The Times West Virginian

Opinion

January 9, 2014

Jimbo Fisher earns his spot at the pinnacle of college football

Another West Virginia coach has reached the pinnacle of major college football.

Clarksburg’s Jimbo Fisher is there after his Florida State University team capped a 14-0 season Monday night with a 34-31 victory against Auburn in the last BCS championship game.

After a season of one-sided wins, the victory in the championship game didn’t come easily for Fisher and the Seminoles. They trailed by 18 points and scored the winning touchdown with only 13 seconds remaining.

Still, Florida State of the Atlantic Coast Conference snapped the Southeastern Conference’s seven-year national title streak.

“The SEC is great football. I coached in that league for 13 years, I respect every bit of it,” Fisher said, “but there’s some other folks in this country that can play some football, too.”

And he knows another coach from North Central West Virginia, Monongah High School graduate Nick Saban, was a big part of the SEC’s run. He coached Alabama to national titles capping the 2009, 2011 and 2012 seasons after winning a national championship at LSU to end the 2003 campaign.

Part of Fisher’s long preparation to become a successful head coach involved working under Saban at LSU.

Fisher was a quarterback at Clarksburg’s Liberty High School before going to Salem, where he played quarterback under coach Terry Bowden.

In 1985, a huge crowd at Fairmont State watched Fisher help Salem pull away late for a 43-24 win in a battle of two talented West Virginia Conference opponents.

When Bowden left for Samford University, Fisher transferred to play his final season there and was named Division III National Player of the Year.

After a year in the the Arena Football League, Fisher rejoined Bowden at Samford and began his coaching career.

He started as a graduate assistant coach working with quarterbacks from 1988-1990.

“You were 23 years old and you didn’t know you didn’t know,” Fisher said in a December interview with The Charleston Gazette. “We were just flying around and doing everything and just happy to have any kind of job. I look back and some of the most fun was in those early, early years — you were finding out if you had what it took to be a coach, and if you really loved the lifestyle of that whole profession.”

He did.

Fisher became the full-time offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Samford. He then moved with Bowden to Auburn, where he coached quarterbacks.

Fisher also coached quarterbacks for one season at Cincinnati before joining Saban's new staff at LSU in 2000, where he was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Fisher held the same responsibilities when he moved to Florida State in 2007. He was also named “head coach in waiting,” eventually taking over for Bobby Bowden after FSU’s win over West Virginia University in the Gator Bowl to end the 2009 season.

Fisher’s first four Florida State teams posted a combined 45-10 record with four bowl wins.

The challenge is now to stay on top, and Fisher eagerly accepts it.

“I don’t care how talented you are,” Fisher said Tuesday. “This team has to go back, get its own identity, get its own leadership and develop that, and that’s going to be our challenge now. It’s how hungry can you stay to be able to do it over and over again, and that’s going to be the challenge and our mindset and that’s going to be my temperament going in, to be able to set that stage so we can do that and stay on top and be very competitive at the top.”

He noted that “our nature as humans, it’s not to grind; it’s not to push. That’s why there is only one champion at the end.”

Fisher’s history shows that’s a trap he won’t fall into entering only his fifth season as a head coach with a national championship to his credit.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Prevention must remain focus when dealing with cruel black lung disease

    “Preventable, but not curable.”
    That’s how Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for Mine Safety and Health, describes black lung disease.
    He could also use the word “deadly.”
    According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, black lung has killed more than 76,000 miners since 1968.

    August 1, 2014

  • If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is

    Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
    This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads