Jimmy Heggins.

Dickey is a solid coach but many believe he wants to move on to continue his climb up the D-I coaching ladders. Dickey arrived at FSU after four seasons as the head coach at Presbyterian College in South Carolina. Dickey, the son of former Tennessee and Florida head coach Doug Dickey, also was a volunteer assistant coach at FSU in 1989.

Heggins, in his 19th season with the Seminoles and 11th as offensive line coach, has plenty of experience. However, he has drawn heated criticism for his unit's lack of development.

Heggins played at FSU under coach Bobby Bowden in the mid-1970s. He coached the tight ends and nose guards at FSU prior to taking over offensive line duties in 1994, when Brad Scott left to become the head coach at South Carolina.

Again, any coaching change at this point is pure speculation -- and water cooler fodder.

Bowden and staff, however, are searching for answers.

That is reality.

"I liked what we had," Bowden said.

"You look at the season and you realize you're 8-3 and you can't get anything going in the first half. You look at other teams – not all of them – but you see it happening in the Alabama-Auburn game (Saturday).

"Auburn has got two first-round draft picks back there in the backfield and has an outstanding football team yet 'Bama shut them out the first half. I don't think Auburn had but one or two first downs in the first half. It happens to other teams but we just don't focus on other teams. Other teams have the same problem we have."

Nole Digest Top Stories