ATLANTA — Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher was the first of five “new” coaches in the SEC to grace the stage at the College Football Hall of Fame at SEC Media Days Monday afternoon.
Like every other coach in the league, young and old, Fisher was hired to win a championship. And with a 10-year, $75 million guaranteed contract, the expectation is that it happen much sooner than later.
Fisher shrugged when reminded Georgia football coach Kirby Smart guided his program to the national championship game in just two seasons.
“We were able to do it quickly at Florida, State, (Smart) was able to do it here,” Fisher said. “Everybody wants instant gratification, everybody wants things quickly, and that’s just the world we live in,.
“People are never going to put more pressure on me than I’m going to put on myself in this business.”
Texas A&M Timetable
“I think your timetable is as quick as you can put things in place and everyone buys into what you’re trying to do,” Fisher said. “Your timetable is now, you want to win immediately.”
Fisher knows what he’s up against with the Texas A&M football program, having competed against the SEC for years both on the field and in the living rooms of championship caliber recruits.
“The ACCs’ progression to where it is in college football is because of the SEC …. to recruit against and compete against daily in the way you have to operate your organization,” Fisher said.
“Where I was at Florida State, we were surrounded by Florida, by Georgia, by Alabama and by Auburn,” Fisher said. “Those were the closest schools to us, so we were surrounded that way.”
Fisher, 52, landed in College Station in December after spending the past 11 seasons in Tallahassee, the last eight as Florida State’s head coach.
Fisher is best known for guiding the Seminoles to the 2013 national championship, but his SEC roots run deep.
“As some of y’all know this is the conference in which I cut my teeth on, so I understand a lot about it and know a lot about it,” Fisher said. “I know this is as good a league as there is in college football. There’s no shortcut. The ‘I’ you don’t dot and the ’T’ you don’t cross get exposed very quickly in this league.”
Indeed, Fisher open his coaching career working beside Terry Bowden as quarterbacks coach at Auburn (1993-1998) before moving on as offensive coordinator for Nick Saban (2000-04) and Les Miles (2005-06) at LSU.
Fisher was Auburn’s quarterbacks coach in 1993 when Bowden led that program to an 11-0 record his first year at the helm after Pat Dye left the program on probation following a 5-5-1 season.
Three years after Saban hired Fisher as his first offensive coordinator, the pair delivered the Bayou Bengals a national championship.
In 2007, Fisher made his move to the ACC where he worked under College Football Hall of Famer Bobby Bowden as offensive coordinator, ultimately taking over as head coach in 2010.
Four years later, Fisher led Florida State to the national title, and he’s confident he can lead Texas A&M football to a national title, too.
“If I didn’t think if it was capable of being done (at Texas A&M), I wouldn’t have went,” Fisher said at the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla, in May. “I want to build a program not a team, I want to put things in place to sustain the test of time.”
The Aggies are 2-14 against ranked opponents the past four seasons, but Fisher is focused on the process, and on delivering results.
“The SEC West, that’s what I grew up in, at Auburn for six years and LSU for seven,” Fisher said “ Every week was for the national championship, because the teams you played had the capabilities of being there.
“The physicality of this league, you have to understand it and embrace it, and run with it and take pride in coming through that gauntlet of games to be there.”
Texas A&M plays Clemson (Sept. 8, College Station) and Alabama (Sept. 22, Tuscaloosa) the opening month of the season.