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MONDAY, JANUARY 8, 2007
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LSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher with head coach Les Miles.
AP photo by Bill Haber
LSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher with head coach Les Miles.

Tide faces less competition in Fisher sweepstakes

By Mark Edwards
medwards@decaturdaily.com· 340-2461

If new Alabama football coach Nick Saban wants Jimbo Fisher as his offensive coordinator, he has less competition.

Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden had offered its offensive coordinator’s job to Fisher, but late Saturday night, the school withdrew the offer.

“Florida State will move forward to pursue other options among a number of outstanding coaches who want to share in FSU’s traditions and values,” Bowden said in a statement released by the school’s media relations office.

“Coach Fisher will be a benefit to whatever organization he ends up with and we will secure the best coach available to lead our offense.”

Bowden was looking for a replacement for Jeff Bowden, the youngest son of the head coach. Jeff Bowden resigned in November.

Fisher, 41, has served as LSU’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator since 2000. He worked under Saban there for five years.

Before then, he worked under Terry Bowden as offensive coordinator at Samford (1991-92) and quarterbacks coach at Auburn (1993-98).

LSU led the SEC in total offense this season.

Two other possible assistants for Saban withdrew from the new coach’s search this weekend as well.

According to KTBV-TV in Boise, Idaho, Saban called Boise State offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin and asked him if he wished to interview for the same job with the Crimson Tide.

After a 20-minute conversation, Harsin, 30, said he wasn’t interested.

In addition, LSU offensive line coach Stacy Searels has accepted the same position on Georgia’s staff, replacing Neil Callaway, who took the UAB head football coaching job in December.

Searels, a former Auburn player, has coached at LSU since 2003, working under Saban his first two seasons in Baton Rouge, La.

Although Alabama has made no official announcement, Saban already has hired Florida State’s Kevin Steele as defensive coordinator, Central Florida assistant Lance Thompson to serve in a capacity that hasn’t been determined and Dolphins safeties coach Kirby Smart as the secondary coach.

Other candidates for jobs on Saban’s staff include former Michigan State coach and Dolphins running backs coach Bobby Williams and Dolphins defensive assistant Travis Jones.

Also, a source has said that Saban has interviewed members of Mike Shula’s staff at Alabama, including running backs coach Sparky Woods, defensive backs coach Chris Ball and offensive line coach Bob Connelly.

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