Slower search key to land­ing Norvell

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEDNESDAY -

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.”

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