Florida State coach Mike Norvell tested positive for COVID-19 during the latest round of testing and will be unable to coach the Seminoles when they play at rival Miami next week. Norvell and Florida State made the announcement Saturday, and announced deputy head coach Chris Thomsen will handle the head coaching duties in the interim. Thomsen, 51, is Florida State's tight ends coach and former head coach at Abilene Christian.
"In our most recent round of Covid testing yesterday, I received a positive result after being negative in our previous two tests this week," Norvell said. "My wife and daughter were tested this morning with negative results but are quarantining. My result was surprising to me, but we have prepared for a potential positive result among anyone in our program and we will put that plan in place while I am away. I will remain involved remotely as much as possible to help our team continue to prepare."
The news of Norvell's COVID-19 diagnosis comes on the heels of the Seminoles' 16-13 loss to Georgia Tech in his first game as coach. The former Memphis coach came to Florida State heralded as an offensive guru, but the Seminoles struggled to generate offense against the Yellow Jackets.
Norvell also navigated a series of off-the-field controversies this offseason that marred the first months of his tenure at the historic ACC power which has fallen upon hard times in recent seasons.
"This is unfortunate, but luckily Coach is feeling fine," Florida State athletic director David Coburn said. "We are proceeding with our Covid protocols as we would with any other case. Coach is isolated, and university tracing staff is handling the contact tracing as they normally do. We will continue to test staff and student-athletes as we have been. We have communicated with Commissioner John Swofford and Miami Athletics Director Blake James. At this point, based on our testing this week, we have no reason to believe that the Miami game is in jeopardy."