Florida State will face Oregon in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day. As the Seminoles look to win their second straight Championship, the coach is as important as the players.
In this case, the coach is Jimbo Fisher, who is in his eighth season with Florida State and his fifth as the head coach. From 2007-09, he was the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Fisher Transferred Colleges to Stay With His Football Coach
Originally a student and quarterback at Salem College, Fisher transferred to Samford University when his coach, Terry Bowden, accepted a job there.
Fisher went to and played for Salem College, which is located in Salem, West Virginia, and now called Salem International University.
Prior to Fisher’s final season, Bowden accepted a job at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Fisher transferred to the school and played his final season there, breaking multiple school records along the way and being named Division III National Player of the Year.
Fisher then played one season of Arena Football, and then rejoined Bowden at Samford to work with the quarterbacks as a graduate assistant coach.
Two years later, Fisher again followed Bowden to another school — this time to Auburn, where Fisher continued to work as a quarterback coach.
Eventually, in 2010, Fisher replaced Bowden as Florida State’s head coach after starting as the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach.
2. Fisher is Undefeated in Bowl Games as a Head Coach
Fisher’s first Bowl Game came in the 2010 season, when the Seminoles beat the South Carolina Gamecocks, 26-17, in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
His second Bowl Game, in the 2011 season, was the Champs Sports Bowl. In this game, Florida State beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 18-14.
In the 2012 season, Florida State played in — and won — the Discover Orange Bowl. In this game, the Seminoles defeated the Northern Illinois Huskies, 31-10.
His most recent Bowl appearance came in the 2013 season. The Seminoles played the Auburn Tigers in the Vizio BCS National Championship game. After a 34-31 win, the Seminoles won their first Championship since 1999 and first under Fisher.
2013 was also the year Fisher won the AFCA Regional Coach of the Year Award and the Rawlings College Football Coach of the Year Award.
3. Fisher Got a Contract Extension After Last Season
SBNation reported that the contract runs until 2018 and has a $225,000 base salary.
They say that the annual breakdown of the contract is
2014 — $3.275 million
2015 — $3.5 million
2016 — $3.776 million
2017 — $4 million
2018 — $4.274 million
Fisher’s possible bonuses are
$100,000 for a division title
$100,000 for a conference title
$75,000 for making the playoffs
$200,000 for making the national title game
$200,000 for winning the national title game
$100,000 for a non-national title game major bowl game
$50,000 for a non-major bowl game
$200,000 for a top-five finish
$100,000 for a top-10 finish
$200,000 for an undefeated season
$75,000 for winning National Coach of the Year
$50,000 for ACC Coach of the Year
$25,000 for a graduation rate between 65% and 84%
$50,000 for a graduation rate above 84%
$25,000 for an APR rating of .930 or higher
However, the website says, Fisher would have to buy out the contracts of any assistants that do not stay with the new staff that replaces him if he leaves early.
4. Fisher is Married and Has Children
Ethan suffers from a rare, incurable blood disease called Fanconi anemia. This disease comes from a genetic defect that can often lead to leukemia and bone marrow failure, which is the inability to produce blood cells. It can also cause physical and developmental disorders. The life expectancy of people with this disease is 29, but it is becoming more common for patients to live into their 30s. While bone marrow transplants can be a temporary fix, there is no permanent cure.
He was diagnosed with the disease, which affects about 1 in 131,000 people, in 2010.
The Fishers created a foundation to raise awareness for FA called the Kidz1stFund. The foundation’s website has their mission statement:
Kidz1stFund was created to raise awareness and funds in support of research to fight Fanconi anemia, a rare but serious blood disease that affects thousands of children each year. New treatments are being developed, and breakthroughs are on the horizon, but defeating this illness will require the help of generous souls from every walk of life.
Candi was also used by a FSU graduate’s mother for her murder-mystery novel. In the novel, the protagonist is a mother with a child who has the disease.
5. Fisher Wants to Make Meat Jerky When He Retires From Football
FishDuck.com reported that Fisher has said on multiple occasions that he wants to make meat jerky when he retires from coaching.
Fisher earned the nickname Slim Jimbo due to his love of meaty snacks. On more than one occasion he’s made it clear he intends to launch his own organic meat jerky company when he retires from coaching, featuring jerky made from animals native to his neck of the woods–you know, like alligators, muskrat and wild boar.