FSU's Fisher to remain coach-to-be despite West Virginia's  interest

Updated: December 23, 2007, 9:23 PM ET
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

Florida State offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, who was being wooed by West Virginia officials to fill their head coaching vacancy, has decided to remain with the Seminoles, a statement released Sunday on the school's Web site said.

Awaiting his chance

Jimbo Fisher again affirmed his commitment to becoming the next coach at Florida State once Bobby Bowden steps down. Fisher (pictured) will be taking over 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
"I know media reports are circulating regarding the possibility of West Virginia's head coaching position," Fisher said in the statement.

"I am a native of West Virginia and love the state but I want to make clear that I am staying at Florida State. I am committed to this university, this program and these players. I am excited about where I am and where Seminole football is headed."

Two weeks ago, Fisher agreed to a new contract in which his base pay was increased from around $420,000 to $625,000 and he was named the program's coach-in-waiting. FSU coach Bobby Bowden signed a one-year contract extension through the 2008 season.

Under the terms of Fisher's new contract, he will be named Bowden's successor by the end of the 2010 season, or the school's booster organization will owe him $2.5 million. Bowden's contract allows him to decide on his coaching future on a yearly basis.

Fisher, who just completed his first season with the Seminoles, would have owed FSU
$2.5 million if he had left for another coaching position.

Fisher, who is a disciple of the Bowden coaching family who played and coached for Terry Bowden, was considered West Virginia's top candidate to replace Rich Rodriguez, who abruptly left the Mountaineers for Michigan a week ago.

The Mountaineers also are considering Florida assistant coach Doc Holliday, Central Michigan coach Butch Jones and Terry Bowden. FSU offensive line coach Rick Trickett also has interviewed with West Virginia.

Terry Bowden, who has been out of coaching for a decade since being fired at Auburn, helped persuade Fisher to take the offensive coordinator's job earlier this year. The job opened when younger brother Jeff Bowden was bought out by dissatisfied boosters late in the 2006 season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Mark Schlabach | email

College Football and Basketball

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