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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Woodward wows naysayers with hire

Texas+A%26amp%3BM+Athletic+Director+Scott+Woodward+said+his+top+and+only+candidate+to+fill+the+Aggies%26%238217%3B+coaching+vacancy+was+Jimbo+Fisher%2C+whom+Woodward+eventually+was+able+to+hire.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Photo by C. Morgan Engel

Texas A&M Athletic Director Scott Woodward said his top and only candidate to fill the Aggies’ coaching vacancy was Jimbo Fisher, whom Woodward eventually was able to hire. 

As Jimbo Fisher walked the stage as Texas A&M’s new head football coach inside Kyle Field’s Hall of Champions Monday morning, it confirmed one thing — the Aggies were capable of securing a top-tier coach.
A&M, in some regards, was taking a chance by letting Kevin Sumlin — who led the Aggies to their most consistent stretch of successful football in two decades — go and looking for someone who decision makers believed could take A&M to the pinnacle of college football.
Many outsiders strongly doubted such a thing could occur in Aggieland, yet Athletic Director Scott Woodward was adamant that he and his staff could hire a coach who might be able to bring home a championship of any sort for the first time since 1998.
And as promised, Woodward delivered.
For the first time since Johnny Majors left Pitt for Tennessee in 1976, a coach with a national title to his name left directly for another college program.
Sure, Fisher has yet to even hold a practice as head coach of the Aggies, but the pedigree speaks for itself – Fisher’s fortune at Florida State makes A&M formidable in the foreseeable future.
At Florida State, Fisher was 83-23, leading the Seminoles to the 2013 National Championship. His teams claimed three ACC crowns and had six 10-plus win seasons in eight years — that is half of the amount of double-digit win seasons A&M has in its history.
What was even more remarkable is that the Aggies got their top choice coach with somewhat ease.
A&M President Michael Young made that clear, too. A&M was not in the business of consulting a pool of candidates. The Aggies had their No. 1 choice, and that was it. And in the end, they got the only man they wanted and pursued.
Hiring Fisher will cost A&M quite a bit of money, and there were definitely extenuating circumstances in Tallahassee that made things less difficult. But still, little fighting had to be done to ensure Fisher would ultimately land at Easterwood Airport as the Aggies new leader, even if Woodward said he was uneasy about the situation until the wheels took off from Tallahassee.
Truth of the matter is that A&M did not have to fight for Fisher because Aggieland is a top-tier destination. The maroon and white are in a league of their own as the lone Texas team in the Southeastern Conference with state-of-the-art facilities and are centered around one of the richest recruiting bases in the nation.
Yes, A&M has had endless resources at its disposal for years, yet have been unable to produce desired results. But it is clear the Aggies are committed to one thing — winning.
Although the Aggies finished the season 7-5, Sumlin left the team in remarkable shape.
Given Christian Kirk declares for the NFL Draft, A&M should return eight starters on offense, including its entire offensive line. On defense, the Aggies should bring back the same number, which does not include seasoned veterans Donovan Wilson and Nick Harvey returning to the mix from injury in the secondary.
The good news for A&M, too, is the majority of its commits seem to still be on board with a coaching change, a class which features a handful of instant-impact players. Fisher’s arrival may only enhance recruiting as well, and could potentially expand the Aggies’ footprint throughout the southeast into areas Fisher pulled players from in the past eight years.
Fisher was clear that no one has greater expectations for the program than himself. Now the remaining task is simple and the only thing desired by Aggies everywhere — win a championship.
And that is the only thing on Fisher’s mind.
Alex Miller is a journalism sophomore and assistant sports editor for The Battalion.

 
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