Marc Daniels: Jimbo's Journey...Backup Arena QB To High Paid Coach

Alabama v Texas A&M

Photo: Getty Images

Jimbo Fisher is one heck of a story. I'm not talking about how he beat Nick Saban last week or how it ended at FSU and maybe it didn't need to.

But the dots that connect for Jimbo Fisher to some big names and big moments are pretty impressive.

Born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, Jimbo was headed to Clemson to play baseball. If he does that do we even know who Jimbo Fisher is today? Probably not.

But his love for football sent him to Salem College to play quarterback for a young coach named Terry Bowden, son of Bobby Bowden. Following along? Pay attention.

Fisher played two seasons for Terry before Bowden left for Samford, where Bobby once coached. Jimbo followed Terry by transferring to Samford and broke many school records and became the Division III National Player of the Year.

In 1988, Jimbo joined the Chicago Bruisers of the Arena Football League and backed up Ben Bennett at quarterback. The Bruisers went 10-1-1 and Jimbo Fisher completed three of four pass attempts for 17 yards and one interception. Side note here: The Bruisers played one more season in Chicago and then in 1991 the expansion Orlando Predators' roster included several members of the Chicago team- including coach Perry Moss and Ben Bennett.

Fisher then joined Terry Bowden's staff at Samford for two years before Bowden took the job at Auburn and Fisher followed as the QB coach for six seasons. When Terry was fired at Auburn, Fisher spent the 1998 season as the offensive coordinator for Rick Minter at Cincinnati. That's when Nick Saban called and Fisher joined Nick at LSU and ran the offense. When Saban left for the Dolphins in 2005, Fisher remained on staff and thought he was a serious candidate for the head coaching position but that went to Les Miles, who came from Oklahoma State.

Here where things get really interesting. After the 2006 season, FIsher was ready to become the head coach at UAB, but the Alabama Board of Trustees vetoed the contract and depending who ask- the feeling was the board didn't want UAB to build a successful program that could cut into the power of Alabama and Auburn. Politics came into play and a power struggle over Fisher was created. Nick Saban, now at Alabama offered Fisher a spot on his staff but Fisher turned that down to take the offensive coordinator job at Florida State to work for Bobby Bowden. Fisher's hiring also created controversy at FSU because Bobby was replacing his son Jeff Bowden.

One year later, Fisher was named "coach in waiting" with the expected retirement of Bobby Bowden. After the 2009 season, Fisher became FSU's head coach and went 83-23 and won a national title. The end in Tallahassee was not pretty and Fisher ran to his $75M deal at Texas A&M- only to receive an extension and raise before this current season.

Now Fisher may have his name resurface again at LSU where the AD who hired him in College Station may be looking for a new coach since everyone has Ed Orgeron not surviving another season.

Quite a journey for the one time backup of the Chicago Bruisers.

Final thought: Orlando Predators legend Durwood Roquemore led the 1988 Chicago Bruisers with 11 interceptions.

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