DEVILLE: Fisher happy about being in Baton Rouge

The best coaches in the business have strong assistant coaches.

Successful programs everywhere usually have at least ultra-talented coordinators running the offense and defense. With that being the case, Les Miles should do just fine in Baton Rouge.


There was plenty of hoopla when Miles was hired about who he would bring in as assistant coaches. Would he retain Nick Saban's staff? Would any of those coaches want to stick around? Would Miles bring his staff from Oklahoma State?


Lots of questions got answered in a hurry. Saban took three assistants to Miami with him to run the Dolphins. Several other coaches went elsewhere. But when Miles announced he had retained the services of offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, the Tiger faithful let out a collective sigh of relief.


Viewed as one – if not the best – offensive mind in the college game these days, Fisher, the highest paid assistant coach in the SEC, decided to stay over and be a part of Miles staff at LSU. Known for his development of successful quarterbacks at every stop he has made, obviously the acquisition of talented prep quarterback Ryan Perrilloux had to help in his decision.


Fisher said he had several options when Miles was hired, one of which was to join Saban in Miami. But he felt there was one place where his loyalties were.


"You always have options in those situations," Fisher said of the fallout of Saban's decision to leave LSU for the Dolphins. "I had been with Nick and he had offered me a position. It was something I thought about and my family thought about and we made a family decision not to do it. Then Les came in and we talked about it for a couple of days. He didn't promise anything, but he thought I could fit into what he wanted to do here and the continuity of me being here would be very good. Then we talked and he offered the position."


Although his roots are firmly planted in Baton Rouge, Fisher said he weighed all the options.


"I took some time because I don't like to jump into decisions," Fisher said. "I love LSU and coach Saban was great to me, but I wanted to sit down and make the right decision for myself and my family. When it got right down to it, we felt like this was the best place to be."


Along with the offer on the table from Saban in Miami, Fisher wouldn't elaborate but said there were offers from other colleges.


"There were three or four universities that offered situations and opportunities and the in the NFL with Nick, but this is the one I wanted to stay with," Fisher said. "He offered me a job in Miami. But the situation and where it was, I didn't feel like it was what was best for me or the right time. Nothing against Nick or Miami, I just feel like this is where our family needs to be right now."


Fisher joined offensive line coach Stacey Searles as the only other holdover from the Saban regime. Former LSU all-American Karl Dunbar rejoined the coaching staff after serving on Saban's support staff in 2001. After five seasons with Saban, one can only imagine how different things are working with the more mild-mannered Miles compared to the fiery Saban.


"Personalities are different, one is an offensive guy and the other is a defensive guy," Fisher said. "But don't mistakes coach Miles for not being an intense guy. He is very intense and very focus. Just sometimes he has a little lighter side on things when it doesn't need to be so intense, whereas coach Saban was intense all the time. That is who he is. That is the thing you have to understand."


Fisher said a coach that is in tune with his personality is usually the most successful.


"The key to it is for both of them to be successful, they have to be who they are," he said. "That is just who Nick was and this is how coach Miles is. For them to be themselves is what will make them successful."


Fisher, along with defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, will be rumored in the next few years as possible head coaching candidates. Fisher, who has already turned down at least two head coaching positions, said when the time is right he will make the jump into the ranks of head coaches. But until then, he is happy at LSU.


"I feel I am and I want to be, but in the right opportunity in the right situation when the time is right," Fisher said. "When the opportunity is right, I'll know it. And as long as it is not, I will enjoy living right here in Baton Rouge."




Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag Magazine. Contact him at 

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