Leading Candidate?

With the departure of John Lilly from FSU, the Seminoles are again looking for a coach to join the staff. There are many quality names and coaches out there, but NoleDigest has been hearing the search has a leading quality candidate.

John Lilly was at Florida State for 13 years. He was instrumental is the Seminoles dynasty era and was a very well respected part of the staff. Since 1998 he has served as the recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach, but now he is moving on to take the vacated tight end coach spot at the University of Georgia.

One name that has popped onto the radar and a guy who is most likely the top candidate for FSU is James Coley. Coley just completed his first season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Florida International. Coley is relatively new to the coaching ranks, but everywhere he's been he has found success.

Florida International head coach speaks very highly of Coley, saying, "James is an extremely intelligent coach who has all the tangibles and intangibles to be a great offensive coordinator. He is a Miami guy who has great recruiting ties."

Before he joined FIU's staff he was part of the Nick Saban's staff with the Miami Dolphins. Working primarily with Dolphins receivers in the 2006 season, Coley was responsible for future opponent breakdown of defenses and self-scouting as the offensive quality control coach.

It's no wonder that Coley is considered the favorite to land the job with FSU. Not only is he a great coach, but he worked previously with FSU offensive coordinator and next head man Jimbo Fisher. In 2003 and 2004 he was an offensive graduate assistant with Fisher at LSU. He was responsible for breaking down tape and making the gameplans and scouting reports.

Coley, who graduated from Florida State in 1997, is the young, energetic coach the Seminole staff is looking to add as they begin to transition to the Jimbo Fisher era. As a guy who's coached Dwayne Bowe, Andre Johnson and Roscoe Parrish, Coley has shown he can develop talent and make an impact on a coaching staff. For FSU, improvement at the tight end spot and the addition of another fierce recruiter will only aid the return to glory they're looking for.

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