Florida State University

Former FSU coach Fisher on leaving for Texas A&M: ‘Is there ever a good way to leave?’

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher holds his SEC Media Days press conference at the College Football Hall of Fame on Monday in Atlanta.
Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher holds his SEC Media Days press conference at the College Football Hall of Fame on Monday in Atlanta. TNS

For eight seasons, Jimbo Fisher served at the helm at Florida State University, undertaking the responsibility of following up legendary Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden.

And in short, Fisher did.

He went 83-23 during his time as FSU’s head coach, won ACC Championships from 2012 to 2014 and led the Seminoles to a national championship in 2013.

And then, as a sluggish 2017 season was coming to an end, Fisher left for Texas A&M and a 10-year, $75 million guaranteed contract.

The next chapter of Fisher’s coaching career will begin in earnest on Aug. 30 when the Aggies open the 2018 season against Northwestern State.

But Fisher still looks back to his time at Florida State even though that part of his career is over and that “decisions are made.”

“When you leave, is there ever a good way to leave?” Fisher said Monday at his first SEC Media Days appearance in Atlanta. “You try to do it the best you can and wish you could finish out the season, but the circumstances, it came about. ... I had no intentions of ever leaving there. It was very emotional.”

Fisher quickly acknowledged how he enjoyed his time with the Seminoles, calling FSU “a tremendous place” where he has “unbelievable memories.”

“I grew up loving them, around the Bowden family,” Fisher said. “Coach Bowden had taken me in a long time ago. ... I have a great respect for them. I think they’ll have a tremendous year this year. The program is in a great situation.”

Nevertheless, Fisher has moved on to a new team and will have to face the expectations of lifting the Aggies up in the daunting SEC West rather quickly. The Texas A&M administration handed him a national championship plaque shortly after he arrived with a date of “TBD.”

“You have a timetable [to win],” Fisher said. “Your timetable is now. You want to win immediately and that’s your place, but is that realistic? I don’t know. Could it be? Yes. Could it not be? Yes.”

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