Florida State announces it has hired Mike Norvell from Memphis to coach Seminoles
Norvell has led the Tigers to a 37-15 mark in four seasons and won three straight division titles
Memphis coach Mike Norvell has been a hot commodity during the coaching silly season, and has officially nabbed one of the biggest jobs on the market. Norvell, 38, was named the coach at Florida State on Sunday morning.
"I'm humbled and honored for the opportunity to be the head coach at Florida State University, one of the iconic brands in college football," Norvell said. "I'm so very excited for the future and the opportunity to return Florida State football to one of the nation's elite. I'm looking forward to hitting the ground running, putting together a great signing class, a tremendous coaching staff and joining arms with our current and former players to help elevate our football program each and every day."
The Seminoles announced Saturday night that an introductory press conference was scheduled for noon ET on Sunday. Norvell's No. 17 Memphis beat No. 20 Cincinnati 29-24 in the AAC Championship Game on Saturday.
"We are excited that our football program has attracted one of the finest coaches in the country," athletics director David Coburn said. "We had a list of criteria that our new head coach needed to meet that went well beyond his record, and Mike Norvell exceeded all of them. At the top of that list was attracting a coach who could lead the program back to competing for championships. We believe we have the coach to do that."
Norvell is 38-15 in four season at the helm of Memphis and has won three straight AAC West division championships. Behind a high-octane offense that features freak athletes at running back, Norvell's Memphis team has cruised to an 12-1 mark and will earn the Group of Five spot in a New Year's Six bowl. He said after the AAC Championship Game that he intends to coach Memphis in its bowl game.
Florida State fired coach Willie Taggart after a 9-12 (6-9 ACC) record in less than two seasons at the helm for the 'Noles. The final straw came on Nov. 2 when FSU lost to rival Miami (FL) 27-10 in Tallahassee, Florida. That dropped it to 4-5 on the season, and Taggart was dismissed the next day.
Norvell is a highly-sought after coach considering the vacancies that have regional ties to the former Central Arkansas wide receiver. His home-state Arkansas Razorbacks parted ways with Chad Morris in the middle of November, and Ole Miss -- roughly 90 minutes down the road from Memphis -- let go of Matt Luke three days after the end of their regular season.
"I am so pleased that Coach Norvell will be leading our football program," said Florida State president John Thrasher. "Everyone we spoke with regarding Coach Norvell agreed that he is one of the top coaches in the country. That fact is clear just based on the opportunities he already has on the table. It became clear to us during the interviews that Coach Norvell is the right person to lead our program back to a championship."
Florida State will find out its bowl destination on Sunday.
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