While it was announced last week that this move was happening, the press conference served as FSU providing the program some stability after Coach Bowden stepped down. We have seen many national powers struggle once their legendary coaches left the program: Nebraska after Tom Osborne left, Oklahoma after Barry Switzer left, and USC in the late 80's and 1990's after Jack McKay and John Robinson moved on. By making this announcement FSU is making a statement that they are going to ensure that FSU doesn't fall into the abyss that these schools experienced.
While Jimbo Fisher doesn't have any head coaching experience, there's a reason he's been a hot name attached to job openings over the last 2 years. A native of Clarksburg, WV, the offensive coordinator has been coaching for 19 years. He began to attain national acclaim as the quarterback coach for Terry Bowden at Auburn from 1993-1998. After a very successful year at Cincinnati in 1999, Fisher moved on to LSU. This is where he made his biggest statement as a coach on the rise. Coach Fisher came to FSU highly regarded for a reason. As the offensive coordinator at LSU, the Tigers posted a 70-20 record during the 7 years he was there. With 7 bowl games and a 2003 National title to show, he was an integral part of the staff that helped make LSU one of the new powerhouses in college football today.
The area where FSU has been lacking lately is in the development of players. With Fisher as OC and the next HC, needless to say that problem should be taken care of. Quarterback play has been the prime example where the coaching staff has done a poor job of getting their kids to improve. While players like Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee came in highly rated, they still needed to be able to continue to get better. At LSU Fisher coached 5 quarterbacks in his tenure that were NFL draft picks in JaMarcus Russell, Josh Booty, Rohan Davey, Craig Nall and Matt Mauck. Booty and Russell were named All-SEC quarterbacks in 2000 and 2006, respectively. His experience shows that Fisher will get results.
There are many positives to this hire. Along with stability and a smooth transition, recruiting looks like the impact of Fisher will be felt the most. As we've seen with this 2008 class, Fisher is a workhorse who will bust his tail to bring in the best players possible. From E.J. Manuel, Nigel Bradham, Corey Surrency, Tavares Pressley and on Fisher is bringing in his guys, players who are considered the best of the best in this class. With 5 first round draft picks in 3 years, it looks as though Fisher will know how to bring these kids along and ensure they'll be the players recruiting services are projecting them as.
Again, while Fisher's reign at FSU is a year or two away, he is excited to have this opportunity, as he said, "I am humbled and exited about this chance. I know my job right now is as the offensive coordinator. I know I'll become the head coach here, but I am in no rush. I look to be here for a long time." With the succession announced and the future secure, it looks as though FSU may have gotten it right with Jimbo. As he says, "The idea of the succession plan was sort of a shock to me. Once Bobby approved it I knew it would work itself out. With the other opportunities that were out there I wasn't sure if I was going to be here or not. But now I have a chance to be somewhere long term and I won't have to move around."