Every year at this time, I am anticipating Florida State’s bowl trip and preparing for my annual Thanksgiving Day gator roast. None of that is happening this year.
This year, I will do some early Christmas shopping. Jimbo Fisher will be doing the same; he’ll be shopping for new assistants.
Here’s what I’ve been able to gather from my contacts inside and around the FSU program about what should be a busy offseason, featuring numerous changes to the coaching staff.
To begin with, Seminole Nation needs to expect that Fisher will want a lot of money to spend on a new staff. Boosters and the administration must embrace it. I expect FSU to pay its new coordinators (spoiler alert) between $900,000 and $1.4 million annually, with the lowest-paid assistant receiving $500,000 and a group of analysts each earning between $50,000 and $90,000.
When I watched the Alabama-FSU game, one of attributes of the Tide program that most impressed me was its depth – not just on the field but also in the coaching booth. Articles have been written about how much money ‘Bama spends on its coaching staff, but those articles ignore an integral extra component, which is the “analyst.” Alabama has one at every position.
Here are the changes I expect to be made on Florida State’s offensive coaching staff.
As sure as the sun is coming up tomorrow, Randy Sanders (pictured above) is gone as offensive coordinator. This has been reported elsewhere.
I heard a few weeks ago that sweeping changes were on the horizon, and the first thing I heard was that Sanders and Fisher no longer will be an item. The regression at quarterback might not be 100 percent Sanders’ fault, but it’s apparent Fisher doesn’t have faith in Sanders as an offensive coordinator or a quarterback coach.
Look for Dameyune Craig to assume the quarterbacks coach role. He’s been on Fisher’s staff before, and Fisher brought him back as an analyst this season. Craig has developed good relationships with quarterback recruits, but he can’t officially recruit without being an assistant. Don’t be surprised if FSU gets back into the running for a top quarterback prospect ‘Noles fans think they’ve missed out on when Fisher promotes Craig.
I expect Craig to have the title of quarterbacks coach/pass game coordinator on the retooled staff.
Offensive line coach Rick Trickett also will not be back. Trickett arrived with a tremendous amount of fanfare, but has produced lackluster results.
I have heard Mike Bloomgren, the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at Stanford, will be a leading candidate to replace Trickett. Bloomgren is from Tallahassee, he’s an FSU grad (in 1999) and he’s coached a high-level offense and running game at Stanford for seven seasons. His coaching career began an undergraduate assistant for Bobby Bowden in 1997 and ’98.
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