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Mike Norvell tests positive for COVID-19, won’t coach vs. Miami

FSU head coach must isolate himself for the next 10 days

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Holds Collegiate Athletics Roundtable at Florida State University Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Saturday afternoon, the Florida State Seminoles football team received some tough news as first-year head coach Mike Norvell has tested positive for COVID-19. Per ACC rules, Norvell will be isolated for the next 10 days, and thus will not be able to travel with the team for next Saturday’s primetime matchup with the No. 17 Miami Hurricanes.

Tight ends and deputy head coach Chris Thomsen will assume head coaching duties in his absence.

Here’s the full release, per Florida State athletics:


In our most recent round of Covid testing yesterday, I received a positive result after being negative in our previous two tests this week. My wife and daughter were tested this morning with negative results but are quarantining. My result was surprising to me, but we have prepared for a potential positive result among anyone in our program and we will put that plan in place while I am away. I will remain involved remotely as much as possible to help our team continue to prepare. Deputy head coach Chris Thomsen will handle in-person head coaching duties until I am able to return. I’m grateful to the administration, players and staff for their commitment to the protocols we have in place, which have helped us limit contact with others and allowed us to continue moving forward.

**Deputy head coach Chris Thomsen has 24 years of collegiate coaching experience. He was the head coach at Abilene Christian from 2005-11, leading the Wildcats to a 51-21 record and six straight trips to the Division II playoffs. Prior to his arrival, the Wildcats had never played in the Division II playoffs and had not won a conference championship since 1977. He was a four-time Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year and led ACU to Lone Star Conference championships in 2008 and 2010, winning 11 games both seasons. His full bio can be found here.**


This is unfortunate, but luckily Coach is feeling fine. We are proceeding with our Covid protocols as we would with any other case. Coach is isolated, and university tracing staff is handling the contact tracing as they normally do. We will continue to test staff and student-athletes as we have been. We have communicated with Commissioner John Swofford and Miami Athletics Director Blake James. At this point, based on our testing this week, we have no reason to believe that the Miami game is in jeopardy.