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January 24, 2013
Florida State loses its sixth assistant coach
The mass exodus of Florida State assistant coaches continued on Thursday.
James Coley has accepted the offensive coordinator position with the Miami Hurricanes, the school officially announced on Thursday afternoon. Coley, 39, becomes the sixth assistant to leave Jimbo Fisher's staff within the past two months.
"We're excited about adding James Coley's leadership, expertise and passion to our staff and Miami Hurricane Football," Miami head coach Al Golden said in a release. "I've been an admirer of his offenses output and execution, his commitment to student-athlete development as well as his relentless approach to recruiting Dade and Broward counties.
"Coach Coley will be a great asset to the University of Miami and we welcome him, his wife Kenia and their two children back to South Florida."
Coley has been a part of Florida State's coaching staff for the past five years and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2010 when Jimbo Fisher took over as head coach. Despite the title, he did not call offensive plays. Golden, on the other hand, will reportedly give his newest coach full authority to run his offense.
Coley also served as FSU's recruiting coordinator (2008-09), tight ends coach (2010-12) and for a brief time as quarterbacks coach when Dameyune Craig left for Auburn last month.
After just two years, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch left Miami for a similar position with the Jacksonville Jaguars. That coaching change occurred late last week leaving Golden and the Hurricanes scrambling to find a replacement. Coley's name quickly rose up the charts and an offer was extended earlier this week.
According to multiple sources, Florida State was willing to match the financial terms of the contract - around $500,000 annually - but that wasn't enough to keep Coley on the FSU staff.
Coley's departure leaves a big hole on Fisher's coaching staff less than two weeks before national signing day.
Coley, a Miami native, is best known for his recruiting prowess especially in South Florida. As for the 2013 recruiting class, he is listed as the primary recruiter for FSU commitments Desmond Hollin, Michael Johnson, Jeremy Kerr and Jesus Wilson. Coley is also the coach of record for several top uncommitted targets such as Tashawn Bower, Augustus Edwards, Arshad Jackson, Eddie Jackson, Denver Kirkland and Matthew Thomas.
The coaching change could make it difficult for Fisher to find a quick replacement. The annual college coaching carousel is generally completed in December and early January. At this late date there won't be a large pool of available coaches to fill the position. As a result, Fisher will likely have to target a coach currently under contract at another school.
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