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Jimbo Fisher takes over FSU football program seeking key to victory

Jimbo Fisher may have been entrusted with the keys to the Florida State football program following Bobby Bowden's retirement after the Gator Bowl.

He just didn't get the one to his new office.

"I came in Monday morning," he said during the Wednesday news conference officially introducing him as FSU's ninth head coach, "and the door was locked and I didn't have the key."

When he did get in, there was no desk.

Change. It doesn't come instantaneously.

And although Fisher admires and respects what Bowden did and how he did it, stressing the reason he came to FSU as offensive coordinator before the 2007 season was to learn from him and emulate his core values (faith and family come before football), he said the program needs to rebuild its infrastructure.

"We must change with the world today," said Fisher, 44, eschewing his usual mock turtleneck and sport coat for a suit and tie for this occasion. "Young men are facing different problems than we faced when we grew up. We must keep up with change. If we don't, today's student-athlete doesn't have a chance."

Sounding very much like his other mentor, Alabama's Nick Saban, Fisher talked about developing the support systems to cultivate a student-athlete's growth academically, physically, nutritionally, emotionally and socially.

"Empowered, confident athletes are winners," he said. "My goal is to get the structure, the staff and the support resources in place to facilitate a winning plan and get players into the structure and start affecting change. Now.

"How they think. How they walk. How they talk. How they breathe. We've told our players, 'Change is inevitable, growth is optional.' We can be better. We will be better. We expect to be better. And we'll provide the athletes with the tools to be better."

Fisher announced his team of assistant coaches: Rick Trickett, assistant head coach/offensive line; Eddie Gran, associate head coach, running backs and special teams coach; James Coley, offensive coordinator; Lawrence Dawsey, receivers coach and passing-game coordinator; Dameyune Craig, quarterbacks coach; Mark Stoops, defensive coordinator; Greg Hudson, linebackers coach and assistant head coach on defense; Darin Eliot, defensive ends coach; and Odell Haggins, defensive line coach.

"As an old guy used to tell me, the secret to success is there is no secret," Fisher said. "The secret to success is hard work; have your plan, be yourself, do what you think is right, do what got you here. That won a guy (Bowden) 389 games. Hopefully it'll win me a bunch."

Brian Landman can be reached at or (813) 226-3347.

FSU football coaches

Coach Years Record

Ed Williamson 1947 0-5-0

Don Veller 1948-52 31-12-1

Tom Nugent 1953-58 34-28-1

Perry Moss 1959 4-6-0

Bill Peterson 1960-70 62-42-11

Larry Jones 1971-73 15-19-0

Darrell Mudra 1974-75 4-18-0

Bobby Bowden 1976-2009 316-97-4

Jimbo Fisher takes over FSU football program seeking key to victory 01/07/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 7, 2010 11:04am]
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