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Jimbo Fisher was named Florida State's offensive coordinator Monday.
AP photo by Don Juan Moore
Jimbo Fisher was named Florida State's offensive coordinator Monday.

Fisher considered joining Saban's staff

By Bill Kaczor
Associated Press Writer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Jimbo Fisher's ambition may be to become a head football coach, but Florida State's new offensive coordinator said Friday that he intends to follow some sage career advice a man once gave.

"He told me 'If you want to be somewhere and you want something, do a great job in the job you have,' " Fisher said at a news conference shortly after arriving on campus.

Fisher said he got that advice nearly 20 years ago from his new boss, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden.

It was at a passing academy Bowden ran at Samford University in Birmingham where both once played quarterback many years apart.

"I want to be the offensive coordinator at Florida State, and I'm excited to be here," Fisher said.

It's a job that Fisher,
who spent the past seven seasons as a Louisiana State assistant, appeared to have missed out on.

Bowden issued a statement Jan. 6 withdrawing an offer to Fisher, also then being wooed by Alabama.

Fisher, 41, said there had just been a miscommunication. He said he called Bowden about 20 minutes later. The school announced his hiring Monday.

"I have ultimate trust and belief in the man," Fisher said.

Fisher, a Clarksburg, W.Va., native, has a long history with the Bowden family.

He played for one of Bowden's sons, Terry, at Salem College, now Salem International University, in West Virginia. Fisher then transferred to Samford when Terry Bowden got the head coaching job there. He later was on Terry Bowden's staff at Auburn with another Bowden son, Tommy, now Clemson's head coach.

Fisher said he gave serious consideration to Alabama where he would have been reunited with the Crimson Tide's new head coach, Nick Saban. He had been Fisher's boss at LSU for five seasons.

The lure of working under the winningest coach in major college football was too great to resist, though, Fisher said.

Bowden, 77, has 366 career victories, but the Seminoles have faltered in recent years, going 7-6 last season.

Fisher replaces a third Bowden son, Jeff, who announced his resignation two days after Florida State lost 30-0 to Wake Forest.

Fisher will have a dual role as quarterbacks coach, also replacing Daryl Dickey who left that post after last season.

"Hopefully coach Bowden has quite a few years left to coach," Fisher said.

"I think we can help turn things around and put him back on top where he's always
been."

Florida State has hired two other new assistants to help Fisher, offensive line coach Rick Trickett, who held the same job at West Virginia, and receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey, a former Florida State star who had been an assistant at South Florida. Dawsey prepped at Northview High in Dothan.

Both have worked with Fisher in the past, Trickett when Fisher was an assistant at West Virginia and Auburn, and Dawsey when Fisher was at LSU.

Trickett jokingly said he told his players to expect a visit from diet maven Jenny Craig. He said they need to lose weight and gain strength.

"We're going to get hard-nosed, we're going to get physical," Trickett said.

Fisher said he's not worried the staff turnover will hurt Florida State's recruiting.

"We probably have the best closer in the business," Fisher said. "When coach Bowden sits in that home, I don't know if there's a better guy across the country in closing deals. He closed one on me."

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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