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FSU is paying $100,000 to help find new football coach

The Seminoles released their contract with outside firm DHR International on Thursday.
Florida State Seminoles cheerleaders during the Florida State Seminoles game against the Boise State Broncos at Doak Campbell Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Tallahassee, Florida.
Florida State Seminoles cheerleaders during the Florida State Seminoles game against the Boise State Broncos at Doak Campbell Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Tallahassee, Florida. [ Times (2019) ]
Published Dec. 5, 2019

Florida State is paying search firm DHR International $100,000 to help find its next football coach, according to documents obtained by the Tampa Bay Times under open-records laws.

The firm’s fee was included in a letter to John Thrasher, FSU’s president and the chairman of the school’s athletics association. The letter was written on Nov. 4, a day after the Seminoles dismissed coach Willie Taggart after a blowout loss to Miami dropped his overall record to 9-12. Thrasher signed the deal the next day.

Half of the $100,000 fee was due upfront, and the other half is due after a candidate accepts FSU’s offer.

“Glenn (Sugiyama) has been outstanding in assisting with our coaching search,” FSU athletic director David Coburn said in a statement Thursday accompanying the document. “We appreciate his professionalism, and we have benefitted from the breadth of his relationships throughout the industry. His work has been invaluable.”

DHR International can also be reimbursed for expenses related to the national search.

Another interesting detail in the document: If the employment of the coach FSU hires (with DHR’s help) ends for any reason within two years of his start date, the firm agrees to help refill the position at no charge.

The Seminoles have not yet named their next coach, and an announcement isn’t expected this week. The most likely candidate is Memphis’ Mike Norvell, who’s coaching his No. 16 Tigers against No. 21 Cincinnati in Saturday’s AAC championship game.