Sam and Diane on Cheers never got back together.
Will Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher and LSU ever reunite?
Fisher would have taken the LSU head coaching job in a second when he was the Tigers’ offensive coordinator in 2004 and head coach Nick Saban left for the Miami Dolphins after the season.
But LSU was not interested. He was not ready, then-LSU athletic director Skip Bertman said and hired more experienced Oklahoma State head coach Les Miles, who retained Fisher until Fisher became Florida State’s offensive coordinator and coach in waiting after the 2006 season.
Fisher became Florida State’s head coach in 2010, won the national championship in 2013 and reached the College Football Playoff in 2014. He would have left for LSU after the 2015 season, but then-LSU athletic director Joe Alleva was not interested, partly because of the salary the market demanded for Fisher as a recent national champion. Others at LSU were interested, but LSU ended up keeping Miles anyway.
Fisher may have left Florida State for LSU after the 2016 season when Miles was fired after four games and replaced by defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron on an interim basis. But Alleva was still not interested, though others at LSU still were. And Alleva promoted Orgeron to the head coaching job after the regular season when Houston coach Tom Herman chose to become Texas’ coach over LSU.
After the 2017 season, Texas A&M athletic director Scott Woodward hired Fisher away from Florida State at $7.5 million a year for 10 years, which was significantly more than what LSU could have paid for Fisher after 2015 and ’16. After a 9-1 season in 2020 at A&M, Fisher’s contract was updated to $95 million over 10 years and goes into effect in January.
Well, Orgeron just got fired by Woodward, who has been LSU’s athletic director since 2019. Woodward may be interested in a reunion with Fisher, who as LSU’s offensive coordinator from 2000-06 became friends with Woodward while Woodward was second to LSU chancellor Mark Emmert as LSU’s director of external affairs from 2000-04.
But with his name being listed by media around the country as LSU’s possible new coach, Fisher, 56, said Monday that is not happening.
“I’m going to say this right now, I love being here,” Fisher said as his No. 17 Aggies (5-2, 2-2 SEC) prepare to host South Carolina (4-3, 1-3 SEC) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday on the SEC Network as a 20.5-point favorite by FanDuel.
“This is the job I want,” Fisher said. “I’m here. I’ve got a great contract. I have an unbelievable chancellor (John Sharp). I have an unbelievable president (Katherine Banks), unbelievable athletic director (Ross Bjork). We’re building something. We’re recruiting great players. I really believe we’re in the process of building something great. I plan on being here and fulfilling this contract.”
Fisher remarried in 2020 to Courtney Harrison. He and his first wife Candi had sons Trey and Ethan while at LSU.
“My family has roots here. I’ve got ranches here,” he said. “I hunt here. I love everything about this place. And I say that because listen, there’s nothing going on. There is nothing happening there (with LSU). And I don’t want to be disrespectful to anybody else.”
Fisher’s offense helped Saban win his first national championship at LSU on Jan. 4, 2004, in the Superdome in New Orleans — 21-14 over Oklahoma. Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) always had Paris in Casablanca, but they never got back together. LSU and Fisher will always have New Orleans.
LSU won another national title in 2007 with several players Fisher recruited a year after he became offensive coordinator at Florida State.
“It was a great place. It is one of the best, you know, best places,” Fisher said of LSU. “It’s a wonderful place. But I love being at A&M and I plan on being at A&M here and fulfilling my whole contract. I love everything about this place. And let me tell you something else. The way this place has embraced me and my family, including our Foundation, the way that people have embraced it, the way people have done everything here in College Station. I love everything about the people here – the administration and everybody in charge and the people who run this organization. I love it here.”
Fisher was later asked about the LSU opening, but cut it short.
“I ain’t commenting on that,” he said. “I’m done with that stuff. I don’t know what else to say.”