Texas A&M fires coach Jimbo Fisher

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Landing Jimbo Fisher, a coach with a national title on his resume, seemed like just what Texas A&M needed to finally become a championship contender.

But Fisher failed to replicate his success at Florida State in six years with the Aggies and athletic director Ross Bjork fired the coach Sunday despite owing him more than $75 million.

“That’s the hard part in all of this,” Bjork said. “How many sitting head coaches won national championships? So, everyone had tons of optimism. But it just goes back to the last couple of years. Do we have momentum? Do we have hope? How do we see things trending? And we just didn’t see the trend lines improving.”

Instead of winning a title, Fisher went 45-25 and 27-21 in the Southeastern Conference, never winning more than nine games in any season. The Aggies are 6-4 with two games left, coming off a 51-10 victory against Mississippi State on Saturday night.

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Bjork met with university president Mark Welsh and Texas A&M system chancellor John Sharp earlier this week and told them that a coaching change was “absolutely necessary.”

“The assessment that I delivered was that we are not reaching our full potential,” Bjork said. “We are not in the championship conversation and something was not quite right about our direction and the plan.”

Assistant Elijah Robinson will serve as interim coach for the last two games. Assistant athletic director for football operations Mark Robinson was also let go Sunday.

Bjork delivered the news to Fisher on Sunday morning at Kyle Field in a meeting the AD called “quick and cordial.”

Fisher was lured away from Florida State, where he had won a national championship in 2013, by a massive 10-year, fully guaranteed contract at the end of the 2017 season.

That contract was extended back to 10 years after he led the Aggies to a 9-1 record during the 2020 pandemic season, by far A&M’s best year under Fisher.

According to his contract, Fisher is owed the entirety of what remains on his deal — regardless of whether he gets another job in coaching — a staggering buyout that is more than triple the largest known given to a fired head coach.

Boise State fires Avalos

Boise State fired coach Andy Avalos on Sunday, 10 games into his third season leading the Broncos and with a 22-14 overall record.

“I am grateful for the passion, effort and dedication Andy has given to our community and his alma mater while serving as our head coach,” Boise State athletic director Jeremiah Dickey said. “Andy will always be a Bronco and we wish him and his family all the best in their next steps.”

Avalos was a former Boise State player and assistant coach who was Oregon’s defensive coordinator when his alma mater hired him to replace Bryan Harsin as head coach after the 2020 season. Harsin had left to become Auburn’s coach.

The Broncos beat New Mexico 42-14 on Saturday night to improve to 5-5 and remain in contention for a Mountain West championship.

But at a program with high standards, accustomed to competing on a national level, a third straight season with at least four losses was not good enough.

Defensive coordinator Spencer Danielson was named interim head coach. The Broncos finish the regular season with games at Utah State and home against Air Force.

YURCICH: Penn State has fired offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich one day after the Nittany Lions had another punchless performance against a highly-ranked rival. No. 12 Penn State lost 24-15 to No. 2 Michigan on Saturday, managing just 238 total yards and two touchdowns. The Nittany Lions scored just 27 points combined in their two losses against Michigan and No. 3 Ohio State. Yurcich has been with Penn State since 2021 as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.

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