Mike Norvell: ‘Success is coming. There are great days ahead’

President John Thrasher and AD David Coburn speak first at Sunday’s press conference:

Thrasher praises AD David Coburn and Glenn Sugiyama, from DHR International, who were crucial in the search for a football coach. The president said it was a long journey, went to a lot of places. Thrasher was impressed by watching him and spent about four hours with him, as well as with other FSU administrators.

Norvell is the only coach that he offered the FSU job, Thrasher said. He states that there was a lot of misinformation in media and social media.

Coburn and Thrasher both praise Odell Haggins for taking on the interim job.

The AD stated that Norvell was one of the first that they interviewed and he was the last. “We really liked him … the whole way.” It sounds like Thrasher and Coburn met with Norvell at least twice.

Coburn: “He is truly a coach of the future.” Norvell is what the program needs right now.

Mike Norvell stands at the Warrick Dunn pillar at the Champions Club

Mike Norvell

“What an incredible day. I stand before you humble and honored.”

Norvell says he wants to return the iconic FSU program to where it needs to be.

“Walking across that football field, there are no words … this is a special place and it is a special time.” Norvell walked across the field at Doak with the Marching Chiefs playing.

Norvell is choking back tears at times as he speaks. “I thank you for choosing me.”

He takes time to thank the Memphis players, coaches and fans of the Tigers.

“To all the former players … I thank you for what you have done.” He also thanks the current and former coaches. “We are going to do something special here because of the work” that you have done.

Norvell says his first meeting was with the players before coming over to meet with boosters and media.

Norvell: “We are going to approach everything with a championship mindset.” Says it will be done one day at a time.

He thanks the Florida high school coaches. Norvell calls Florida the most talent-rich state in the nation. For someone who hasn’t recruited Florida much, this is a good way to warm up.

Norvell: “There is a tradition of excellence here, there is a standard.” It’s what brought him here.

This should resonate: Norvell says the team is focused on discipline and structure. It will play smart. “You can play smart in the wrong direction and you’re moving backwards.”

“Success is coming,” Norvell said. “There are great days ahead.” But Norvell does caution that FSU has to realize the steps that it takes to get there.

Norvell preaching to the FSU choir and says he will demand good play on special teams. Mentions success of Memphis’ return teams.

Norvell: “Florida State is the right fit for me. … I believe that this is the absolute perfect place for me.”

Norvell – Recruiting has already begun. “I’ve already met with two recruits since I’ve been here.” (Good bet that one of them is Texas QB Kade Renfro, who walked in the door at Moore a few hours ago.)

With recruits, you build roots by making “daily deposits.” Plans to have an open door, show what FSU is to coaches and prospects.

Norvell says his first piece of collegiate memorabilia was an FSU 1993 national championship license plate. And remember that he grew up in Dallas. References again FSU as an iconic brand.

Norvell mentions within his recruiting pitch that FSU is a top-20 institution, also says he wants FSU to be a program for playmakers. If they want to know, he will show them his film at Memphis.

Norvell says he will need a couple of days to decide whether he will coach Memphis in the bowl game.

Norvell: “I want to be the coach that gets us back.”

Osceola writer Patrick Burnham contributed to this report


  1. Craig Gilman

    Very impressed and I love his intensity. Looking forward to seeing what he can accomplish in recruiting and in putting together a staff. Sounds like he does a great job of evaluating and hiring coaches. Hoping he can do the same here.

  2. Bob Ferrante

    Norvell and FSU have agreed to a six-year deal

  3. Patrick Burnham

    He was more impressive than I anticipated. Can definitely feel and hear his intensity when he started talking program building.

  4. Jeremy Moore

    I agree with Patrick. I was far more impressed with what I heard and how it was communicated, than I anticipated. Time will certainly tell but he appears to be a natural leader. Love the intensity!

  5. Jim Gladden

    I also was in attendance at the press conference and very much appreciated the respect and credit he gave to Coach Bowden and former staff for laying the foundation that can be built upon, I could tell immediately that he is a guy who can relate to our culture at FSU and the Seminole Boosters and fans. Great enthusiasm and intensity. Patty and I liked what we heard. Jim Gladden former coach

  6. Deb Billard

    I am super impressed with Coach Norvell and ready to support and help him in any way I can! I have a very good feeling about this man and what he will accomplish at Florida State.

  7. Dan Densmore

    Ditto. I also think he should be on the sideline with MSU when they play Penn State. That is more of a statement to his new team and recruits.

  8. Patrick Burnham

    I was very impressed with Coach Norvell at his presser. You can tell he was genuinely honored to have been named the head coach at FSU and you could hear the intensity in his voice when he spoke about building a team and program. He spoke like and sounded like a football coach without using a lot of “coach-speak”.

  9. Robert Hughes

    While I appreciate the desire to stay with the old team through to completion, when you turn the page, you have to turn the page. I have sold companies, and after you sell companies, hanging around for any reason gives the wrong message to the employees. You trusted whomever you sold to, now get out of the way and let them do their job. Norvell needs to wish them well, assist them in the transition where absolutely necessary and get out of the way. He is a Nole now, and that requires 18 out of every 24 hours for the time being.

  10. christopher coombs

    Quite an endorsement from one of the Dudes he is thanking for laying the foundation. When we think about the Bowden Dynasty, we think about all the coaches that helped build and maintain it. Your name is synonymous with Bobby Bowden and FSU.

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