GREENSBORO, N.C. — In Tallahassee, some viewed it as an unforgiveable sin.
At the end of Florida State's busy January, one of the school's own — one of its beloved, degree-holding sons — turned his back on the university in favor of taking up residence in so-called enemy territory.
With his career and family at the forefront of his mind, James Coley left FSU for the University of Miami.
In name only, Coley was the Seminoles' offensive coordinator three of the past five seasons. Specifically, he coached tight ends, helped set up game plans for the offense and recruited South Florida. Despite holding the title of head offensive assistant, he never actually called plays.
So he went somewhere where he could.
"All the writing and sound bytes that come with somebody going from Florida State to Miami, that's great," Miami head coach Al Golden said at the ACC Kickoff on Monday. "But James grew up in Miami. His wife is from here. He's happy. He's home. He's excited and we're excited to have him."
Coley, a five-year assistant at FSU, took the Hurricanes' coordinator job after Jedd Fisch left Miami for a similar position with the Jacksonville Jaguars. When Coley left, some FSU fans felt insulted.
FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said he felt otherwise.
"I still consider him a great friend," Fisher said, adding that he detected no awkward vibes in this new chapter of their 10-year relationship.
"You wanted James to stay, but he wanted to call plays. He wanted to do those kind of things. For guys to have advancement and to grow in this business, that's not awkward at all."
TERPS FOCUSED ON ACC: How does a football team in athletic conference limbo handle its final season as a member of a league that has already begun moving on without it?
"Like any other year."
That's what Maryland coach Randy Edsall said, at least.
As he enters his third year in College Park, Md., and his last as an ACC coach, Edsall wants it known that his staff still very much feels like it is part of the conference their school helped establish 60 years ago.
"My job is to coach my football team," Edsall said. "We're in the ACC, we're very happy to be in the ACC here in 2013 and guess what? We're going to play hard and get after it and prepare as best we can to win every game that we can play."
Next summer, Maryland will move to the Big Ten in all sports.
JOHNSON A DISTANT SECOND: Miami's Duke Johnson was second in the media's ACC preseason player of the year voting. The sophomore running back was well behind Clemson QB Tajh Boyd, who received 105 of the 120 votes. Johnson picked up four, and Miami QB Stephen Morris picked up a single vote along with FSU DB Lamarcus Joyner.
DECKERHOFF HONORED: Longtime FSU broadcaster Gene Deckerhoff will receive the Chris Schenkel Award, which is presented by the National Football Foundation for having a "distinguished career in broadcasting." This fall will mark Deckerhoff's 35th season calling FSU football. Later this year, he will begin his 39th season calling men's basketball games.
ACC preseason polls
1, Clemson (102), 815
2, Florida State (18), 731
3, North Carolina State, 490
4, Wake Forest, 392
5, Maryland, 373
6, Syracuse, 320
7, Boston College, 211
1, Miami (65), 736
2, Virginia Tech (27), 654
3, North Carolina (22), 649
4, Georgia Tech (6), 522
5, Pittsburgh, 313
6, Virginia, 230
7, Duke, 228
Florida State, 15
Georgia Tech, 3
North Carolina, 3
Virginia Tech, 1
PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson, 105
Duke Johnson, RB, Miami, 4
Logan Thomas, QB, Va. Tech, 3
Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson, 3
Bryn Renner, QB, North Carolina, 2
Jeremiah Attaochu, DE, Georgia Tech, 1
Lamarcus Joyner, DB, Florida State, 1
Stephen Morris, QB, Miami, 1