TALLAHASSEE — FSU coach Jimbo Fisher officially signed a three-year contract extension Tuesday that could keep him with the Seminoles through 2018, and away from Texas.
The school announced the deal a few hours before Fisher and his top-ranked Seminoles left Tallahassee, for California, where they'll play No. 2 Auburn for the national title on Monday.
"We're blessed that we got that out of the way so we can focus on winning a national championship," Fisher said during a news conference at Downtown Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.
Texas reportedly has interest in Fisher replacing Mack Brown.
"I think that there's a sense of relief that's it's done, but anytime you're one of the top coaches in the country and there's a top program that's open, you're going to be on the list because that institution, Texas, can go and get basically anybody they want," FSU athletic director Stan Wilcox said. "But I know Jimbo, he's a Seminole. He wants to be with Florida State and we want him to be with Florida State."
Fisher and Wilcox said the terms of the deal, which were not released, were agreed upon about three weeks ago. The Palm Beach Post reported in early December that Fisher, who made about $2.75 million this year, had agreed to a deal that would average $4.1 million a year. Fisher's previous deal ran through 2015. It is unclear what the terms would be to buy Fisher out of the contract.
"But when lawyers get involved, you know how things can take a little while? It wasn't anything bad it was just a matter of dotting the I's and crossing the T's," Fisher said. "And then we practiced all the way up until Monday. I was leaving at 6:30 in the morning, getting home 11:30 I wasn't thinking about anything. We got the contract today; the first time I had a chance to sign it."
Input from legend: The Seminoles have returned to national prominence in four seasons under Fisher after posting 7-6 records in three of the last four seasons under Bobby Bowden. This season, FSU went undefeated in the regular season for the first time since 1999.
"He hasn't failed to do anything I didn't think he could do," said Bowden, adding he warned the university that it had better lock up Fisher long term.
"Having the success he has had, every job that comes open his name was going to be in it," Bowden said. "Whether he wants to be in it or not. … I really think, to win, there's a better opportunity at Florida State than Texas. That's because of the strength of schedule and everything they have to play out there and the competition in that state. I was glad he chose to stay here because that money can really attract you."
Finally out west: The Seminoles' flight was delayed two hours because they had to wait for a pilot to get clearance to fly. "It's been a long day," DB Lamarcus Joyner said. "It's starting to sink in that we are here."
Auburn arrived as well, with coach Gus Malzahn saying his team won't get caught up in the hoopla: "There's no doubt in my mind that we're not going to be distracted."