Sources: Fisher to replace Bowden at FSU when he retires

Updated: December 7, 2007, 2:33 PM ET
By Joe Schad and Ivan Maisel | ESPN.com

FSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher will succeed Bobby Bowden when he retires, the school will announce at a Monday morning news conference, multiple sources close to the situation said Wednesday.

Replacing A Legend

Whenever Jimbo Fisher (pictured) replaces Bobby Bowden as Florida State's head coach, he'll be stepping in for one of the all-time greats.

Most Wins (Div. I-A coaches)
Coach Wins
Bobby Bowden* 373
Joe Paterno* 371
Bear Bryant 323
Pop Warner 319
Amos Alonzo Stagg 314
* -- active coaches

The school will announce that Fisher has agreed to a three-year deal that will pay just under $1 million per year. When Bowden retires, the school has told Fisher he will succeed the legendary coach.

If for any reason Fisher is not named coach at that time, the school would pay Fisher a multimillion dollar buyout.

Fisher had been contacted by Southern Mississipppi and Arkansas, among other schools, gauging his interest to become their head coach.

No exact date has been given for Bowden's eventual retirement.

"I plan to keep going," Bowden told ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach in an interview in Tallahassee late last month. "I have no desire to quit. I have no desire to retire. That sounds stupid at my age, but I still want to win a national championship. I think I've got the staff to do it. I've always said I'd coach as long as I stay healthy and win enough games."

"I feel good, and that's the key to it when you get to my age," Bowden said. "I can't even believe I'm 78. I thought I was a kid. If you're in good health, who cares how old you are?"

Fisher, who has never been a head coach, came to Florida State earlier this year from LSU to replace Bowden's son, Jeff.

Bowden's 373 career wins -- the most among major college coaches -- are two more than Penn State's Joe Paterno, who turns 81 on Dec. 21.

Bowden has 300 wins at Florida State, where he has won a pair of national championships and 12 Atlantic Coast Conference titles during his 32 years at the school.

Bowden, whose present five-year contract expires in early January, was paid $2,023,689.15 in 2006, state records show.

Joe Schad covers college football for ESPN. Ivan Maisel is a senior writer for ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Joe Schad

College Football

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com