When the Gator Bowl smoke clears on January 1, 2010, Clarksburg native and Liberty High graduate Jimbo Fisher will be the head football coach at Florida State University. Earlier that day, the legendary Bobby Bowden will coach his final game for FSU against WVU, a team that he coached from 1970 through 1975.
Jimbo Fisher was born in Clarksburg in 1965 and graduated from Liberty in 1984 where he starred as a quarterback. He was raised in the Glen Falls area of North View by his late father John and his mother Gloria. Gloria Fisher, a Harrison County teacher since 1960, teaches science at Robert C. Byrd High School where Jimbo’s brother, Bryan, is the head football coach.
Fisher’s rise to lead the perennial power was swift, largely due to coaches named Bowden. Under Terry Bowden (Bobby’s son) he starred as a quarterback at Salem College in 1985-86 and then at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, for his final three seasons. As a Samford senior, Fisher was named Division III National Player of the Year setting a Division III record by throwing 34 touchdown passes.
Fisher was the quarterbacks coach at Auburn University for six years (1993-98), serving four of those years under another Bowden, Tommy, who was Auburn’s offensive coordinator from 1991 through 1996.
Before being hired by Bobby Bowden in 2007, Fisher spent one year at the University of Cincinnati and then was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for LSU from 2000 through 2006. Under his offensive direction, LSU won a national championship in 2003.
Although Fisher is not yet officially the head coach at FSU, he long ago assumed a head coach-like role. Even now, following FSU’s regular season ending loss to Florida, Fisher has spent his time on the recruiting trail and targeting new assistant coaches for the 2010 season.
While the Gator Bowl announcers will focus on Bobby Bowden and the intriguing matchup with WVU, Clarksburg-area residents will also be focused on native son Jimbo Fisher.