Sunday, December 23, 2007

For Those Who Wonder - Jimbo Fisher

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, everyone agreed that Doc Holliday would be brining his gun-slinging ways to Morgantown and take over where Rich Rodriguez once stood. Boy, what a difference a few days make. Beginning yesterday, all eyes turned to Jimbo Fisher from Florida State. And today, many are claiming that Jimbo will be the next coach at WVU. Personally, I give him as much chance of being the coach as Terry Bowden, Doc Holliday or Mike Locksley. All have been mentioned...but Jimbo is today's flavor of the week...or day. So, without further adieu, some information about another West Virginia native, Jimbo Fisher.

Born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, Fisher attended Liberty High School before going to Salem College in Salem, West Virginia where he played quarterback under head coach Terry Bowden from 1985-1986. When Bowden left for Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, Fisher transferred with him to play his final season for the Bulldogs where he was named Division III National Player of the Year.

In 1988, he played one season in the Arena Football League. He then rejoined Bowden at Samford as a graduate assistant coach working with quarterbacks from 1988-1990 and was subsequently hired as the fulltime offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. After two seasons, Fisher moved with Bowden to Auburn University where he coached quarterbacks alongside offensive coordinator Tommy Bowden. While at Auburn, Fisher coached several successful quarterbacks including Patrick Nix, the current offensive coordinator for Miami.

Fisher continued at Auburn until the hiring of current Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville in the wake of Bowden's 1998 mid-season resignation. He then coached quarterbacks for one season at Cincinnati before joining Nick Saban's new staff at LSU in 2000. When Saban left for the NFL's Miami Dolphins Fisher remained at LSU to continue his role with Les Miles. He has guided several well-known quarterbacks in his tenure with the LSU Tigers including Josh Booty, Rohan Davey, Matt Mauck and JaMarcus Russell.

After the 2006 season, Fisher interviewed for the head coaching position at the University of Alabama at Birmingham but the Board of Trustees, which also governs the University of Alabama, vetoed the contract offer for Fisher causing some controversy. He subsequently signed a three year contract to become the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Florida State University. He will receive a base salary of $215,000 with incentives increasing the total package into the low $400,000 range. In a press release on December 10, 2007 Jimbo Fisher was named the eventual successor for the legendary coach Bobby Bowden, although Bowden has not yet announced a retirement date. This new contract will pay Fisher about $600,000 per year with a $2.5 million buy out clause.

So, there you have it. You see Jimbo kinda fits into the Bowden / Rodriguez triangle for West Virginia by playing and coaching with Terry. Fisher brings a pretty impressive resume with him should he choose to come to WVU. The recent suspension of 36 Florida State players may play a part in Jimbo's decision considering his is supposed to be the next Florida State coach. After witnessing the Seminoles conduct issues, he may be giving that gig a second thought. Obviously, the $2.5 million dollar buyout is the biggest obstacle to bringing Fisher to WVU but if the University wants to make a splash with their new hire, stealing Florida State's Offensive Coordinator and next Head Coach is probably about as big as it gets.

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