Texas A&M figuratively threw suitcases full of cash at Jimbo Fisher to bring him to College Station.
And while a 10-year, $75-million dollar agreement with Texas A&M proves that to be accurate, Fisher’s former boss believes there is more to the story than that.
During an interview with The Associated Press’ Joe Reedy that was released on Thursday, Florida State president John Thrasher expressed his belief that there was more to the story to the national championship coach leaving the Seminoles after eight seasons that totaled up to an impressive 83-23 win-loss record.
Aside from the money, Fisher painted a picture of facilities issues at Florida State during his introductory press conference with the Aggies. Thrasher, who insists that the Seminoles’ football facilities are “pretty good right now,” believes that was not the reason for his departure.
“I may have been reading him wrong, but from every vibe I got this was where he wanted to be and wanted his kids to grow up,” Thrasher said. “Honestly I think there were other things involved as far as him leaving.”
Thrasher didn’t elaborate on what those “things” may be, but if they weren’t money or facilities perhaps they were personal in nature.
Thrasher, who some SEC fans may remember for incorrectly predicting the Seminoles would beat Alabama “pretty bad” during a Week 1 meeting in Atlanta, did admit he believed that Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban may have had an influence on Fisher’s unhappiness at Florida State.
“My view of Jimbo was he wanted to model things after Nick Saban and the SEC and Alabama,” Thrasher said via The Associated Press. “I’m OK with that to a point, but I’m also not going to put Florida State at risk in terms of debt and the responsibility to other programs. Him and I had an understanding about that.”
Fisher worked under Saban as an offensive coordinator at LSU prior to Saban’s move to the NFL and subsequent return to the SEC West in Tuscaloosa, so the Texas A&M coach has a first-hand understanding of how Saban’s model can work.
Texas A&M appears to have invested in both the coach and the facilities to implement a Saban-style approach to building a dynasty in College Station, and Fisher has leveraged his reputation as one of the game’s elite coaches to try to make it happen for the Aggies faithful.
We should have a fascinating decade ahead of us in the SEC West. Get your popcorn ready.