TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - It's official: Jimbo Fisher is leaving Florida State and won't be coaching Saturday's game.
Fisher has accepted a position at Texas A&M University, according to ESPN. He has been named the new head coach for the Aggies.
Florida State University has finally confirmed that Fisher is leaving FSU after eight seasons.
He will not coach in the Seminoles' regular-season finale against Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday. That game was postponed from Sept. 9 and rescheduled because of Hurricane Irma.
Associate head coach and defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins will instead coach Saturday's game.
Sources told ESPN that Texas A&M officials have approved a 10-year, $75 million contract for Fisher, which is the richest deal in college football history in terms of total value. He'll be the second highest-paid coach in the FBS with an average salary of $7.5 million, which ranks behind only Alabama's Nick Saban.
FSU President John Thrasher and Stan Wilcox, the FSU Vice President and Director of Athletics, released a statement about Fisher's departure:
Florida State University has one of the premier programs in college football and has had only two head football coaches in the past 40 years.
Today, Jimbo Fisher informed me he has accepted an offer to become the next head football coach at Texas A&M University. Coach Fisher did an exceptional job as both an assistant coach at FSU and in the challenging role of successor to the legendary Bobby Bowden. I believe Texas A&M is getting one of the best coaches in college football. We appreciate all he has done for our program and wish him and his family great success moving forward.
From the moment media reports began to circulate about our position, it became evident the job would attract great interest from a number of elite coaches, and we will move quickly to evaluate candidates from across the nation.
Our fans are the best in the country, loyal and passionate about developing student-athletes who are champions on and off the field. They’ve made Doak Campbell Stadium one of the most thrilling venues in all of college sports along with its storied traditions that represent the spirit and excellence of our distinguished university, athletically and academically. The excitement around Florida State is indisputable, and a tremendous opportunity awaits whoever is chosen as our new head football coach.
“President Thrasher and I have worked together through this challenging period while Coach Fisher was making a decision, and I appreciate the cooperation, support and leadership he has provided,” said Stan Wilcox, Florida State University Vice President and Director of Athletics.
In the interim, I have appointed associate head coach and defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins to serve as our head coach versus ULM.
As the president alluded to, we are extremely pleased by the quality of individuals who have already expressed interest in being the head coach at Florida State University. I am confident we will fill the position very soon.
I would tell our supporters and fans the same thing that I told our team: we will hire a head coach that will lead Florida State to ACC and National Championships; one who will maintain our commitment to academic excellence; and one who will make you proud to be a Seminole.”
A Texas A&M Board of Regents meeting is scheduled for Monday at 9 a.m.
ESPN reports that the 52-year-old wanted to wait to announce his decision until after Saturday's game.
Several players took to Twitter right after the news broke and some were not happy:
Others were simply grateful for Fisher and expressed thanks:
Several FSU commits are also reopening their recruitment in response to the news.
He had been coaching the team for eight years with a 83-23 record. He succeeded Bobby Bowden in 2010.
ESPN reported last week that several FSU officials expected Fisher to leave and have been preparing for his replacement with Oregon's Willie Taggart, former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin and South Florida's Charlie Strong as options who may be considered.