Norvell confirms he won't coach Cotton Bowl in letter to Memphis

Published: Dec. 10, 2019 at 2:37 PM EST
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December 10, 2019

As Mike Norvell transitions to his new job with the Florida State Seminoles, he is still saying goodbye to Memphis.

Norvell published a letter to Memphis in The Daily Memphian in which he thanks the program and the city for what they did for him in his four years there. In the letter, Norvell expresses his appreciation for everyone from his players, his coaching staff, the school, and all those involved with the Tigers.

“I tried to give all that I had to represent the city the best way possible by leading a team of incredible young men,” Norvell said in the letter. “It was one of the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do saying goodbye, but Memphis I want to say Thank You. The players, coaches, friends, University, and everyone that had such an impact on our family, I am forever grateful.”

As he wraps up his thank you letter to Memphis, Norvell does confirm that he’s coached his last game with the Tigers. When addressing the team after taking the Florida State job, Norvell said he hoped he’d be able to coach the Cotton Bowl against Penn State. In his letter to Memphis states that he won’t be able to lead Memphis in AT&T Stadium. The demands of the transition at Florida State will be too much for him to balance both, but Norvell will be rooting for the Tigers going forward.

“It is with tremendous sadness announcing that I have coached my last game leading that great team,” Norvell writes. “With the transition to a new opportunity and a restricted calendar, which is unique to this year, I will not be able to coach the Cotton Bowl. As I have told the team throughout my time, you give everything you have each and every day to the best of your ability focused on your CLIMB, and I could not stand in front of them without being able to prepare to the level they deserve. The team is in great hands with the administration, the coaching staff and the leaders on the team will continue to do what they have been trained to do and RESPOND.”

Norvell led the Tigers to a 12-1 record and an AAC Championship this season before making the move down to Tallahassee. It’s clear that Norvell had — and still has — an affinity for Memphis, so his new destination needed to be somewhere special. In his introductory press conference with the Seminoles, Norvell explained the Florida State was the right fit for he and his family.

“Whether it's recruiting, hiring coaches, making a choice on my future, it always comes down to two factors: fit and family,” Norvell said. “I can tell you that going through this process, there was one thing that was certain, Florida State was the right fit for me, right fit in every aspect, from the tradition it's had, the fan base, the opportunity to be in the greatest state when it comes to football talent, coaching, all the things that we can do. Unbelievable tradition and former players and support. With the team that I've had the chance to witness, this was the right fit for me and my family.

Now it’s about finding out if that off-field fit leads to the same type of success Norvell had at Memphis.

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