The Daily Nole

Seminole Saturday Summary: FSU Hires Norvell as Head Football Coach, Noles to Face Arizona State in Sun Bowl

FSU athletics

Less than 24 hours after coaching Memphis to its first American Athletic Conference title, Mike Norvell was introduced Sunday as the new head football coach at Florida State.

In four seasons at Memphis, Norvell compiled a 38-15 record and played for the AAC title three times. This season, Norvell coached Memphis to a New Year’s Six game as the Tigers will face Penn State in the Cotton Bowl. Norvell will not coach in the bowl game.

Norvell has already started putting a staff together as he will retain defensive line coach Odell Haggins and wide receivers coach Ron Dugans. He is adding Auburn offensive coordinator Ken Dillingham and Memphis defensive coordinator Adam Fuller.

Norvell replaces Willie Taggart who was fired in October after going 9-12 in 21 games at FSU. Norvell will be paid $4.4 million annually for six years.

James Blackman will likely make his second bowl start for Florida State against Arizona State in the Sun Bowl. (Phil Kelly/FSU athletics)

Hours after introducing Norvell as the new head coach, Florida State learned that it will spend the new year in El Paso. The Seminoles will take on Arizona State in the Sun Bowl.

FSU will need to win the contest to avoid a second straight losing season. The Sun Devils went 7-5 this season with a home upset of then No. 5 Oregon 31-28 on Nov. 23.

The contest will be the fifth meeting all-time between the schools and the first since 1984. Arizona State beat the Seminoles 45-38 in the 1971 Fiesta Bowl, but FSU has won the last three meetings. The contest begins at 2 p.m. EST on Dec. 31 and will be shown on CBS.


Record: 6-6 (4-4 ACC)
Ranking: None
Past Week: Idle
Upcoming: vs. Arizona State (Dec. 31, Sun Bowl)
Weekly Commitments: Tate Rodemaker, 3-star QB (No. 719 overall)*
Weekly Decommitments: Jeff Sims, 4-star QB (No. 207 overall)*
2020 Recruiting Class Ranking: No. 24 nationally, fifth in ACC (14 total commitments)*
Big Picture: Florida State has its head coach in Mike Norvell, but the new head man has his focus on the recruiting trail. FSU will need to beat Arizona State in the Sun Bowl to avoid a second straight losing season.

Men’s Basketball

Record: 8-2 (1-1 ACC)
Ranking: No. 21 AP Poll; No. 21 USA Today Coaches Poll
Past Week: (1-0), defeated Clemson, 72-53
Upcoming: vs. North Florida (Tuesday); vs. South Florida (Saturday, Orange Bowl Classic)
Recognitions: None
Weekly Commitments: None
2020 Recruiting Class Ranking: No. 25 nationally, sixth in ACC (3 total commitments)*
Big Picture: Florida State evened its ACC record with a strong second-half performance against Clemson.

Weekly Review

Clemson 53, (17) FSU 72
Sunday, Dec. 8

Florida State trailed 33-27 at halftime, but outscored Clemson 45-20 in the second half to even its ACC record. FSU held Clemson to 36 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers. As a team, FSU shot 15-for-32 from deep. Devin Vassell led the Seminoles with 14 points and nine rebounds. Anthony Polite was 4-for-6 from deep in the victory, finishing with 12 points. M.J. Walker was 3-for-6 from distance and added 11 points for FSU. Tevin Mack and Al-Amir Dawes led the Tigers with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Women’s Basketball

Record: 9-0 (1-0 ACC)
Ranking: No. 8 AP Poll; No. 8 USA Today Coaches Poll
Past Week: (1-0), defeated Clemson, 81-64
Upcoming: vs. St. John’s (Sunday); vs. North Florida (Wednesday)
Recognitions: Kiah Gillespie, F (ACC Player of the Week)
Big Picture: Florida State started ACC play on the right foot with a win at Clemson. FSU is three wins from tying its longest winning streak to open a season.

Weekly Review

(8) FSU 81, Clemson 64
Sunday, Dec. 8

FSU trailed late in the second quarter, but finished the half strong and dominated in the second half to start ACC play off with a win. The Seminoles held Clemson to 37 percent shooting. FSU shot 45 percent from the field. Sammie Puisis and Kiah Gillespie each scored 17 points to lead the Seminoles while Morgan Jones added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Nicki Ekhomu and Nausia Woolfolk combined for 21 points and 12 assists in the win. Kendall Spray led Clemson with a game-high 19 points.

Other News

Aggie and Jeff Stoops donated $2.5 million to FSU’s Renaissance Campaign. Alan and Carol Flaumenhaft made a leadership commitment.

FSU volleyball’s Payton Caffrey and Taryn Knuth were named to the AVCA East All-Region team.

FSU softball added former Louisville pitcher Danielle Watson.

FSU soccer finished No. 7 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll.

Former FSU head coach Willie Taggart was hired as Florida Atlantic head coach, which will save the Seminoles money.

FSU wide receiver Tre’Shaun Harrison will enter the transfer portal.

FSU running back Cam Akers will skip the Sun Bowl and enter the 2020 NFL Draft.

*247Sports Composite rankings

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To pitch an idea, author a post or to learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at

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