Seminole Preview 2010: Coaching

NoleDigest.com has previewed the positions, but the biggest change in Tallahassee will be the coaching staff. As we start practice today, NoleDigest.com takes a closer look at the coaching staff and their impact on the 2010 season.

Head Coach: Jimbo Fisher

Coaching Experience: Fisher started his career at FSU's first opponent Samford('88-'92). A five year stint there had him starting as a "SA/GA" working with the QBs and ending as the Offensive Coordinator/QBs coach.

He moved on to the SEC at Auburn('93-'98) where he spent six years as the QBs coach. After a one year stint at Cincinnati('99) where he was the OC/QB coach he returned to the SEC at LSU('00-'06).

Fisher spent six years in Baton Rouge as the OC/QBs coach including winning a National Title in 2003. Perhaps his best work there was with Matt Mauck, a player who showed significant improvement in a career.

He arrived in Tallahassee in 2007 and has spent the last three years in his familiar role of OC/QBs coach while having been named the "Head Coach in waiting".


Craig will be in his first year at FSU coaching the QBs
Steve Chase, Scout.com

NoleDigest Opinion: The first job of a new head coach is to assemble the right staff. We think he hit a home run here(see below). This staff is not only made up of terrific coaches, but they are also excellent recruiters.

Much is made of coaching tree's in the business and Fisher has worked under two of the best in Nick Saban and Bobby Bowden. Those two have four National Title's to their credit.

Most of his experience comes from the SEC and we expect to see an SEC style team under Coach Fisher: one that is big, one that is physical, and one that knows how to get up for the big game.

At this point, all we can do is sit back and watch how it plays out, but we would be surprised if Fisher was not very successful and here for a long time.

Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends: James Coley

Coaching Experience: He graduated from FSU in 1997. Coley comes from the high school ranks in Dade County at Miami Senior and Miami Norland. He moved on to LSU in 2003 and 2004 as a graduate assistent. In 2005 and 2006 he worked for the NFL Miami Dolphins before moving down the street to FIU as OC/QBs for one season(2007). He has been at FSU for the past two years as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator.

NoleDigest Opinion: This will be his first year as OC at FSU and obviously Coach Fisher(with his background) will be heavily involved on the offensive side of the ball. It is expected that Coley will be the eye's in the sky while Fisher is down on the field. Coley has a brilliant offensive mind and two mind's are better than one.

One only needs to watch the development of Beau Reliford to know the type of Tight End's coach he is, it is tough to find a player that was as raw(he was a basketball player). We think that he will be one of the surprises of the 2010 season.

He has established himself as one of the top recruiters in the game and has borderline "legendary status" in a very short period of time.

Quarterback: Dameyune Craig

Coaching Experience: Coach Fisher knows Craig extremely well, he coached him at Auburn where Craig was a standout QB for the Tiger's. He also possesses LSU ties with a year stint in 2004 before moving on to the Miami Dolphins. 2006 and 2007 were spent at Tuskegee college as a QBs coach before moving on to South Alabama as a WRs coach the past two seasons.

NoleDigest Opinion: Craig is the least experienced of the coaches, but he carries an outstanding reputation. He will earn his stripes with the coaching of youngsters E.J. Manuel, Clint Trickett, and Will Secord. He brings established recruiting ties to areas of the south and Texas.


Dawsey has been working with the WRs for three years
Steve Chase, Scout.com

Associate Head Coach/Special Teams/Running Backs: Eddie Gran

Coaching Experience: Gran is in his 24th year of coaching and is best known for his stint in the SEC with Tommy Tuberville. He coached RBs at Ole Miss from 1995-1999 and then spent 1999-2008 at Auburn as RB/ST's coach. A one year stint in Knoxville(2009) in the same capacity brought him to our doorstep.

NoleDigest Opinon: On a staff full of great hires a case can be made that this was the best. His track record of evaluating and developing top RBs is almost unmatched. He is a brilliant coach technique wise and has consistently gotten the most out of his talent.

RBs like Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown, Deuce McCallister, and Rudi Johnson all thrived under his tutelage and just last year he got a tremendous year from Monterio Hardesty.

The Noles have struggled for years in the running game and that figures to change quickly with Coach Gran. With a deep group of runners to choose from, this is another area where there should be "uptick" in performance. As a recruiter, few are better.

