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“I have fallen in love with this program, the university and the people who I get to represent:” Mike Norvell signs extension with Florida State, shuts down Alabama coaching rumors

Peyton Baker/Tomahawk Nation

Despite multiple media members pinpointing him as the next potential head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Mike Norvell will remain as Florida State’s head football coach, signing a contract that will pay the coach more than $10 million per year over the next eight years.

“We came to Tallahassee four years ago, and it was a life-changing experience,” Norvell said in a statement. “Knowing the great history, tradition and expectation has guided our staff on a daily basis. It has been an incredible journey these last four years, and I have fallen in love with this program, the university and the people who I get to represent. I am so excited to continue our climb to push Florida State back to the top of college football. We are committed to being our best on and off the field while helping develop our players to be their best in every area of their lives. I am incredibly thankful for the amazing commitment into our student-athletes and staff from President McCullough, AD Alford and the Board of Trustees. #KeepCLIMBing and Go Noles!”

Norvell, the 2023 Bear Bryant Coach of the Year, led Florida State to its third 13-0 record in school history this past season as well as its fifth ACC Championship Game win (16 ACC title overall).

FSU’s 2023 squad had a program-record 25 All-ACC selections, with ACC Player of the Year Jordan Travis leading the pack of a conference-leading eight first-team selections.

Per FSU Sports Info, FSU’s defense led the nation in opponent completion percentage, pass breakups, passes defended and ranked sixth in passing efficiency defense, sacks and third-down defense, while its offense was the only in the country with a scoring stretch outscoring opponents by at least 17 points in every regular-season game in 2023 (with its eight games with a plus-24 scoring run ranked second) while also leading the conference in yards per completion, fewest interceptions and fewest total turnovers.

Norvell has also been voted this year’s ACC Coach of the Year, the AFCA Region 1 Coach of the Year, the 2023 Dodd Trophy recipient, and is one of 12 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award as well as one of five finalists for the George Munger Coach of the Year Award.

He was the first FSU coach voted as ACC Coach of the Year since Bobby Bowden was recognized with the honor in 1997.

From his official FSU bio:

Mike Norvell was named Florida State’s 11th full-time head football coach on Dec. 8, 2019, and has built the Seminoles back among the nation’s elite as he enters his fourth season at the helm.

Norvell’s offenses are averaging 37.4 points per game during his seven years as a head coach, which is the third-highest average in the country among head coaches active each year from 2016-22. Norvell and Nick Saban were the only two FBS head coaches to score at least 500 points each season from 2016-19, and Norvell is one of only three head coaches to produce a top-7 rushing offense and top-7 passing offense since 2016. His offense has showcased 58 individual 100-yard rushing games, 37 individual 100-yard receiving games and 23 individual 300-yard passing games. In addition to his high-powered offenses, Norvell’s teams have also scored 13 defensive touchdowns and 12 kickoff return touchdowns.

Norvell, a 2019 finalist for the Eddie Robinson and Bear Bryant Coach of the Year awards, has developed an impressive coaching tree in his seven seasons as head coach. For the 2023 season, 44 current Division I coaches, including five head coaches and 11 coordinators, have served on a Norvell staff. He has hired coaches who are now on staffs at Arizona State, Oregon, Memphis, Southern Miss, Northern Arizona, Akron, Arkansas, Auburn, Duke, FAU, Indiana, Louisiana Tech, Miami, Oregon State, Pitt, SMU, South Carolina, TCU, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech, among others.

Nineteen of Norvell’s pupils have been selected in the last seven NFL Drafts, led by 2022 first-round selection Jermaine Johnson II. Norvell has coached multiple picks in five of the last six years. In addition to Johnson, Norvell also guided second-round picks Anthony Miller and Asante Samuel, Jr., as well as third-round selections Darrell Henderson, Antonio Gibson and Dylan Parham. In his career, Norvell has coached 25 NFL Draft picks, eight All-Americans, including six first-team selections, four conference Players of the Year, one ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and 83 all-conference recognitions.

In his first three seasons at the helm of FSU’s program, he has re-established the foundation and championship standards while building a program around explosive playmakers in all three phases. The Seminoles have utilized a unique blend of high school prospects and transfer portal players to maximum impact, evidenced by a 10-win season in 2022 that doubled the previous year’s win total and led to a No. 10 finish in the final Coaches Poll and a No. 11 final ranking in the Associated Press poll.

In his first season at Florida State, Norvell led the youngest team in the nation as freshmen and sophomores made up 75 percent of FSU’s roster and 34 players made their first appearance for the Seminoles. While navigating through a global pandemic that ended spring practice after only three sessions and impacted summer workouts and the regular season, Norvell became the only coach in ACC history to defeat a top-five team in his first season when FSU earned a 31-28 victory over No. 5 North Carolina. In the season finale, a 56-35 win over Duke, Florida State scored six rushing touchdowns, matching the program record for rushing touchdowns in an ACC game.

Norvell spent the previous four seasons as the head coach at Memphis, compiling a record of 38-15, including the 2019 American Athletic Conference championship and a spot in the New Year’s Six Cotton Bowl. His 71.7 winning percentage was the highest in Memphis history, and included wins over Power Five opponents Ole Miss, 25th-ranked UCLA and Kansas. Memphis was the first school to appear in three straight American Athletic Conference Championship Games, and Norvell is one of 16 head coaches in any conference to appear in three straight conference championship games. He is also one of only eight to make three conference championship game appearances in their first four years as a head coach.

Memphis was one of three FBS teams to rank in the top-15 nationally in scoring offense every year from 2016-19, along with Ohio State and Oklahoma. As an FBS offensive coordinator or head coach, Norvell and Lincoln Riley were the only individuals to coach a 1,000-yard receiver each season from 2013-19.

In 2019, Norvell led Memphis to a school-record 12 wins and the program’s first outright conference championship since 1969. Norvell, who is the only coach in Memphis history with two 10-win seasons, produced two of the four 10-win seasons at the school and holds program records with eight wins in his first season, 18 over his first two, 26 in his first three and 38 in his first four seasons. He also holds the school record for the most wins over a three-year span with 30 victories from 2017-19 to bypass his 26 wins from 2016-18.

Norvell took over at Memphis after four years as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arizona State. The Sun Devils averaged 38.1 points per game and scored nearly 2,000 points in his four seasons. His 2014 offense gained 5,750 yards, 3,556 of those through the air, and ranked 13th in the nation with 34 touchdown passes. The 2013 team’s average of 39.7 points per game ranked 10th nationally.

Norvell spent one year as Pitt’s co-offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach and director of recruiting. From 2007-10 he coached wide receivers at Tulsa, adding passing game coordinator duties in 2009 and director of recruiting responsibilities in 2010. The Golden Hurricane had five 1,000-yard receivers under Norvell’s leadership, led by All-American Damaris Johnson. Johnson broke the NCAA record for career all-purpose yards with 7,796 and is one of four players in NCAA history with three seasons of at least 2,000 all-purpose yards.

Norvell was a four-year letterwinner at Central Arkansas and was inducted into the UCA Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. He broke the school record with 213 career receptions and was second on the program’s all-time list with 2,611 receiving yards and an average of 4.6 catches per game. He helped lead the Bears to 33 wins in his four years, including an 11-3 mark in 2005. The next year, he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater.

Norvell earned two degrees from Central Arkansas, completing his bachelor’s degree in social science in 2005 and his master’s degree in training systems in 2007. Norvell and his wife, Maria, have a daughter, Mila.