State of Florida starts his fourth coaching change in as many offseasons Mike Norvell as the Seminoles will seek to replace the Defenders coach Mark Woodson. Woodson is expected to take a similar position Arkansas.
Coincidentally, Woodson was hired by FSU to replace the first departure under Norvell: TJ Rushing. This came about a month into Norvell’s tenure as Rushing, succeeding Norvell and defense coordinator Adam Fuller from memphisleft abruptly for a similar position Texas A&M. Woodson previously worked with Norvell at Memphis, so there was a connection, although results on the field at cornerback were up and down in Woodson’s three seasons at FSU.
Previous tenures at FSU under Norvell have all involved coaches from his pedigree to some extent (Woodson replacing Rushing, Alex Atkins/Tony Tokarz were promoted from the inside to replace the OC/QB coach Kenny Dillinghamand Randy Shannon was also promoted internally to replace the LB coach Chris Marve). Will Woodson’s replacement include someone with ties to current FSU staff? Or are names popping up off the radar?
Here’s our first list of coaches who might make some sense as FSU’s next cornerbacks coach.
–TJ Rushing, Defensive Backs Coach, Texas A&M: Rushing has already been hired by FSU, so the paperwork would be easy enough…right? Seriously, Rushing is qualified to coach at this level, is familiar with FSU coaches (DB coach/passing coordinator at Memphis in 2018) and has been involved in some big recruitments (eg DenverHarris). It is worth noting that some of his younger players have not been successful this season (Harris and smoke bouie both entered the portal), but that A&M culture doesn’t seem great overall. So maybe rushing is looking for a reset. A step that could make sense for both sides.
–chip west, Cornerbacks Coach, Syracuse: The Orange has done a notable job developing cornerbacks over the past few seasons under West, who has held his current role since 2020. Multiple All-ACC selections, NFL-caliber player development…West qualifies. The Virginia native is recruiting Virginia (a region FSU wants to channel more energy toward moving forward) and Southern Atlanta (a region FSU already values) to the Orange. He was an employee at Alex Atkins 2018 in Charlotte.
–Mike Trier, Assistant Defensive Backs Coach, New York Giants: Treier worked with Fuller at Marshall and was actually brought up to the FSU staff in an off-field capacity with a chance for promotion (sort of a tokarz form). But he went to the NFL shortly after. Treier was Marshall’s cornerbacks coach from 2017-2018 and safety coach/recruitment coordinator in 2019.
–Tre Bell, Cornerbacks Coach, Akron: Considered a rising star in the industry. Bell was the off-field coach at FSU for a couple of seasons before taking over his own room Akron. There is a lot of upside potential here, but not much experience at the moment.
–Gregor Moss, Defensive Analyst, FSU: There are several off-field types with experience coaching DBs/players of DBs. However, Moss is probably the most qualified among them. He was DB coach for three seasons Charleston South before joining FSU and was also a secondary coach at FIU from 2015-16. He also has experience coaching schools in Broward and Dade counties, so the South Florida ties are worth noting. Keiwan Ratliff and Corey Fuller are employees and have experience with DB in the NFL, but neither has coached corners at the college level. Their names are certainly worth mentioning. Ratliff has ties to Orlando and could be a strong recruiter. Fuller’s leadership skills and familiarity with Big Bend territory are also intriguing.
–Torrian Gray, Defensive Backs Coach, South Carolina: This name makes sense on several levels. He has coaching experience in the SEC (UF and SC), the NFL and has played in the NFL. A native of Lakeland, Florida, he has been involved in recruiting blue chips throughout the Southeast and beyond. He has ties to Florida, Texas and the DMV area (soon to be coveted again by FSU). He is qualified, experienced and has coached a number of future NFL defensemen such as Brandon flowers, Came ChancellorKyle Fuller and Kendall Fuller, Teez Tabor, Markus Maye, Quincy Wilson, Duke Dawson and CJ Henderson. This is a name to follow.
–Demarcus van Dyke, Defensive Analyst, Miami: A Miami Gardens native, he played six seasons in Miami and then the NFL before becoming a coach. He was an off-field coach for a few years, transitioned to cornerbacks coach in 2021, and after a coaching change, returned to an off-field role as an analyst. He has been involved in some major recruitments (primary on Cormani McClainsecondary on Damari Brown and Wesley Bissaynthe). He played under Randy Shannon while in Miami.
–rod chance, formerly Colorado: Chance was an assistant coach in Colorado, Oregon (multiple stints), and Minnesota. The Fort Lauderdale native was a standout in the powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas. He has recruiting connections in Florida and California.
–Darcel McBathCornerbacks Coach, Mississippi: A Texas native, McBath has recruiting experience in various Southeast states. He has coached at the P5 level for five seasons (two in Washington state, three in Mississippi state). of the SEC, with Martin Emerson as his most notable prospect to date.
–Other P5 names worth mentioning are Travis Fisher (Nebraska Defense Coach), Chris Collins (Kentucky defense coach), Anthony Poindexter (Pennsylvania safety trainer), Steve Clinkscale (Michigan defender coach) and Nick Monroe (Syracuse safety trainer).
–Antonio Cromartie, Formerly GA at Texas A&M: The former FSU star and corner All-Pro has gained some collegiate-level coaching experience as a GA. He’s from Tallahassee. This is a name that might resonate more than you’d expect, as we assume Cromartie is given a legitimate look.
–Terrell Buckley, Head Coach, Orlando Guardians (XFL): Buckley is an FSU legend, accomplished pro player, and proven P5-level cornerbacks coach (with jobs at both Mississippi and Louisville schools). He trained as an off-field assistant at FSU.
shield wood (Defensive Coordinator, Troy), Keynodo Hudson (assistant coach, Western Kentucky), Steve Ellis (cornerbacks coach, ECU), Jared Holley (Cornerbacks Coach, UNT), Paul Turner (Safety Coach, Louisiana Tech)