Now-former Texas A&M football head coach Jumbo Fisher was abruptly relieved of his duties on Sunday — but it’s not all bad news for the 58-year-old coach.
After six up-and-down campaigns at College Station, Texas, Fisher was released on Sunday, according to a statement released by the school athletic director, Ross Bjork.
“After very careful analysis of all the components related to Texas A&M football, I recommended to President [Mark] Welsh and then Chancellor [John] Sharp that a change in the leadership of the program was necessary in order for Aggie football to reach our full potential and they accepted my decision,” Bjork said.
He added: “We appreciate Coach Fisher’s time here at Texas A&M and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Bjork is expected to hold a conference later today.
That’s because the school’s decision to fire Fisher will end up costing them over $76 million due to the guaranteed money tied up in Fisher’s massive contract. That’s nearly three times larger than the next biggest known buyout figure, which belongs to the University of Auburn when the released Gus Malzahn in 2020 ($21.7 million.)
Per ESPN, Fisher will start seeing the fruits of that contract pretty quickly.
A&M will owe Fisher $19.2 million within 60 days, and then effectively pay him a $7.2 annual salary through 2031.
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Fisher could literally collect nigh-generational wealth by sitting on his couch and do nothing more than devour Skittles and Ding Dongs — and do so well into his golden years.
And there’s no real out either, as ESPN notes that there “is no offset or mitigation on those payments, and the annual payments start 120 days after termination.”
The school appears to be on the hook, line and sinker for the remainder of the mammoth 10-year, $95 million pact A&M signed with Fisher in 2021.
And yet! Texas A&M being on the hook for over $76 million in “dead” money will reportedly not deter them from going after a big name coaching candidate.
“They’re going to go big,” an unnamed source told ESPN.
Fisher’s best season came in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, when the Aggies went 9-1 and just barely missed out on the College Football Playoffs (LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Clemson made it in that year — all deserving.)
Fisher actually saw some solid early success in College Station when he first arrived in 2018. In fact, from his arrival at A&M to that successful 2020 season, Fisher went a sterling 26-10 as he began to recruit his players to fit his system.
The expectation was for the team to take that next step, but in the ensuing three seasons, Fisher went a more humble 19-15.
It’s hard not to describe Fisher’s time coaching the sidelines of Kyle Field as a mild disappointment, given the rousing success he had at his previous stop in Florida State.
While coaching football in Tallahassee, Florida, Fisher went an incredible 83-23, including two years (2013-2014) where Fisher went 27-1 with the Seminoles.
For comparison, those 23 losses in eight years at FSU are still less than the 25 losses in six years Fisher suffered at A&M.
Fisher will instead see his Texas A&M legacy finish with a 45-25 record and no conference titles — a maddeningly rare goal that has eluded the Aggies since Bill Clinton was POTUS.
Oddly, A&M was coming off a dominant 51-10 win over Mississippi State on Saturday, when news of Fisher’s firing broke Sunday.
The Aggies have two games remaining this year against the Abilene Christian Wildcats (at home) and the LSU Tigers (on the road.)