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The Fisher Era officially begins at FSU

Photo by Phil Coale

Photo by Phil Coale

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Jimbo Fisher now holds the keys to Florida State's football future and he promises a quick turnaround for a program recently mired in mediocrity.

The 44-year-old son of a West Virginia coal miner and high school physics teacher, Fisher was introduced Wednesday as the ninth head coach at Florida State since football began in 1947 at the one-time women's college.

Fisher has been the Seminoles' offensive coordinator the past three seasons, two of which he was officially the coach-in-waiting as Bobby Bowden's replacement.

Fisher inherits a four-year NCAA probation and a handful of scholarship reductions as a result of an academic cheating scandal. The Seminoles have gone 38-28 over the past five years, including three 7-6 seasons.

"We have a great opportunity here at Florida State right now," Fisher said. "I think we can be very successful very quickly. We have very good players here."

Fisher debuts as a head coach Sept. 4 against Samford, (Ala.), where he quarterbacked one year in college. The Seminoles then travel to Oklahoma on Sept. 11 for the first of a home-and-home series that has the Sooners returning to Tallahassee in 2011. Florida State hosts Brigham Young on Sept. 19 before getting into its Atlantic Coast Conference season and the season finale against archrival Florida, which has won the last six games in the rivalry.

Fisher's five new assistant coaches were all on the road recruiting Wednesday and not at the news conference attended by about 100 members of the athletic department. Fisher also said he's close to announcing his choice for a new strength coach soon.

"Change is inevitable and we have to do things in a different way," said Fisher, noting that "it's hard to change when you've had success so long."

Fisher, who previously served as offensive coordinator at LSU and Cincinnati and as quarterbacks coach at Auburn, was joined at the announcement by his wife Candi and sons Trey and Ethan.