FSU’s Mike Norvell to miss game after testing positive for COVID-19

Head coach Mike Norvell of the Florida State Seminoles speaks during a collegiate athletics roundtable about fall sports at the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Training Facility on the campus of Florida State University on August 11, 2020 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) (Don Juan Moore, 2020 Don Juan Moore)

Florida State coach Mike Norvell will miss an upcoming game against Miami after testing positive for COVID-19, the school announced on Saturday.

Norvell said in a statement that he tested positive on Friday and would remain in quarantine as a precaution. He won’t be able to coach in next Saturday’s game at No. 17 Miami due to safety protocols. The Seminoles are 0-1 after a loss to Georgia Tech last week. They are off this week.

Deputy head coach Chris Thomsen will handle head coaching duties in Norvell’s absence.

“In our most recent round of Covid testing yesterday, I received a positive result after being negative in our previous two tests this week. My wife and daughter were tested this morning with negative results but are quarantining," Norvell said in a statement.

"My result was surprising to me, but we have prepared for a potential positive result among anyone in our program and we will put that plan in place while I am away. I will remain involved remotely as much as possible to help our team continue to prepare. Deputy head coach Chris Thomsen will handle in-person head coaching duties until I am able to return. I’m grateful to the administration, players and staff for their commitment to the protocols we have in place, which have helped us limit contact with others and allowed us to continue moving forward.”

FSU athletic director David Coburn said that the school has kept the ACC and Miami up to date on Norvell’s situation.

“This is unfortunate, but luckily Coach is feeling fine. We are proceeding with our Covid protocols as we would with any other case. Coach is isolated, and university tracing staff is handling the contact tracing as they normally do,” Coburn said.

“We will continue to test staff and student-athletes as we have been. We have communicated with Commissioner John Swofford and Miami Athletics Director Blake James. At this point, based on our testing this week, we have no reason to believe that the Miami game is in jeopardy.”

It has been a rocky start for Norvell at Florida State.

Seminoles defensive tackle Marvin Wilson called Norvell out for misleading statements in the media in early June in the wake of three high profile deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

In August, Norvell defended the program again after several players voiced public displeasure about being lied to. Other FSU players disputed that the staff was misleading them or being deceptive.

Last week, receiver D.J. Matthews, a former star at First Coast and Trinity Christian, announced that he was entering the transfer portal. Defensive lineman Jamarcus Chatman and cornerback Isaiah Bolden, who played at Bartram Trail before moving to Tampa Bay for his senior season, also entered the transfer portal, according to reports.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.