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Florida State AD Stan Wilcox looking to hire Jimbo Fisher’s replacement ‘as quickly as we possibly can’

Wilcox won't discuss Willie Taggart, Charlie Strong or any other possible candidate
Florida State at his introductory news conference in 2013
(MELINA VASTOLA | Tallahassee Democrat)
Florida State at his introductory news conference in 2013 (MELINA VASTOLA | Tallahassee Democrat)
Published Dec. 2, 2017
Updated Dec. 2, 2017


What's the plan, Stan?

Athletic director Stan Wilcox said Florida State is looking to quickly fill the football head coaching vacancy left by Jimbo Fisher bolting to Texas A&M on Friday.

"We're going to try to go as quickly as we possibly can," Wilcox said Saturday after FSU beat Louisiana-Monroe to become bowl eligible, giving the Seminoles a shot at a record 36th straight bowl appearance and a 41st consecutive winning season. "This is a tough time of year, when coaches are involved in bowl games, etc. But we've been already meeting.

"It's going to be myself and (FSU) President (John) Thrasher and the chairman of our Board of Trustees, Ed Burr. We've already been talking about potential candidates, and we think that we should be able to move very, very fast …"

There are a number of names being floated in media, including current Oregon/former USF coach Willie Taggart, current USF coach Charlie Strong and Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente.

Wilcox was asked directly about Taggart.

"I won't answer that," Wilcox said. "I can't answer that question at this point. I'm not talking about any candidate publicly at this time.

"I can't say we have a top candidate. There are a number of individuals who I think rise to the top for each of us. But I can't say we have a top candidate in mind."

Wilcox was asked how far he went to try to keep Fisher, who signed a 10-year, $75 million contract to coach A&M.

"When you have one of the best coaches in the country, you have to expect that on an annual basis that people are going to come after him," Wilcox said. "And then you've also got to know what your limits are at some point. I am so happy for Coach Fisher. He's made history. I'm happy for him and his family. But Florida State has been built by some  and it's not about one person. We're going to find the next leader who's going to be able to fit into Florida State and fit with all the facilities we have, all the resources we have."

For Wilcox, who came to FSU from Duke in 2013, it will be his first major coaching hire. He has never hired a head football coach.

"Oh, there's a number of criteria, but obviously prove track record of winning. Academics. Has a very good understanding of Florida State. This is a destination place. We want somebody that definitely wants to be here and continue the legacy that was built here. We want someone who is going to be able to build men. …

"I think that's very important that they are able to recruit in the state of Florida. That's what we've always been able to do, so I do think that's very important. There some individuals who are just great recruiters, no matter where they're at. If they're a great recruiter in the state of Florida and South Florida, that's also going to be a criteria we're looking for."