Well, Athletic Director David Coburn said earlier Monday that Florida State wanted to move quickly to hire its next head coach with the hope to do so before the 2019 season is over. By all accounts, they are well on track of that timeline. A source tells NoleGameday that the athletic department has identified Bob Stoops as the top target in the coaching search. Stoops is a name we mentioned in our head coach hot board earlier today.
Stoops was a perennial winner during his time at Oklahoma. He beat FSU in the 2000 national championship, 10 B12 conference titles, and 6 B12 COTY awards. Stoops is the only head coach to have won the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and Sugar Bowl during the BCS era. All in all, he made 13 BCS bowl appearances in 18 seasons while compiling a 190-48 overall record.
Currently, the head coach and GM of the Dallas Renegades of the XFL, Stoops and Florida State seem like a solid fit if he wants back in the college game. Stoops has ties to the state of Florida plus the Seminoles are a historically successful and respected program with the resources to be among the elite. Though they’ve fallen to mediocrity in recent years, the right man can turn this program back around. Stoops could be that guy. You’d have to imagine it would take at least $6 million annually to pry him away from the XFL.
If he came in for five years, turned things around, and then passed it off to a younger coach to continue the process, it would be the perfect scenario.
The source goes on to say that despite the pursuit of ‘Big Game Bob’, the program loves offensive coordinator Kendal Briles and wants him to stay on the staff. This is big news because it means they’ll want Stoops, if he’s hired, to keep Briles around, most likely as his OC. That also leads to offensive line coach Randy Clements probably being retained due to his fit and chemistry with Briles.
The young offensive mastermind has without a doubt improved Florida State’s offense during his first season in Tallahassee despite a poor offensive line. With more time to groom the players for his system while bringing in his own recruits on the trail, the sky is the limit.
This is still an extremely fluid situation and NoleGameday will continue to update this story as more information becomes available. We’re in for a ride.
UPDATE 11/4, 6:37 p.m.
Sources close to the program have confirmed to NoleGameday that earlier reports of Bob Stoops being in Tallahassee are indeed correct. He arrived earlier this afternoon.
This doesn’t necessarily confirm a deal is done but it’s definitely in the works. The timeline of this thing is certainly fluid, but I’d expect it to be done before the end of the month as long as all terms can be met. The announcement may be delayed for a bit because I believe as a state job, the position must be posted for a certain amount of time before it can be filled.
UPDATE 11/13, 12:00 p.m.
It’s been a little quiet lately on the coaching front, which is a good thing. While fans have been panicking over the lack of information, progress has been made behind the scenes. Multiple sources tell NoleGameday that Florida State and Bob Stoops have agreed to a deal. It’s important to note that our sources believe this to be more of a handshake agreement at this time rather than ink to paper. It is expected Stoops will retain OC Kendal Briles, OL coach Randy Clements, DL coach Odell Haggins, and Jim Leavitt on the staff. There’s a possibility that Ron Dugans will be retained as well but it isn’t set in stone.
Really, the only thing holding Stoops back from pulling the trigger to Florida State is the XFL. He has many relationships and friendships amongst the Dallas Renegades coaching staff and higher-ups in the league. It’s tough on the veteran coach to pull the plug on something that hasn’t even begun, that’s not his nature. However, with the Seminoles agreeing to meet all of his demands, this thing should be officially done sooner rather than later.
We weren’t given the terms of the deal or a timetable for the official announcement. I’d expect it to come in the days leading up to the Florida game or shortly after it. The last thing they want to do is get the players focus off the field when there is still football to play. However, the quicker this thing becomes official, the sooner Stoops can get out on the trail to salvage the Seminoles’ recruiting class.
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