Wide Receivers: Lawrence Dawsey

Coaching Experience: Dawsey is a former Seminole great(WR) who spent significant time in the NFL. His is another career that took off at LSU in the 2003 season as a GA. He moved on to USF where he was the WRs coach from 2004-2006 before returning to Tallahassee the past three years as WRs coach.

NoleDigest Opinion: Dawsey has established himself quickly in Tallahassee. Last season was the first time since '95 that two receivers had more than 60 receptions. He has built quality depth amongst the receiving core and just about every aspect of the players game show consistent improvement.

He is an excellent recruiter, particularly in the Tampa area. He adds the additional job of "passing game coordinator" to his budding resume this season. His work with Jarmon Fortson will be critical to this season's success.

Offensive Line: Rick Trickett

Coaching Experience: The man started in 1973 and his resume is much too long to go through. Some highlighst include stints at Auburn, Mississippi State, LSU, and West Virginia, as well as a being the Head Coach at Glenville State(1999). He has been coaching the offensive line since 1978.

NoleDigest Opinion: This is year four of Coach Trickett and he has recruited and developed one of the top offensive line's in the country. He came into a mess of a situation and has made it a strength right on time(after three years). On the recruiting trail there is no one better at identifying talent. He sometimes goes against the grain, but those seem to be the exact players that he hits on. He loves tough, physical ball players.


It will take some time for Eliot to bring in talent and coach them up
Steve Chase, Scout.com

Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs: Mark Stoops

Coaching Experience: Stoops spent time at USF('96), Wyoming('97-'99), Houston('00), and Miami('01-'03) as DBs coach before moving on to Arizona to take over as defensive coordinator/DBs coach.

NoleDigest Opinion: His final season at Arizona was his best one as DC. The Wildcat's ranked 25th in total defense in the pass happy Pac-10 which in our opinion is akin to developing a top 10 defense in the country.

His work with DBs should be very familiar to FSU due to his time spent at Miami earlier this decade. His zone schemes create turnovers and that is where we expect to see the biggest impact going forward.

He is an excellent recruiter and has two brothers who are head coaches at major programs: Bob(Oklahoma) and Mike(Arizona).

Defensive Ends: D.J. Eliot

Coaching Experience: After five years as a GA/SA at Wyoming, Houston, and Miami, Eliot moved on to Texas State to become a LBs coach('03-'05). He moved onto Tulsa for one season in the same capacity before heading to Rice to become the recruiting coordinator/DL coach. He is the youngest member of the staff.

NoleDigest Opinion: He has work cut out for him as the DEs are one of the weakest links on the team. He will need some time to replenish the depth chart and start coaching that talent up. This is a position that figures to be a work in progress.

Defensive Line: Odell Haggins

Coaching Experience: All Nole, Haggins was a defensive linemen from '86-'89. Haggins has been at FSU since 1994 where he started as a TE/OL coach. In 1996 he moved to the defensive line and has been there ever since.

NoleDigest Opinion: Haggins has an outstanding track record of producing quality defensive tackles. He has earned many coaching accolades over the years and he is the lone holdover on the defensive side of the ball. He should have as much talent this year to work with as he has had in awhile.

Linebacker: Greg Hudson

Coaching Experience: Hudson started in 1993 as a GA at his alma mater Notre Dame. He moved to UCONN as an OL coach for three years before moving on to Cincinnati. In 1999 he became an associate head coach/linebackers coach for the Bearcat's. He has spent the last nine years as DC/LBs coach at Minnesota('01-'04) and East Carolina('05-'09).

NoleDigest Opinion: This was another outstanding hire as Hudson is known as one of the best in the business. Hudson is coming off an outstanding run at East Carolina including back to back conference championships. He preaches turnovers as his defenses were consistently ranked as one of the best in that area. He also has developed a reputation for red zone defense. Hudson has plenty of talent to work with and more help is on the way.

Strength and Conditioning: Vic Viloria

Coaching Experience: Viloria arrives from his alma mater SMU(three years).

NoleDigest Opinion: One only needs to spend some time on campus to see the immediate difference that Viloria has brought to the program. He has left his mark in a short period of time. He has worked under Tommy Moffitt(LSU) and Viloria is known to endorse the "Hatch system". This system creates functional and explosive strength by using a system of free weights, plyometrics, and jumping drills. He clearly is a huge step in the right direction.


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