TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State University made it official on Sunday, announcing Mike Norvell as its new head football coach.
Norvell comes from Memphis, where he wrapped up a 12-1 season by winning the American Athletic Conference championship. He was 38-15 there in four seasons.
“I’m humbled and honored for the opportunity to be the head coach at Florida State University, one of the iconic brands in college football,” Norvell said in a release from the university. “I’m so very excited for the future and the opportunity to return Florida State football to one of the nation’s elite. I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running, putting together a great signing class, a tremendous coaching staff and joining arms with our current and former players to help elevate our football program each and every day.”
Novell, Florida State’s 11th head football coach, was greeted with fanfare by the band as he, his wife and daughter strolled across Doak S. Campbell Stadium for the official announcement.
“It’s breathtaking, unbelievable, leaves me speechless," he told reporters. It’s an incredible opportunity, so very excited about the future."
Norvell was formally introduced at noon news conference.
“It’s breathtaking, unbelievable, leaves me speechless. Its an incredible opportunity, so very excited about the future” he told us.
Minutes later, he was officially introduced to a crowd of about 200 boosters at a news conference that began just afternoon. FSU President John Thrasher told the crowd he is certain they got the right man.
“This gentleman right here was the only person I offered the head coaching job at Florida State University," said Thrasher. "And I couldn’t be prouder that he accepted it.”
Norvell comes to Tallahassee with passion and energy. He will make $3.7 million a year.
“I want to be the coach that gets us back. I want to be the coach that leads this program. I want to be the coach to give college football what it needs -- and that’s for Flordia State football to be one country’s elite,” Norvell told the crowd.
Afterward, the new head coach met briefly with about a dozen former players, telling them “Friday night before games, or whatever, you’re going to be a part of our game day preparation.”
One of them was Peter Boulware, who played for Florida State from 1993 to 1996.
“I think we are headed in the right direction, finally, for the first time in a long time," Boulware said.
Norvell replaces Willie Taggart, who went 9-12 in a season and a half and was fired after a loss to Miami last month. FSU relied on a private recruiting consultant to set up meetings and identify Norvell and other candidates. It paid $100,000 for the service.
Novell also left open the possibility of coaching in a bowl game -- either for Memphis or Florida State. He said the decision of whether to coach his former or current team will be made in the next few days.
You can watch the entire introductory news conference by clicking on the player below.