For the first time since 1976, Florida State is searching for a new coach.
Jimbo Fisher has agreed to leave the Seminoles to take over at Texas A&M, according to multiple reports. He will not coach in Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Monroe — with Odell Haggins serving as interim head coach — leaving the program without a central figure since it hired Hall of Famer Bobby Bowden 41 years ago.
According to ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach, A&M has approved a 10-year, $75 million contract, which would be the largest in the sport’s history in terms of total value.
Fisher spent eight years as Florida State coach, going 83-23. He won the national title in 2013 and reached the College Football Playoff in 2014, its inaugural year.
This season was Fisher’s only one in Tallahassee in which he had a losing record, going 5-6. The Seminoles, who opened the season at No. 3, fell 24-7 to No. 1 Alabama and lost quarterback Deondre Francois in that first game.
Florida State rescheduled its Sep. 9 game with Louisiana Monroe, postponed due to Hurricane Irma, in an attempt to keep its 36-year bowl streak intact.
Fisher took over the Seminoles in 2010 after Bowden — whom Fisher served as offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting under — retired.
This was not the first time that there had been talk of Fisher leaving. He was regularly rumored to be a candidate at LSU, but the 52-year-old steps into a position where he’ll be in the midst of one of the toughest divisions in college football, the SEC West.
He’ll take over for Kevin Sumlin, who was fired Sunday after going 51-26 in six seasons.
There have been reports that Florida State was doing the foundational work to pick up the pieces should Fisher leave, vetting Oregon’s Willie Taggart. While he has spent just one year with the Ducks, Taggart was previously at South Florida.
Follow Cory McCartney on Twitter @coryjmccartney and Facebook. His books, ‘Tales from the Atlanta Braves Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Braves Stories Ever Told,’ and ‘The Heisman Trophy: The Story of an American Icon and Its Winners.’ are now available.