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New FSU football coach Mike Norvell won’t coach Memphis’ bowl game

His Seminoles demands will keep him from leading the Tigers in the Cotton Bowl.
Florida State head football coach Mike Norvell speaks at a news conference Sunday. [PHIL SEARS  |  AP]
Florida State head football coach Mike Norvell speaks at a news conference Sunday. [PHIL SEARS | AP]
Published Dec. 10, 2019
Updated Dec. 10, 2019

New Florida State coach Mike Norvell won’t be coaching his former team after all.

In a letter to Memphis on Tuesday, Norvell wrote that he will not return to the Tigers to lead them against Penn State in the Cotton Bowl. That bowl game will be the biggest in program history.

Related: Why FSU’s Mike Norvell isn’t Willie Taggart 2.0

“It is with tremendous sadness announcing that I have coached my last game leading that great team,” Norvell wrote in the Daily Memphian. “With the transition to a new opportunity and a restricted calendar, which is unique to this year, I will not be able to coach the Cotton Bowl.

“As I have told the team throughout my time, you give everything you have each and every day to the best of your ability focused on your CLIMB, and I could not stand in front of them without being able to prepare to the level they deserve. The team is in great hands with the administration, the coaching staff and the leaders on the team will continue to do what they have been trained to do and RESPOND.”

Related: Why Willie Taggart’s early firing helped FSU football land Mike Norvell

Norvell led the Tigers for four seasons. The past three years were the best in program history, culminating with Saturday’s win over Cincinnati to claim the AAC championship. His 38-15 overall record there includes a 12-1 mark this season.

The 38-year-old was announced as the Seminoles’ new coach Sunday.

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