Slower search key to landing Norvell
current XFL coach Bob Stoops, but they couldn’t reach an agreement, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
His brother, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, interviewed for the job, according to 247Sports.com. Soon afterward, Stoops announced he was staying with the Wildcats.
There was “mutual interest” between FSU and Penn State coach James Franklin, according to 247Sports. Franklin later signed a contract extension with the Nittany Lions.
Iowa State coach Matt Campbell was also considered a top candidate, but he signed a contract extension with the Cyclones.
Norvell then emerged as the Seminoles’ top target. Coburn said some of the rumors were entertaining to him and he had to have a sense of humor throughout the search.
“The level of sophistication of the players was very interesting to me,” Coburn said. “Between the agents, the search firm and the coaches themselves, this game was played at a high level with a lot of skill by a lot of people.”
Norvell said he met with Thrasher and Coburn during Memphis’ bye week in early November. Sugiyama put Norvell in front of a whiteboard and had him explain how he approaches coaching, recruiting and academics. Norvell impressed Thrasher and Coburn during two separate two-hour meetings.
Norvell, along with other candidates, had reservations about taking the job because of the situation between Thrasher and Coburn. Thrasher is expected to step down as university president within the next year. Coburn, who took the AD job as a favor for Thrasher, is expected to follow suit.
Thrasher and Coburn were transparent with Norvell about their plans.
“The alignment was an issue with everybody, it really was,” Thrasher said. “I just told him I’m going to be here for the next year for sure. If it has to go a little bit longer than that, we’ll talk about that with my board.
“He felt confident in it.”