Jimbo Fisher pens letter challenging Florida high school coaches to help flood-ravaged West Virginia

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Nick Saban has a very powerful ally in the call to help their beloved home state.

Alabama announced in a press release Thursday that Saban is asking coaches across the state of Alabama to help the communities devastated by the flooding.  Specifically, Saban, who was born and raised in Fairmont, WV, is asking that high schools in the state donate full football uniforms as part of the relief effort.

In a letter sent to every high school football coach in the state of Florida earlier this week, Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, a native of Clarksburg, WV, asked that each school “donate one full uniform to help these programs get back on their feet.” Because of the damage sustained in some communities during the historic storms that slammed into the state late last month and killed 23 people, high schools in several counties likely won’t be able to field teams this fall without help from outside.

“We have all seen how athletics can help heal and rebuild communities that have suffered through a tragedy,” Fisher wrote. “Thank you so much for your help and anything you can do to assist high school football programs in West Virginia.”

Fisher, Saban and FSU assistant Rick Trickett, a Masontown, WV, native and father of former WVU quarterback Clint Trickett, are all in Clay County Saturday helping with relief efforts.  U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is also expected to be in attendance at an event that will announce the donated football items.

Also, if you’d like to donate to the relief effort outside of football, check out any of the following links: Red Cross; the local chapter of United Way; the West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster; the Greenbrier resort; Save the Children; and other local groups.

Some very good people could certainly use any and all of the help they can get.

Below is the complete text of Fisher’s letter to Florida’s high school football community:

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Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”